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New York Mets Total Runs
(5 +102 FD, 5.5 +118 DK)
After getting off to a slow start against the Braves, the Mets offense has hit the ground running thanks to the gift that keeps on giving — the Red Sox pitching staff. The first three games of this series saw the Mets put up 20 runs. The Mets don’t just get anyone from the Red Sox, they get the Master of Allowing Runs, Martin Perez. The southpaw’s struggles are well documented as he posted a 5.49 ERA over 250.2 IP in 2018-19. Those struggles continued against the Orioles as the O’s scored five runs off Perez.
Perez will certainly have his hands full against the Mets, who will roll out a lineup that features some really tough righties — Pete Alonso, J.D. Davis, Yoenis Cespedes, Amed Rosario, and Wilson Ramos. Make sure you check out FTN’s Lineups Page to ensure those righties are in today’s lineup before making this bet. Following Perez’s inevitable exit, the Mets will get a very worn-out Boston bullpen, who have thrown the fifth most innings so far. In 25.2 IP, the Red Sox relievers have posted a 4.91 ERA. According to FTN’s Lineup Optimizer, the Mets have a 6.1 projected team total. I love the Mets to keep the good times rolling.
Pick: Over 5 (+102 FD)
Royals at Tigers First 5 Money Line (-137 DK)
Royals’ rookie Brady Singer made quite the splash in his debut. He managed to strike out seven Indians in five IP while allowing two ERs. If you missed it, check out Nick’s GIF Breakdown for his first start in which he had his slider doing work. Singer gets a much friendlier match-up in his second career start as he’ll face the Tigers in Detroit. Last year, the Tigers were the worst in the league against right-handed pitchers, putting up a 74 wRC+ while striking out 26.6% of the time. In 2020, that strikeout rate is up to 35.1%. In case you can’t tell, I’m really excited to see what Singer can do in his followup start.
On the other side of the mound is Ivan Nova — “He Who Strikes Out No One”. In 2019, Nova hit a new low for him by striking out 14.1% of the batters he faced. In his lone start of the year, that K-rate is down to 9.5%. One of the things the Royals bats struggle with against right-handed pitching is strikeouts, as five of their projected starters sport a K-rate north of 25%. With Nova on the mound, that fear is diminished.
While I like Singer in this matchup, I don’t exactly trust the Royals’ bullpen as they’ve posted a 5.63 FIP to open the season. So, I’m going to play the Royals to win the first five innings today. I didn’t see a money line for this play on FanDuel (just a run line or a three-way line), so DK appears to be our only option.
Pick: Royals (-137 DK)
Angels vs. Mariners Lead After 5 Innings (-157 DK)
There was a lot of speculation this off-season on whether the Angels would be able to get the most out of Dylan Bundy. I’m not saying the answer is already clear after one start, but seven strikeouts through 6.2 IP is nothing to sneeze at. The key to Bundy’s start was the increased slider usage. Sidebar — it always confounds me when the fantasy community knows how to get the most out of a pitcher and a manager or team can’t seem to figure it out. Bundy gets a match-up with the Mariners, who just put up 10 runs in yesterday’s game. However, eight of those runs came after their starter, Andrew Heaney, left the game.
Marco Gonzales takes the mound for the Mariners. Gonzales opened the year in a tough spot against the Astros. He allowed four runs in 4.1 IP while striking out just two. Gonzales is the type of pitcher that pitches to contact and doesn’t strike out a lot of batters. The Angels, who don’t strike out a lot and are great at putting the ball in play, provide Gonzales with another challenging matchup.
Since I want to avoid having to sweat out the Angels’ bullpen, I’m going to play the Angels to lead after five innings. It’s essentially Angels -.5. If you’re looking for a little more safety, you can take the money line after five innings, but that’s a little pricier at -215. As of this writing, FanDuel doesn’t have lines up yet for this yet, but I’ll check back later and leave a comment on what the odds are.
Pick: Angels (-157 DK)
Reds vs. Cubs: Total Runs After 3 Innings
(O/U 2.5, +108 FD, +106 DK)
You’ll have to keep an eye on the weather on this one as there’s rain in the forecast for their 6:10 start time. I’m really excited about this pitching match-up. Yu Darvish visits Luis Castillo in what is easily the match-up of the day. In his first start, Castillo looked like a legit Cy Young candidate. The righty allowed one run while striking out 11 Tigers over six IP. Darvish, on the other hand, struggled some in his debut. The Cubs ace gave up three runs over four innings. The good news for Darvish is he didn’t issue any free passes while striking out five.
Not only do I like the pitching match-up, but the cherry on top for me in this match-up is the cooler temperatures in Cincinnati today. The forecast calls for temperatures in the 70s, as opposed to the mid-90s they’ve gotten in the first three games of this series. There’s a reason why managers call the dog-days of summer “hitting weather”. As long as this game plays, I love both these pitchers to get off to a hot start and limit runs early, so I’m playing Under 2.5 runs through three innings.
Pick: Under 2.5 (+108 FD)
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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)