Apr 4, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Drey Jameson (99) and catcher Jose Herrera (11) celebrate on the field after defeating the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Gallery Sports’ Betting Picks for April 13, 2023
After a 2-3 Wednesday that could have easily been better with a couple of breaks, Dalton Brown’s MLB record for 2023 sits at 26-17. With a small slate of games available on Thursday, Dalton is adding two futures bets to consider alongside one MLB play.
12:10 p.m. CT: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
The Pick: Rays F5 -0.5 (-125) at BetMGM
Tampa Bay’s hot streak ought to continue through at least one more game as it looks to complete a four-game sweep of the visiting Boston Red Sox on Thursday afternoon. The Rays are sending lefty Jeffrey Springs to the mound, an unheralded starting pitcher who has been one of baseball’s best this season. Springs pitched 13 innings over his first two starts and has yet to allow a run while surrendering just three hits, walking four, and striking out a whopping 19 batters. He’ll take on a Red Sox lineup that has looked pedestrian (wRC+ of 96) against southpaws so far. Corey Kluber pitches for the Red Sox after looking like the game has passed him by so far this season. Kluber’s 6.48 ERA could actually be a lot worse than it is, as Baseball Savant projects his xERA so far at 8.39. His barrel rate allowed of 14.8% is more than twice that of any other season in his career, and while some of that is 2023’s sample being small, it makes sense that the 37-year-old might be losing a step. The Rays have been the best team in baseball against right-handed pitching this season by a wide margin (wRC+ of 174) and have the old man scouted well after he spent last season with Tampa Bay. Look for the Rays to ride their current hot streak to another early lead Thursday.
Futures bet: Diamondbacks to make the Postseason (+425) at DraftKings
I was high on the Diamondbacks preseason and wrote about why I thought they’d easily eclipse their win total of 75.5 in 2023. Arizona is off to a 7-5 start despite playing exclusively teams expected to make the Postseason so far. The Diamondbacks have already played the Dodgers eight times, the Padres twice, and the Brewers three times – and they’ve yet to lose a series. Rookie Drey Jameson has already arrived in Arizona’s rotation and looks a lot like Spencer Strider did as a rookie for Atlanta. Zac Gallen has looked dominant through three turns in the Diamondbacks rotation. Merrill Kelly has pitched well, and Ryne Nelson is looking to build off an impressive 2022 debut. It’s not the National League’s best rotation by any means, but it’s better than advertised and boasts a few starters that are much better than the market expects. As for the Diamondbacks’ lineup, it feels as if it was built for 2023 and MLB’s new rules. They’re leading the NL with 17 stolen bases through 12 games and have only been caught once. Arizona ranks eighth in MLB in hits and 10th in runs scored, and boast a roster full of young players who will only improve as this season goes along, and they eventually encounter softer portions of their schedule. Buy in on Arizona now before this number drops precipitously.
Futures Bet: Yankees to win AL East (+170) at DraftKings
Some futures bets are about finding the right team to bet. Others, like this one, are about finding the right time to target a team at its peak value. The Tampa Bay Rays are off to an incredible start, going 12-0 to begin their campaign while winning all but one of those games by multiple runs. It is an impressive run, to be sure, but the hidden value it’s creating for bettors is in the Bronx. Tampa Bay has played the easiest schedule in baseball to date, dominating the likes of Detroit, Washington, Oakland, and Boston so far. As a result of their dominance in those matchups, the Rays now have the shortest odds to win the AL East at +130, and the Yankees are available at a much juicier number than was available before the season began. New York is off to a solid start of its own, going 8-4 despite taking on the defending NL champions (Philadelphia), the defending AL Central champions (Cleveland), Baltimore, and San Francisco. The Yankees are off to this start despite injuries to several key cogs like Carlos Rodon, Harrison Bader, Lou Trivino, Luis Severino, and Josh Donaldson. The Yankees went 11-8 against Tampa Bay head-to-head last season, and have all 13 of their matchups still to come in 2023. New York’s expectations were higher than Tampa Bay’s preseason, and I think with time and health, we’ll see why.