It’s hard to start the season much better than we did on Opening Day, going four for four on bets. That means you should definitely fade whatever I spew out here, because water always finds its level in sports betting. But if you are feeling a little saucy on this beautiful Sunday morning, here are four bets to keep the hot streak rolling.
This season, I have decided to treat readers to four bets in each article under the following parameters: 1.) A ML or spread bet on a team, 2.) A bet on a total, 3.) A batter prop bet, and 4.) a pitcher prop bet. Hopefully this diversification will lead to success in our wagers (but probably not).
Mariners @ Twins To Score First
While this is not a money line or spread bet, I think it plays, as it is on a side. I am just not a fan of Marco Gonzales as a pitcher. Plain and simple. Every year, his ERA masks a much higher xFIP, his K rates are atrocious, and his HR/FB rate spiked last year. I never have any interest in Gonzales in fantasy drafts and, for better or worse, I constantly target offenses facing him in DFS. Especially when that offense has Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa and Jorge Polanco at the top of the order. We all saw what Buxton can do on Saturday when he launched a home run into the third deck. It shouldn’t take very long for the Twins lineup to get to Gonzales and scratch at least one run across the plate.
On the other side, I am actually a big fan of Minnesota starter Bailey Ober. The 26-year-old came on strong down the stretch last season and he is a pitcher I tried to buy low on in drafts this year. If he can chuck a clean first frame, I am confident in the Twins’ ability to get on the board first in this one.
Pick: Twins to Score First (+100 DK, -106 FD)
Red Sox @ Yankees O/U 2.5 Runs in First 3 Innings
Despite opening the season in that bandbox that occupies prime real estate in the Bronx, the Red Sox and Yankees haven’t exactly been lighting up the scoreboard so far. Aided by a few weak home runs and extra innings, the two teams put up 11 runs on Opening Day but were only able to scratch across six runs total on Saturday. For the first Sunday Night Baseball game of the year, we have an extremely intriguing pitching matchup between Tanner Houck and Jordan Montgomery, two potential breakout candidates. We all saw what Houck and his Chris Sale-esque slider can do when he is on, and it is awesome that Boston decided to commit to him as a starter. Montgomery showcased a well-rounded repertoire in 2021 and he is a popular pick to take the next step as a starter this year. While the game under has some value, I am not sure what the leash is going to be on these starters, so I think taking the under in the first three innings is the route to go here.
Pick: UNDER 2.5 Runs in the First 3 Innings (-105 DK, +106 FD)
Franmil Reyes To Hit a Home Run
It has been a tough start to the 2022 season for Franmil Reyes, with just one single and four strikeouts in eight at-bats. Fine by me, that just means he is due. Reyes is just a straight-up masher, as evidenced by his 30.6% HR/FB rate last season, resulting in 30 home runs in just 115 games. On Sunday, he faces LHP Kris Bubic, who I actually think has some upside as a pitcher. But this is a home run bet, so I have to point out that he allowed 22 home runs in 130 innings in 2021, resulting in a 18.3% HR/FB rate. A big reason for this bet, however, is the weather report. We have a balmy 73 degree day scheduled for Kansas City and, most importantly, a strong 18 mph wind going directly out to left field. The formula is there for a Franmil blast on Sunday, and at +300, that is just a prop I can’t pass up.
Pick: Franmil Reyes to Hit a Home Run (+300 DK)
Steven Matz to Record a Win
Sigh … here we are again. I truly think the Pirates will be good sometime soon with the farm system they have developed in the past few years. But 2022 is looking like it will be another season of pain for Pittsburgh fans if the first two games are any indicator. Steven Matz is back in the National League after a promising season in Toronto. The fact of the matter is Matz just has to be decent in this one, as the Pittsburgh lineup is just not intimidating anyone. And while I have hope for Bryse Wilson as a rare bright spot this season for the Pirates, the Cardinals’ lineup just has too many weapons for them to not push a few runs across and establish a lead for Matz. Really the only question is whether Matz will get the five innings required for the win, and considering he threw 6.2 innings in his final spring training start, I think he should get there and start the season off 1-0.
Pick: Matz to Record a Win (+120 DK)
Kyle Stanzel Overall Record: 4-0-0
Net Money (Assuming all wagers are $100): $535.00
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)