Happy Fourth of July! What could be a better way to celebrate America’s independence than by firing up the grill, cracking a few cold beverages, and enjoying a full day of baseball?
MLB is offering up a sizable slate for Independence Day, featuring a four-game early slate, a five-game late afternoon slate, and a five-game evening slate.
Let’s dive into three of my favorite wagers on DraftKings Sportsbook for Tuesday’s slate.
Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees:
The Pick: Orioles ML (+100)
The Yankees managed to take care of business at home vs. the Orioles on Monday, but I think Baltimore is in a great bounce-back spot on Independence Day. They’ll send Kyle Gibson to the mound, who is an extremely reliable starting pitcher. He’s not going to earn any Cy Young votes, but he’s allowed three earned runs or fewer in 11 of 17 starts this season. Gibson has also been a tad unlucky, with his 3.89 FIP nearly a full run lower than his 4.66 ERA.
Gibson should have no problems carving through an uninspiring Yankees lineup. Without Aaron Judge, this squad has very few bats that actually scare you. They’re just 27th in wRC+ vs. right-handers over the past 14 days, so the Bronx Bombers are not living up to their nickname.
The Orioles offense has also been slumping a bit of late, but they’ve been above average against right-handers for the year. They draw a solid matchup vs. Clarke Schmidt on Tuesday, who is far from imposing. He’s pitched to a 4.37 ERA this season, and his FIP jumps to 4.70 when pitching at Yankee Stadium.
Ultimately, I give the Orioles a slight edge both on the mound and in the batter’s box, so getting them at even money is a solid value.
New York Mets at Arizona Diamondbacks:
The Pick: Mets ML (-115)
Are the Mets turning things around? That remains to be seen, but there were some positives in their series vs. the Giants over the weekend. They won two of three games, and the game they lost featured a blown two-run lead in the eighth inning. Overall, they were the better team for the vast majority of that series.
The Diamondbacks represent a slight step up in weight class, but the Mets will have one of their best pitchers on the mound in Kodai Senga. He’s pitched to a 3.53 ERA through his first 15 professional starts, adding 11.13 strikeouts per nine innings. His one big weakness has been his walk rate, averaging more than five walks per nine innings, but he has improved slightly in that department as the season has progressed.
The Mets’ offense has also started to show some signs of life, ranking 11th in wRC+ vs. right-handers over the past 14 days. Tommy Pham has emerged as a consistent threat in the middle of the order, while Francisco Lindor posted his best wRC+ of the season in June. Even Pete Alonso broke out of a power slump vs. the Giants, clubbing a homer in his final at-bat of the series.
The Mets should keep hitting against Zach Davies, who has been one of the most exploitable starters in the league. He has a 6.54 ERA across his nine starts, and he’s walking nearly as many batters as he’s striking out. The Diamondbacks don’t have a particularly good bullpen either, so it’s a great spot for the Mets to keep their mini-win streak alive.
Los Angeles Angels at San Diego Padres:
The Pick: Angels ML (-105)
It’s not often that you get to back Shohei Ohtani as an underdog when he takes the mound, but Tuesday is one of those rare occasions. What Ohtani is doing this season is absolutely remarkable. He would likely be the favorite for the AL MVP award based solely on his batting numbers – he leads the league with 31 homers – but he’s also one of the best starters in baseball. He’s pitched to a 3.02 ERA while racking up 11.99 strikeouts per nine innings, resulting in an additional 1.9 WAR.
He’ll square off with Joe Musgrove, who is an excellent pitcher in his own right. That said, Musgrove hasn’t been quite as impressive so far in 2023. His 3.80 ERA is nearly a full run higher than his mark from last season, though most of his advanced metrics are pretty similar. Overall, he’s a capable starter, but he’s not really in Ohtani’s stratosphere.
The Angels also have an edge offensively. They’ve been the fourth-best team in baseball against right-handed pitchers, while the Padres rank 18th despite their loaded lineup. The Padres have shown some improvement recently, but the Angels have still been better across the past 14 days.
The Padres do have home-field advantage in this contest, but they’ve been below .500 at home so far this season. Los Angeles is better than .500 on the road, so I’ll take my chances with them as slight underdogs.
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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.