MLB picks for May 26: Best baseball bets, predictions, odds at DraftKings Sportsbook
Last Friday the rain once again robbed us of the opportunity to have a perfect 3-0 performance, but I’ll be happy to take a 2-0 record with a big gap. Heading into May’s home stretch, we’re sitting 20-15 on item games for the season, with some outstanding future bets. It’s a rare occurrence, but I can’t find anything to complain about.
Let’s continue the good times. Here’s what I like about tonight’s MLB card.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds are subject to change.
Shohei Ohtani Over 6.5 strikeouts (-160)
The odds on this prop aren’t spectacular, but I’m confident Ohtani pulls it off. Everything lines up too perfectly. I mean, you really don’t need to know much more than the fact that Ohtani’s 34.0% strikeout rate is the fourth highest rating among all pitchers who have pitched at minus 30.0 innings in 2022. Longevity shouldn’t be an issue either. Although the right-hander hasn’t crossed the 100 pitch mark in any of his seven starts, Ohtani has worked at least six innings in four of his last five outings, knocking out at least seven opponents on three of those four occasions.
However, the most important aspect of this prop is Ohtani’s opponent. The Blue Jays are technically relatively league average when it comes to overall strikeout rate — their mark of 21.8% is the 11th-lowest in the majors — but where Toronto differentiates itself from the pack is is his glut of right-handed bats. Going into play Thursday, no team has more right plate appearances than the Jays, with a total of 1,032 out of 100 more than any other club. Ohtani held RHBs to a wOBA of 0.140 in 2022. He also knocked out 41.9% of right-handers he faced. It’s incredible.
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Top 5: Red Sox on 2.5 points (+105)
I lack the means to say that Dallas Keuchel is washed. The southpaw has been downright awful in his last six starts, throwing to a 6.84 ERA. During that span, Keuchel faced 128 batters, and they combined to hit .330 with an OBP of .422. This is the kind of thing that happens when your withdrawal rate is an anemic 8.6% and your K/BB ratio is a hideous 0.6. You read correctly. Since mid-April, Keuchel has walked more opponents than he has knocked out. It’s just not going to do it against a formidable Red Sox roster.
Not only is Boston’s roster full of assets who have crushed left-handed throwing throughout their careers, but it might be hard to find a trio of bats currently in better pace than Xander Bogaerts, JD Martinez and Trevor Story. . These three men have led the charge in recent weeks, combining to help the Red Sox hold the league’s best slugging percentage (.463), wOBA (.351) and wRC+ (130) in the month of May. There aren’t many starters I would trust to stop this roster right now, and I assure you Keuchel is nowhere near that shortlist.
Cardinals on 3.5 points (-115)
It’s really hard to choose against Eric Lauer right now. The 26-year-old has been downright amazing in 2022, maintaining a 2.16 ERA and 32.9% strikeout rate over 41.2 innings of work. However, at the end of the day, he is still left-handed. No baseball team has had more success against the LHP than the Cardinals. In fact, no team even came close. St. Louis leads MLB in OPS (.860), wOBA (.377) and wRC+ (147) in the division. The Yankees, who sit in second place in the wRC+, have a rating of just 123. The disparity is breathtaking.
Also, I think we should expect at least a little normalization on the horizon for Lauer. His 92.7% strand rate is unstable, as is his opponents’ .100 BABIP with runners in scoring position. It should be noted that Lauer was also sensitive to the long ball. The southpaw enters Thursday’s outing giving up 1.51 homers per nine, while in the 21st percentile in barrel rate and 36th percentile in expected slugging percentage. Again, he was fantastic, but those numbers are disappointing. I wouldn’t expect the Cardinals to bust for eight or nine runs off Lauer, but for such a good roster, that total should be higher.
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I’m a promoter at DraftKings and I’m also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may occasionally play on my personal account in the games I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal views on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the views of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than those I recommend. above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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