We’ve got some really strong spots Thursday that appear to be underpriced, including a red-hot Giants squad still being overlooked. Here are my top plays to consider on the MLB card.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
CLEVELAND INDIANS VS. DETROIT TIGERS (7:10 P.M. ET)
This should all look pretty familiar, because we’re placing the exact same three wagers on the Indians as we did Wednesday. Cleveland is simply dominating this series, and I don’t expect a Trevor Bauer versus Matt Boyd matchup to be any different.
The Indians won the first three games of the series 23-8, scoring at least seven runs in each game and covering the run line in each game. Cleveland has an obvious advantage offensively, but the starting pitching is more of an edge than the names lead on. Boyd was off to a strong start this season, but with his name involved in trade rumors, he’s fallen off over the past month — 6.04 ERA in 25 1/3 innings over his past four starts.
Bauer hasn’t exactly been lights out lately, but he’s been consistently solid. Cleveland’s come out on top in six of his past seven starts, with the lone loss coming to the Twins. Once we get to the bullpens, there’s absolutely no contest here, as the Indians have the top overall bullpen in baseball, versus just 25th for the Tigers.
Related Bet: CLEVELAND INDIANS VS. DETROIT TIGERSScore first and win: CLE (+120)
The Tigers have lost six of Boyd’s past seven starts, and in those losses, four of them saw the opposition get on the board first. The Indians have won every game in this series by scoring first and have a solid arm in Bauer to hold this 29th-ranked Detroit offense in check early. I’m just looking to keep riding this trend that’s been successful all series.
Related Bet: CLEVELAND INDIANS VS. DETROIT TIGERSCLE Team Total: OVER 4.5 (-125)
Cleveland’s scored 23 runs in the series, and at least seven in each game. We get a lower team total with Boyd on the mound, but it’s not warranted. Boyd’s given up four or five runs himself in each of his past five starts, and that’s before we factor in one of the worst bullpens in baseball coming in behind him. Since the start of June, the opposition has scored five or more runs in five of Boyd’s seven starts, including seven runs by the Indians on June 21.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS VS. HOUSTON ASTROS (9:07 P.M. ET)
HOU -1.5 (-112)
Matt Harvey was solid over the weekend in his first start since May, allowing just one run in 5 2/3 innings of a 9-2 win over Seattle. I’m not willing to give Harvey the benefit of the doubt yet; this guy way horrible for the first two months of the season.
Harvey had a 7.36 ERA in April, then a 9.37 ERA in May before going onto the IL. One of those May starts included five earned runs to the Astros in 4 2/3 innings of an eventual 10-4 loss. Harvey also has been significantly worse at home this season, with an 8.91 ERA in seven starts, giving up a home run almost every three innings.
Houston will counter with Wade Miley, who’s been rock solid all season, with a 3.32 ERA, and the fourth-ranked bullpen to relieve him. The Astros have won three straight games Miley’s started, and in the 13 games they’ve won that he’s started, 11 of them have covered the run line. Houston finally cooled down the Angels in an 11-2 route Wednesday and has the upper hand in this one.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS VS. NEW YORK METS (9:45 P.M. ET)
Madison Bumgarner’s been solid since mid-June, and the Giants suddenly are one of the hottest teams in baseball. Bumgarner’s given up two earned runs in his past three starts combined, and San Fran’s come out on top in three of his past four starts.
The Giants are 6-1 since the All-Star break, the only loss being Bumgarner’s start, but the bullpen blew it late — four runs in the eighth and ninth innings of a one-run loss. Noah Syndergaard has been decent this season, but his recent stretch of wins is mostly thanks to some unexpected outbursts by the Mets’ offense. Even if these two starters give us the same performance, I’ll bet against the Mets’ bullpen 10 out of 10 times.
Related Bet: SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS VS. NEW YORK METSSF Team Total: OVER 3.5 (-105)
Syndergaard’s starts have seen a lot of runs this season. While he held the Marlins (the worst offense in baseball) to two runs in his most recent start, six of his previous seven starts saw the opposition score at least five runs. That stretch includes a 9-3 loss to the Giants back in June.
The bottom line is this offense is on fire, even if Coors Field helped out a bit. In the seven games since the break, the Giants have scored an insane 62 runs — 8.86 runs per game. Even in three games in Milwaukee, the Giants scored 22 total runs. With the Mets’ bullpen, this number is set too low.
PARLAY OF THE DAY
CLE/HOU ML (+129)
These are my two most confident spots on the card, so we’ll take the run lines out and play the moneylines together at plus money.
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