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The first weekend of October is here, but it also marks the last weekend of MLB regular-season betting. Here’s how to approach it via DraftKings Sportsbook.
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There’s more value in taking Milwaukee to score over 2.5 runs in the first five innings (+125), which is absolutely possible Saturday. However, the security provided by sacrificing some juice is worth it once considering what opponents have been doing against Cabrera.
Following his four consecutive gems in August, Cabrera has posted a 5.34 ERA and 6.64 FIP over six starts. He’s given up at least two runs in five of those outings, while never making it past the sixth inning. However, opponents have only scored three-plus runs in the first five innings three times throughout this latest stretch. Again, a worthwhile risk if you want more value, but sacrificing some juice for a better total is more appealing in this case.
As for the Brewers’ part in this, they’ve been one of the better teams against right-handed pitching at home over the past month. They’ve got a .182 ISO and a reasonable .264 BABIP during that span. And while they can get strikeout-happy in that setting, they have a 21.3 percent line-drive rate and a fly-ball rate (39 percent) that’s almost as high as their ground-ball rate (39.7 percent) in that scenario since Sept. 1. All the while, they’ve posted a 34.2 percent hard-contact rate.
These are the games Scherzer is built for. Jacob deGrom may be the dazzling ace, but Scherzer is still ace-level talent. More importantly, he has the experience. The moment won’t consume him.
Still, the Braves are a tough offense to navigate. They scored four runs against Scherzer on three hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings back in August. However, just like the other time he had to pitch in Atlanta this season (July 11) -- as well as his one start vs. the Braves in New York this year -- the right-hander managed to punch out at least eight.
Scherzer has gone over this number in half of his 2022 starts, logging an even 50 percent success rate both at home and on the road. But the Mets are more likely to stretch out their starter with playoff positioning on the line in this contest. That will only give Scherzer more strikeout opportunities against a lineup that has a 25.4 percent strikeout rate against righties since Sept. 1 -- a number that jumps up to 27.6 percent during that timeframe when only focusing on the games played in Atlanta.
Bellinger certainly isn’t the first hitter you think of backing when a lefty is on the bump vs. the Dodgers. But there are a few things going in his favor Saturday -- the first one being he just needs a single for this play to come through, unlike our typical total-bases props (you can also get the same total and line on Bellinger’s hits prop).
Bellinger makes a lot of quality contact against left-handed pitching in L.A. His 41.3 percent hard-contact rate and 47.8 percent fly-ball rate has led to an above average ISO within the split (.167). He does have a 30.1 percent strikeout rate within the split -- and Kyle Freeland punches out left-handed hitters more frequently away from Coors Field. However, Colorado’s left-hander induces fewer grounders from lefties outside of his home park, while giving up a 37.5 percent hard-contact rate.
On top of all this, Bellinger has done well against Freeland throughout his career. Last time Freeland took the mound at Dodger Stadium, Bellinger laced a double off him. That was his fourth career double against Freeland and brought his career average against the left-hander up to .300.
The pitching matchup is the obvious reason behind taking the under here, but there are a few other factors at play.
Outside of a couple of rough outings against the AL East, Roansy Contreras has been tough of late. Even with the 10 runs allowed over 10 2/3 combined innings against the Red Sox and Yankees, he’s posted a 3.38 ERA and 3.41 FIP across his last nine starts. During that stretch, he finally got the better of the Cardinals — and in St. Louis, no less. Although, the Cardinals haven’t hit right-handed pitching at Busch Stadium well recently, posting a meager .112 ISO against them at home the past month.
Meanwhile, the Pirates haven’t been all that great against right-handed pitching on the road over the past month. Although Adam Wainwright had a rough September, he’s always a tough matchup at home.
On top of all that, the under is 31-25-3 in Pirates day games. They average 3.83 runs scored per game and 5.07 runs allowed per game in those contests. With Contreras set to start this one, the latter number is less likely to be reached.
The under is only 26-27-1 in St. Louis day games, but the Cardinals only give up 3.95 runs per game in those matchups. Now, they are averaging five runs scored per game in this setting, but the Cardinals’ current situation plays in the under’s favor. They are cemented as the No. 3 seed in the NL playoff standings. They have no reason to play their horses in a day game after a night contest. Even if they play Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, that doesn’t mean they get a normal workload.
James Kaprielian has been a thorn in Seattle’s side all season. The Mariners have only gotten to him once in five outings, leading to a 1-4 record against the Oakland right-hander throughout 2022. That does make the A’s a strong underdog play Sunday. But like last time Kaprielian and Robbie Ray faced off, Oakland is still getting good juice as run-line underdogs. Since the numbers skew so favorably toward this play, that’s the preferred route.
The A’s are only 12-13 in Kaprielian starts this season. However, four of those 13 losses have been by one run, making him 16-9 when it comes to this play.
As for Ray, the Mariners have been extremely streaky across his last 18 outings. Six wins were followed by three losses, which were followed by five wins, until we got to the four-game losing streak in Ray outings the Mariners are in the midst of. During this 18-game stretch, the Mariners have lost or won by only one run 11 times. Additionally, the Mariners are one of the worst teams on the run line as home favorites (15-30).
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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