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We are stacking up the 2-1 weeks lately, as two of my three bets hit yet again last Wednesday, bringing our record to 31-16 on article plays for the season as a whole. Am I a little disappointed we didn’t cash all three? Of course. However, I also think winning a Diamondbacks moneyline bet on the road should count twice.
Let’s try and do even better this week. Here are my three favorite plays for tonight’s slate on the DraftKings Sportsbook.
Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals
Braves ML (-115)
After watching Lester surrender five earned runs in the first inning on Tuesday, it’s now Happ’s turn to take the hill this evening.
It’s difficult to believe things are going to go smoothly. Not only is Happ in possession of a 6.77 ERA and a 5.78 xERA through his first 19 outings of 2021, but he’s especially struggled in his last three appearances, giving up 20 earned runs across 16.0 innings of work.
Meanwhile, the Braves are 5-0 in their past five games as a road favorite and they’ll send the resurgent Drew Smyly to the mound. That’s right: Resurgent. Though Smyly was struggling as much as Happ to begin this season, the veteran has recently turned things around to the tune of a 2.63 ERA and a 3.25 FIP in his past eight starts. Considering St. Louis hasn’t fared well against a left-handed opponent in months, I’m inclined to believe Smyly will pitch well enough that Atlanta will be victorious once again at Busch Stadium.
Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers
Casey Mize Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-120)
At first glance, this prop seems exceedingly low, but there are a few things working against the former first overall pick. Mize hasn’t been anything close to an elite strikeout pitcher so far this season, registering just a 19.4% strikeout rate and a below-average 9.6% swinging strike rate. The Tigers have also been very careful with their rookie’s inning load, as Mize has only thrown 100 pitches in a start two times in 2021.
Still, having said all that, I think he should be able to clear this number against a Red Sox lineup that has been a little swing crazy in recent weeks. Since the All-Star break, Boston ranks first in all of baseball in chase rate (35.8%) and swinging strike rate (13.3%). Not surprisingly, that’s directly translated into a 24.7% strikeout rate — the fourth-highest mark in the league within that span. Mize has also seen his workload steadily increase since a stretch of shorter outings to begin July, throwing 79 and 88 pitches in his past two appearances, respectively. That’ll be more than enough volume to rack up 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 let Franmil Reyes make contact. It doesn’t happen as often as Cleveland would like it to — Reyes owns a massive 33.2% strikeout rate in 2021 — but among players with at least 100 batted ball events so far this season, the 26-year-old owns the fourth-highest rate of barrels per BBE at 20.3%. Just for the sake of comparison, the other four players sitting above 20% are Shohei Ohtani, Ronald Acuna, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Mike Zunino. Not bad.
Fortunately for us, I think that Reyes will be in line for a few balls in play this evening against Steven Matz. The lefty has had a rough go since being activated from the COVID injured list, pitching to a 5.66 ERA across his past five outings. Matz has also had his issues generating swing and misses in this stretch, with underwhelming marks in both strikeout rate (17.4%) and swinging strike rate (7.4%). With Reyes in possession of a career .878 OPS versus LHPs, I think he has a huge performance in Toronto this evening.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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