The trade deadline is officially in the rear-view mirror, so we’re in the home stretch of the MLB regular season. Most teams have around 50 games left, so it’s put up or shut up time for the playoff hopefuls.
We have 15 games to choose from on Sunday, including an 11-game main slate at 1:35 p.m. ET, a two-game late afternoon slate, and Sunday Night Baseball.
Let’s dive into three of my favorite wagers on DraftKings Sportsbook.
San Francisco Giants at Oakland Athletics:
The Pick: Under 8.0 runs (-108)
The A’s managed to pick up a rare win on Saturday, securing a 2-1 victory over the Giants in Oakland. The sharps seem to like their chances of earning another win on Sunday, but I prefer the under on 8.0 runs.
Oakland will send Luis Medina to the mound, who is one of their better starters. That’s not saying much – The A’s have one of the worst pitching staffs in league history – but Medina’s 4.23 xERA and 4.43 xFIP aren’t dreadful. He also averages more than a strikeout per inning, which should help vs. the Giants: they have the fourth-highest strikeout rate vs. right-handed pitchers.
On the other side, Alex Cobb should be able to take care of business. The A’s rank dead last in runs per game, averaging a paltry 3.56. They’re 25th in wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers, and Cobb remains an above-average starter. Some of his advanced metrics are down compared to last season, but his 3.05 ERA is his best mark since 2014 with the Rays.
Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels:
The Pick: Angels Moneyline (-125)
The Angels decided to go all in at the trade deadline in an effort to keep Shohei Ohtani in Los Angeles, but things haven’t gone great recently. They’ve dropped five straight games, moving them to seventh place in the AL Wild Card standings. They’re 6.0 games behind the Blue Jays for the final spot, so they’re going to need to turn things around in a hurry.
Fortunately, Saturday’s matchup vs. the Mariners seems like a good spot for a win.
They’ll be facing Bryce Miller, a highly regarded prospect who started the year strong. However, his pitching has deteriorated as the season has progressed. He’s posted a 5.44 ERA and 5.51 FIP since June 1, and he’s been rocked in his past two outings. He’s surrendered 12 earned runs across 11 1/3 innings, resulting in an FIP of at least 8.03 in both contests.
Those outings were against the Twins and Red Sox, who possess good but not great offenses. The Angels are arguably even better, ranking fifth in wRC+ against right-handers for the year. Even without Mike Trout, they’re 11th in wRC+ vs. right-handers since the All-Star break.
Additionally, the Angels will turn to an undervalued starter in Chase Silseth. He’s far from a household name, but he’s pitched to a 3.99 ERA and a 3.92 xERA across 29 1/3 innings this season. Most of his appearances have come out of the bullpen, but Silseth actually has a better ERA as a starter than a reliever this season. He’s also been great over the second half of the year, posting a 1.69 ERA since the All-Star break. He’s limited the Braves and Yankees to two runs across 10 2/3 innings in his past two outings, and if he can keep them at bay, he can do the same vs. the Mariners.
Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres:
The Pick: Dodgers Moneyline (-125)
The Dodgers are the gold standard of MLB franchises. It seemed like they had a disappointing offseason, losing a Trea Turner and a bunch of key pitchers from last year’s squad, but they’ve put together another fantastic year. They’re currently 63-46, giving them the second-best record in the National League, and they rank fourth in all of baseball in terms of run differential.
Any time you can grab the Dodgers as small favorites, it’s probably worth considering. That’s the case on Sunday Night Baseball.
They’ll send the newly-acquired Lance Lynn to the mound vs. the Padres, and I have no doubts that they’ll be able to turn Lynn around. He remains an excellent strikeout pitcher, racking up 10.73 strikeouts per nine innings this season, but has been victimized by bad defense and poor batted-ball luck. Overall, his 4.81 xERA is more than 1.5 runs lower than his traditional ERA. He posted a 3.86 ERA in his first start with the Dodgers, albeit against a weak A’s lineup.
The best part is that Lynn doesn’t even have to pitch well to potentially win in LA. The Dodgers rank third in the league in runs per game, so they’re capable of winning games strictly with their bats. They draw a matchup with Rich Hill on Sunday, who will be making his first start with his new club. Hill is ancient at more than 43 years old, and his metrics have deteriorated in 2023. He owns a 4.76 ERA and a 5.60 xERA, both of which are his worst marks in a decade.
The Dodgers aren’t quite as potent against left-handers as they are against traditional pitchers, but they’re still well above average in that split. They should be able to do significant damage in this spot.
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All odds are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds are 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.