Well, I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. The bad news is I am on a serious losing streak with these articles. The good news is that there is still a lot of baseball left to play this season and we are going to eventually make it out of this streak. And that is going to start today.
This season, I have decided to treat readers to four bets in each article under the following parameters: 1) A 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).
Guardians @ Tigers Run Line After 5 Innings
As a big Tarik Skubal fan, I am glad to see that the injury that forced him out of his last start wasn’t serious enough to force him to the IL. Hopefully, the brief hiatus hasn’t taken the budding superstar out of his rhythm, because he hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 19 innings. In fact, Skubal has allowed no earned runs in five of his last seven starts. On Thursday, he faces a Guardians team that has cooled off from its hot start and has hit for a 78 wRC+ over the last two weeks. On top of that, they are one of the worst teams in baseball against LHP, with an 82 wRC+ on the season.
Cleveland is throwing out rookie LHP Konnor Pilkington, a 24-year-old with decent strikeout ability but a serious lack of efficiency. In fact, his profile reminds me a little of a less-electric Skubal, so the smart move here is to just go with the better version. I am worried that the Tigers will hold Skubal back a little after his injury, so I think the best play here is to take the Tigers to be in the lead after 5 innings.
Pick: Tigers -0.5 After 5 Innings (+105 DK, -106 FD)
Dodgers @ Diamondbacks O/U 9.5 Runs
Over the last week, there haven’t been many teams that have hit the ball as well as Los Angeles and Arizona. The ever-potent Dodgers have hit for a 126 wRC+ in the last seven days while the Diamondbacks have been crushing the ball to the tune of a 146 wRC+. Prior to getting stymied by Erik Fedde yesterday, the Dodgers had scored 19 runs in their previous two games while Arizona has tallied 38 runs over their last 5 contests. Going against mediocre starting pitching in Mitch White (6.17 ERA) and Humberto Castellanos (4.29 ERA), I think 9.5 runs is just too short for these teams at Chase Field. The over just feels like the safe play and we are getting it at -110 which is good enough for me.
Pick: OVER 9.5 Runs (-110 DK, -112 FD)
Mookie Betts O/U 0.5 Runs/J.D. Martinez O/U 1.5 Total Bases
A big reason for the Dodgers offensive success of late is the absolute tear that Mookie Betts has been on. The veteran superstar has an OPS of 1.349 in the last two weeks and has scored an absurd 18 runs in those 14 games. Against Humberto Castellanos, Betts should have no trouble getting on base and with the firepower that the Dodgers lineup possesses, adding to that run total looks pretty good to me. Hand up, last article I wrote up I recommended a J.D. Martinez player prop and forgot to check if he was actually in the lineup. He was not, however, I am willing to bet that as the hottest hitter in baseball he will be in the lineup against LHP Dallas Keuchel on Thursday. Over the last two weeks, Martinez has been spraying the ball all over the yard with a 301 wRC+ and Keuchel and his 6.60 ERA should present virtually no challenge. Keuchel somehow is walking more batters than he is striking out and I can just see Martinez pounding one into the gap and easily cashing over 1.5 total bases. Parlayed, Betts and Martinez are getting +193 on DraftKings for these props and that is a very good number for me.
Pick: Betts OVER 0.5 Runs/Martinez OVER 1.5 Total Bases (+193 DK, +188 FD)
Eric Lauer O/U 17.5 Outs
Eric Lauer has been a revelation for the Milwaukee Brewers, who certainly didn’t need more great starting pitchers but they got another one. Lauer has pitched through the 6th inning in five of his last six starts and is coming off of 7 shutout innings against Washington. So naturally, I am betting on him to get under 17.5 outs today. The problem is Lauer is facing a pesky Cardinals lineup that just seems to keep rolling along no matter which no-name position player they plug into the lineup. St. Louis has impressively supplanted the White Sox as the best team in baseball against LHP and it actually isn’t particularly close (147 wRC+ for STL, 121 for CHW). Add in that the Cardinals have been a top 5 hitting team over the last two weeks and I see Lauer running into trouble on Thursday. The Cardinals will need to get the bats rolling early, but I am comfortable taking a chance on Lauer not making it to the 6th inning.
Pick: Lauer UNDER 17.5 Outs (+105 DK)
Kyle Stanzel Overall Record: 24-26-0
Net Money (Assuming all wagers are $100): $281.80
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)