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We’re stacking the 2-1 weeks lately as two of my three bets were hit again last Wednesday, bringing our record to 31-16 in article games for the entire season. Am I a little disappointed that we didn’t redeem all three? Naturally. However, I also think that winning a Diamondbacks moneyline bet on the street should count twice.
Let’s try even better this week. Here are my three favorite games for today’s DraftKings Sportsbook slate.
Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals
After Lester gave up five well-deserved runs in the first inning on Tuesday, it’s Happ’s turn to take the hill tonight.
It’s hard to believe that everything will go well. Not only is Happ in possession of a 6.77 ERA and a 5.78 xERA in his first 19 appearances in 2021, he has also struggled particularly in his last three appearances, giving up 20 earned runs in 16.0 innings of work.
Meanwhile, the Braves are 5-0 favorites on the road in their last five games and will send re-energized Drew Smyly up the hill. That’s right: resurgence. Though Smyly struggled with the start of this season as much as Happ, the veteran has recently turned things in the direction of a 2.63 ERA and a 3.25 FIP in his last eight starts. Given that St. Louis hasn’t done well against a left-handed player in months, I’m inclined to believe that Smyly will serve well enough that Atlanta will be victorious again at Busch Stadium.
Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers
Casey Mize over 3.5 strikeouts (-120)
At first glance, that prop seems extremely low, but there are a few things that militate against the previous first overall pick. Mize hasn’t been anywhere near an elite strikeout pitcher this season, recording a strikeout rate of 19.4% and a below-average swinging strike rate of 9.6%. The Tigers were also very careful with their rookie’s inning load as Mize only threw 100 pitches twice in one start in 2021.
Still, I think he should be able to clear that number against a Red Sox line-up that has been a little swing crazy over the past few weeks. Since the All-Star hiatus, Boston has ranked first in baseball for chase rate (35.8%) and swinging strike rate (13.3%). Unsurprisingly, this translates directly into a 24.7% strikeout rate – the fourth-highest mark in the league over that time. Mize has also seen that his workload has steadily increased since a series of shorter excursions in early July, throwing 79 and 88 pitches respectively in his last two appearances. That’s more than enough volume to collect four punch-outs.
Cleveland Indians at Toronto Blue Jays
Franmil Reyes Over 1.5 total bases (+120)
As an opposing pitcher, the worst thing you can do is to let Franmil Reyes contact you. It doesn’t happen as often as Cleveland would like – Reyes has a massive 33.2% strikeout rate in 2021 – but of the players who have hit at least 100 ball events so far this season, the 26-year-old has the fourth highest Barrel rate per BBE at 20.3%. Just for comparison, the other four players who sit over 20% are Shohei Ohtani, Ronald Acuna, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Mike Zunino. Not bad.
Fortunately for us, I think Reyes will have a few balls in play tonight against Steven Matz. The left-handed has had a tough time since being activated on the COVID Injury List and has achieved an ERA of 5.66 on his last five outings. Matz also struggled to generate momentum and failures on this distance, with disappointing scores on both the strikeout rate (17.4%) and swinging strike rate (7.4%). With Reyes having a career of 0.878 OPS against LHPs, I think he has a tremendous performance tonight in Toronto.
I’m a promoter at DraftKings and also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and I sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I give advice on. While I have expressed my personal opinion on the games and strategies mentioned above, they do not necessarily reflect the opinion (s) of DraftKings and I can use different players and strategies than I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to non-public information.
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