Who’s ready for another full day of baseball?
The Mets and Diamondbacks open Saturday’s MLB schedule with their second straight matinee at 1:10 p.m. EST. Every team is on the docket until the Reds and Dodgers close up shop at 10:10 p.m.
Bettors have plenty of time to scour the marketplace for their preferred wagers, but let’s dive into the day’s standout options before the first game commences.
Jameson Taillon Strikeouts
Jameson Taillon looked sharp in his 2022 debut, limiting a ferocious Blue Jays lineup to two runs over five walkless frames. The 30-year-old tallied six strikeouts and 12 swinging-strikes on 72 pitches against the toughest team for righties to punch out last season.
His second assignment gets a bit easier, as he’ll go from the Blue Jays to the Orioles. After posting the fifth-highest K rate against righties (24.9%) last year, Baltimore has fallen even further to 29th at 27.8% through the inaugural week.
Taillon faced the Orioles twice last year. He opened the season with seven strikeouts in just 4.2 innings and secured a season-high 10 punchouts against his toothless AL East foe on August 4.
Given Taillon’s first economical start, he has a chance of working six innings against a lackadaisical lineup that’s scored 14 runs in seven games. While you’re not getting great odds, -125 is palatable enough to wager over 4.5 strikeouts on DraftKings. It’s only worth the gamble on FanDuel if betting for six more at +158.
Pick: Over 4.5 (-125 on DraftKings, -136 on FanDuel)
Giants vs. Guardians: Moneyline
DraftKings has this bout as a coin-flip, and FanDuel actually provides better odds for last year’s best regular-season squad. The Giants must be off to a dreadful start … Nope, they’re 5-2 following yesterday’s 4-1 victory at Progressive Field.
Saturday’s starter, Anthony DeSclafani, only went 3.2 innings in his 2022 debut, but a lot of that was going around in the opening week because of a shortened spring. San Francisco has already stretched out Logan Webb and Carlos Rodón to eight and seven innings, respectively, in their second turns. Remember when DeSclafani recorded a 3.17 ERA in 31 starts last season with a 3.62 FIP?
Perhaps the oddsmakers are buying into Cal Quantrill, who carried over last season’s stellar second half with five frames of two-run ball at Kansas City last Sunday. The 27-year-old continues to get by without missing many bats, so he could falter when the platoon-happy Giants throw a lefty-laden lineup led by Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, and Joc Pederson at the righty.
While the Guardians are off to a rousing start, it came against the Royals and Reds. The Giants are a far superior squad who remain a disrespected contender.
Pick: Giants (-104 on FanDuel, -110 on DraftKings)
Astros vs. Mariners: Run Line
An evening soiree between Houston and Seattle has Saturday’s lowest run line at 7.5. The bookies are clearly convinced Justin Verlander is back and better than ever. After all, the 39-year-old stifled the Angels to one run and three hits in his first start back from Tommy John surgery.
Maybe he is back. However, a 22.5% CSW isn’t quite what we’re used to seeing from the ace. He also issued three walks, a tally he reached only three times in 34 starts three years ago. Verlander might have some rust to shake off, which may contain him to another five-inning outing. Seattle just opened the series by spiking 11 runs on Friday night, so the AL West adversary also has some bite.
Yet even if Verlander handles business, this is a low run line for a game in which the Astros face Chris Flexen. While Flexen authored a 3.61 ERA during a breakout return from the KBO, a 16.9% K rate and 4.70 SIERA cloud his ability to replicate that comeback. He began the season by allowing five hits, three walks, and three runs in 4.1 innings.
The Astros have only scored 25 runs in seven games, and 13 came in one day against the Angels. They’ve since plated nine runs in five ensuing games and recently placed star slugger Yordan Álvarez on the injured list. Although this isn’t the same offense that notched an MLB-leading 116 wRC+ against righties last season, it’s still one featuring José Altuve, Kyle Tucker, and Alex Bregman.
Their slumbering bats are going to wake up eventually. Let’s see if it happens tonight.
Pick: Over 7.5 (+102 on FanDuel, +100 on DraftKings)
Andrew Gould Overall Record: 1-2
Net Money (Assuming all wagers are $100): -$62
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)