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The first two weeks of the MLB season have been wild. On Thursday, the Tampa Bay Rays tied the record for most wins to start an MLB season with 13.
A streak of this magnitude hadn’t occurred since 1987, which speaks to the rarity of the Rays' achievement. Tampa Bay has been strong, but they haven’t played a legitimate club just yet. This isn’t taking anything away from the Rays, but we advise staying away from them on Friday against the Blue Jays. There are plenty of other games to wager on Friday, so let’s get into some of our best bets.
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook
The Braves are a short favorite against the Royals, which is appealing because Atlanta is a much better ball club. The Braves have to go on the road, which is never easy and they don’t have the best pitcher going in Charlie Morton. However, the caliber of the Braves isn’t comparable to the talent of the Royals. Any time I have the opportunity to take the Braves as a short favorite, it’s at the top of my list.
Matt Olson and Ronald Acuna Jr. have been off to a hot start to begin the season. They’ll face Brady Singer who has a 4.91 ERA through 11 innings of work. Singer is the better pitcher compared to Morton, but the Braves offense is strong. Singer is coming off allowing five runs in six innings to the Giants, and Atlanta is much more potent at the plate.
The key for the Braves will be Morton’s ability to successfully hand the ball to the bullpen. If the wing can throw five decent innings, Atlanta’s likelihood of winning this game are immense. The Royals bullpen isn’t a strong suit, so look for Atlanta to rally in the late innings and solidify the victory.
The Philadelphia Phillies should be embarrassed after the first 13 games of the season. They haven’t been great at home, but they’ve been atrocious on the road. Philadelphia is 1-6 as visitors this season, and they just haven’t been doing the little things efficiently. We expected a lot more out of the Phillies to begin the season coming off their NL pennant victory last season.
The talent is present in the Phillies clubhouse for them to do something special. However, they must start getting back to the fundamentals and put the ball in play. If Philadelphia has any chance of winning the way they’re playing currently, it’s against Connor Overton. Overton has a 10.13 ERA and a 2.25 WHIP.
Overton has only thrown eight innings in 2023, so these inflated totals will decline. Yet, he isn’t pitching well. Taijuan Walker will throw for the Phillies, and he is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. He needs to locate early in his counts on Friday, but he shouldn’t be afraid of this Reds lineup. There isn’t a lot of power that plays into Walker’s strengths. We believe he can put together a quality start and get the job done for his team.
The Detroit Tigers are rebuilding for the future. This is a nice way of saying it’s going to be a long season for Detroit. I wouldn’t say the Giants are positioned great in the National League West with the Dodgers and Padres. However, they’re in a lot better shape than the Tigers in 2023. The Tigers have some momentum coming off a big win over the Blue Jays, but there are a lot of holes on this roster.
Detroit is hitting just .198 as a team this season compared to San Francisco at .250. The Tigers have only hit eight homers, which is 13 less than the Giants. It’s very hard to win when you’re outmatched by an opponent this much in the offensive metrics.
The other thing going against Detroit in this position is their starting pitcher Joey Wentz. Wentz is 0-2 with a 10.29 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. He has walked five batters in seven innings and allowed five hits. Wentz hasn’t been able to locate in either of his starts, and it has led to two losses.
Sean Manea is limiting his walks and finding strikeout pitches consistently for the Giants. He isn’t the best wing in baseball, but we’d rather trust him than Wentz in this position. Take the Giants on the moneyline on Friday night.
Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.More info on Tanner Kern
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