Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies

We had a successful 3-1 night with article plays Wednesday, so let’s try to keep the momentum rolling on Thursday evening’s MLB card. With just four games, here are some spots that stand out to me.

All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.


Lead After 5 Innings: MIA (+200)

While it’ll take a lot for Sandy Alcantara to out-pitch Stephen Strasburg for five innings, I think +200 are strong enough odds to place a small wager. I don’t have much to talk you out of Strasburg in this spot — he’s been much better on the road this season and also pitched eight scoreless innings earlier in the season in Miami (allowing just two hits and striking out 11 in a 5-0 win). That game was back in April, though, and he has a 5.87 ERA in four starts in June — although the two blowups both came at home.

The bottom line is the Marlins’ offense has turned a bit of a corner, scoring five or more runs in five of their past eight games. If they can manage an early run of a struggling Strasburg, Alcantara could be good enough to hold off the Nationals. Despite scoring seven runs in a win Wednesday in Miami, Washington was held scoreless in the first five innings. Alcantara has been elite over the past month, with a 1.71 ERA over five starts. Miami is 3-1-1 after five innings in those outings.


Team Total: MIA OVER 2.5 (-125)

Not too much to add here, but team totals of 2.5 are pretty tough to lay off. The Marlins’ offense is clearly improving to a degree and should be much different from when Strasburg shut it down in April. Miami has scored three or more runs in 14 of its past 23 outings. The Nationals’ bullpen surrendered four runs to the Marlins in two innings Wednesday, so this total is obtainable even if Strasburg pitches a strong six or seven innings.


Lead After 3 Innings: LAD (-115)

I generally look for first five inning bets, but I think the Dodgers can get after it from the jump in this game, and it gets us better odds. Los Angeles is one of the top offenses in baseball, averaging 5.18 runs per game. The Dodgers played at Coors Field back in April, putting up 29 total runs in the three-game series. While they only led after three innings in one of those games, they were tied after three in the other two and quickly struck for the lead. If you want to give yourself more innings and pay the juice, leading after five innings is -146.

But with Peter Lambert on the mound for the Rockies, I trust the Dodgers’ bats to get going early. Lambert has a 10.13 ERA at Coors and gave up three runs to the Dodgers in five innings in his most recent start, although that came in Los Angeles. Lambert gave up eight runs to the Padres in the first three innings of his most recent start in Colorado.


Lead After 5 Innings: ARI (+123)

Alex Young will make his major league debut and has great conditions to do so against a poor lineup at a great park for pitchers in San Francisco. Young’s Triple-A numbers aren’t quite as encouraging — 6.09 ERA and a 4-3 record through eight starts. However, he’s a higher regarded prospect than his numbers indicate. One of the main reasons I like this bet is because there’s generally value on a pitcher that hitters have never seen. The Giants are baseball’s 28th-ranked offense and are tied with the Marlins for the worst run production at home — 3.15 runs per game.

Of course, the other main reason to like this bet is because Tyler Beede is the opposing pitcher. Beede somehow has a 6.43 ERA at home this season and is much worse pitching at night — 8.14 ERA in six outings. His 3.38 ERA in a pair of day games significantly lowers his ERA. Beede made his most recent start in Arizona, where the Diamondbacks scored four runs on him in the first three innings, getting pulled after the fourth. Arizona is a top-10 offense that ranks third in the majors on the road, averaging 5.81 runs per game. Because San Francisco has the bullpen advantage, we’ll keep this one to the first five innings.


Team Total: ARI OVER 4.5 (+123)

I like the Diamondbacks to get out to an early lead, and I also like them to score in this game. The Giants have a solid bullpen, as mentioned, but this is more about Beede. You have the numbers above to work with, and the opposition is averaging six runs per game in Beede’s two home outings this season.


LAD ML/ARI Lead After 5 Innings (+230)

Arizona in the first five is my strongest play of the day at plus money. The Dodgers are the biggest favorite of the evening and have a huge advantage in starting pitching and offense in this one. Pair them together and we get a significant odds boost on the ARI first five bet.

Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.

Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER.