Just a six-game MLB card on Thursday evening, but we do have some strong spots that stand out. Here are some plays to consider.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
BALTIMORE ORIOLES VS. TORONTO BLUE JAYS (7:05 P.M. ET)
The Blue Jays have finally sprinkled the majority of their top prospects into their lineup, and it’s clearly improved the team’s offense. Toronto’s won four of their last five games, scoring 7.8 runs per game during that span. Trent Thornton will get the start for the Jays, and while he’s had some rough recent outings, this could be a spot he settles down. Thornton’s been better on the road this season, where he has a 4.70 ERA, and he’s been terrific in a pair of starts against Baltimore — 2.45 ERA.
Asher Wojciechowski has been in a groove since the All-Star break, with a 2.21 ERA in four appearances. However, his last start before the break was a 6-1 loss to Toronto. Even if the starting pitching doesn’t go in Toronto’s favor in this one, the Blue Jays’ 11th-ranked bullpen has a huge advantage over the Orioles’ bullpen — which ranks only in front of the Nationals this season. With these offenses evenly ranked, the bullpen advantage gives us a discount on the Jays.
BOSTON RED SOX VS. TAMPA BAY RAYS (7:10 P.M. ET)
OVER 10.5 (-122)
Brendan McKay is a nice looking prospect for the Rays, but this will be the toughest spot of his young career. McKay’s given up all of his earned runs in night games — an 8.64 ERA in a pair of starts. While he blanked the Orioles and Rangers in 11 total innings, he also gave up nine runs to the Yankees and White Sox in 8 1/3 innings. On the road against a hot Boston offense should present difficulties.
Andrew Cashner has improved in each of his three starts with Boston, but he still surrendered 13 total runs in 17 2/3 innings. He has a 5.94 ERA at Fenway Park this season, and Tampa’s had no problem scoring in Boston this season. Both rotations and bullpens have been shaky in the first two games of the series, with 24 total runs, and 11-plus in each game.
ATLANTA BRAVES VS. CINCINNATI REDS (7:20 P.M. ET)
Max Fried will be on the mound for the Braves, with a 4.01 ERA during home games this season. Fried’s been great since the break, going 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA. I won’t try to downplay Anthony DeSclafani, who’s also been pitching well, although he has consistently been worse on the road — 4.65 ERA.
Atlanta holds a slight edge in starting pitching, and the bullpens are relatively even in terms of season-long numbers — it’s tough to tell what they currently are post-trade deadline. But the big advantage here is on offense for Atlanta. The Braves are averaging 5.53 runs per game at home this season (fourth in baseball), while the Reds are scoring 4.47 runs per game on the road (tied for eighth-worst in baseball).
LOS ANGELES DODGERS VS. SAN DIEGO PADRES (10:10 P.M. ET)
LAD -1.5 (-112)
Clayton Kershaw has seen some inflated price tags this season because of his reputation, but now he’s almost underpriced given the streak he’s on. Kershaw has a 1.50 ERA in three starts since the break, and he just a 1.44 ERA in the month of July. He’s also been a much better pitcher at home on the season as a whole — 2.30 ERA, versus 3.58 ERA on the road.
While the Dodgers did drop the last game they faced the Padres with Kershaw on the mound, they only managed two runs. They won the previous two Kershaw faced them in handily. San Diego just sold off some of its biggest bats at the deadline, leaving opposing pitchers in a better spot for the remainder of the season — that’s yet to be reflected in the price. Joey Lucchesi isn’t the pitcher to neutralize Kershaw, with a 6.48 ERA on the road this season, and a 5.28 ERA since the break. The Dodgers own sizable advantages both offensively (fourth versus 23rd in runs per game) and in the bullpen (eighth versus 17th in ERA).
PARLAY OF THE DAY
ATL/LAD ML (+141)
I don’t love any parlay on this card, but these are the two teams I’m most confident can get the win. If you really want a plus-money parlay, then go for it. However, I’d suggest just playing singles on this card.
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