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Separately, there isn’t a ton of value in Freeman or Smith getting a hit on Monday. But combining the two in a same-game parlay is a good way to get some value. Both were all-stars and both have come back from the break red-hot. In his last six games, Smith is 12 for 26 (.462) with four doubles. Freeman has been even better during that span, going 14 for 24 (.583) with three homers, three doubles, and a triple.
It might be worth exploring more aggressive bets with either player on Monday, but surely, both Freeman and Smith are capable of getting one measly hit. Granted, the Dodgers are facing a red-hot Jose Berrios and the Blue Jays on Monday. While he’s had a good season, Berrios hasn’t won a game in a month. He might also be vulnerable against a stacked Los Angeles lineup. Smith has never faced Berrios while Freeman has just three career at-bats against him; that unfamiliarity could favor the red-hot hitters.
Most fans may not know Julien just yet, but Minnesota’s rookie second baseman is one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now. Since he’s such an unknown commodity still, he’s getting favorite odds just to get a hit on Monday. Julien went 4 for 8 in his last two games before the all-star break and then had a seven-game hitting streak coming out of the break.
To be fair, he’s just 1 for 9 over his last two games. But that doesn’t mean he’s completely cooled off just yet. He also faces Seattle’s Luis Castillo on Monday, which may not look like a favorable matchup on the surface. But Julien was 2 for 2 with a home run when he faced Castillo last week. Since he only needs one hit and comes with -170 odds, it’s worth taking a chance on the rookie.
Darvish is someone to look at closely for prop bets on Monday night. He’s come back from the all-star break in excellent form, which is surprising because he had started to struggle before the break. However, over his last two starts, he’s allowed just one run on nine hits over 12 innings of work, striking out 16 over that span. The Padres have won both of those games as well and are heavily favored to beat the Pirates because Darvish has been outstanding.
While the margin of error is low, there are plus odds on Darvish only Pittsburgh to one earned run or less. Obviously, he’s done that in each of his first two starts, doing so against the Blue Jays and Phillies, two teams far more dangerous offensively than the Pirates. Darvish has also pitched six complete innings in his two starts since the break and 10 of his 17 starts overall. With the Pirates not having the kind of lineup that should bother Darvish when he’s pitching his best, he’s a good choice to hit either of these bets.
Grove is far from the most reliable pitcher in the Los Angeles rotation, pitching to a 6.40 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP this season. He’s also facing a tough Toronto lineup on Monday. The only member of the Blue Jays that Grove has faced before is Daulton Varsho, who is 3 for 5 with two homers in his young career against Grove. While the Jays have been up and down offensively since the all-star break, that’s something that can change in a hurry.
As for Grove, he’s been relegated to bullpen duty at times this season, which shows how much he’s struggled. However, in his last seven appearances in which he’s pitched at least four innings, Grove has allowed at least six hits four times and at least five hits in six of those seven appearances. At worst, there is a small margin of error for Grove to keep the Blue Jays under 5.5 hits, which is why there is so much value in taking the over.
There are multiple prop bets worth considering with Maeda on Monday. While his 5.10 ERA on the season is ugly, that ERA is skewed by a few bad starts early in the year before a triceps injury sent him to the IL. Since returning in late June, Maeda has been a different pitcher, lowering his ERA from 9.00 to 5.10 over just five starts. With the Mariners scoring three runs or less in six of their 10 games since the break, this figures to be a favorable matchup for Maeda.
In four of his five starts since June, Maeda has allowed two earned runs or less. That includes a quality start against the mighty Braves and a game against the Mariners last week in which he allowed just two runs on three hits over 6.1 innings. Likewise, Maeda has conceded three hits or less in three of his five starts and allowed no more than five hits in any of his last five starts, so there is tons of value with under 4.5 hits having plus odds. Finally, Maeda has been a strikeout machine in his last five starts, totaling 36 strikeouts over just 26.1 innings. His start against Atlanta is the only time in his last five outings that Maeda hasn’t struck out at least six, so things are trending in his favor in that area as well.
Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.More info on Bryan Zarpentine
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