5 best bets for Sunday Night Baseball

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The Mets and Phillies will go head-to-head in a National League East showdown on Sunday Night Baseball. The Mets have started this season phenomenally, posting a 31-17 record in their first 48 games. That’s only behind the Dodgers in the NL — and it’s given the Mets a massive lead over a weak division. None of the other squads are over .500 and the Mets have an 8 1/2 game lead over the second-placed Braves. That gives them the biggest lead in any division in baseball.

The Phillies dropped the first two games of that series, taking them to just 21-26 for the year. This is a big disappointment for a team that started the year with high expectations.

Can they avoid a Sunday night sweep? Let’s dive into some of my favorite Sunday Night Baseball bets at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Kyle Schwarber over 0.5 homers (+350)

Looking at the home run props in this matchup, the Phillies appear to be the preferred target. Mets starter Chris Bassitt has struggled with the long ball this season, allowing 1.53 homers per nine innings. Zack Wheeler has only allowed .40 homers per nine innings, making the Phillies more likely to hit the ball over the fence on Sunday night.

Bassitt’s fights have mostly occurred against left-handers. He has a FIP of 5.25 in this split, and opposing left-handers have averaged two home runs per nine innings this season against Bassitt.

The Phillies’ lineup is mostly right-handers, but they have two massive exceptions: Schwarber and Bryce Harper. Harper is undoubtedly the better hitter of the two, but Schwarber can go just as deep and comes at a slightly better price. Schwarber ranks at least in the 90th percentile this season for run rate, average exit velocity and hard hit rate – so when he makes contact, the ball tends to go far.

Schwarber also usually loves facing the Mets. He posted 1,077 career OPS in this matchup and he hit 16 homers in 38 career games.

Luis Guillormé over 0.5 hits (-215)

Guillorme has had a disastrous start to this season. He went through his first 12 at-bats without a punch, resulting in him shaving off his trademark beard.

Since then, getting Guillorme out has been almost impossible. He’s raised his batting average to .352 for the year, including a sizzling .377 against right-handed pitchers. At home, he has a ridiculous .444 batting average against right-handed pitchers.

Guillorme moved to the front of the line-up on Saturday and responded with three more goals. If Brandon Nimmo doesn’t stay in the line-up – he’s currently struggling with a right wrist injury – Guillorme could find himself back at the top on Sunday. Wheeler presents a tough matchup, but Guillorme is a great bet to hit at least one with the potential for five plate appearances. Make sure you keep an eye on the lineup, but Guillorme is underrated when he’s at the top of the lineup.

Zack Wheeler under 6.5 strikeouts (-155)

Wheeler is one of the best pitchers in baseball. He was dominant for the Phillies last season, posting a 2.78 ERA with a 10.42 K/9 over 213 1/3 innings. That was enough for second place in the NL Cy Young Voting.

His traditional metrics aren’t quite as impressive this year – his ERA is down slightly to 3.38 – but his 2.33 FIP is actually a slight improvement. He also continues to knock out batters with a strong clip, averaging 10.13 strikeouts per nine innings.

However, the Mets are a brutal matchup from a strikeout perspective. New hitting coach Eric Chavez has emphasized the importance of socializing, and the Mets have done a great job this season. They’ve hit right-handed pitchers in just 18.8 percent of at-bats, which is the lowest tally in the league.

Wheeler managed just three touches in his first start against the Mets this season. This was his first outing of the year and he only met 19 batters, but his 5.79 K/9 was his lowest grade in his eight starts. The Under was juiced to -155, but I’m happy to pay that price in a brutal matchup.

Phillies over 3.5 runs (-125)

While Wheeler gave the Phillies the clear pitching advantage in this matchup, Bassitt was no problem for the Mets. He has a 3.91 ERA in his first nine starts and allowed an earned run or less in five races. That includes his only previous start against the Phillies, which he limited to just one run over 5 2/3 innings.

However, Bassitt has begun to show some vulnerability. He’s allowed a total of 12 earned runs in his last two starts, and his advanced metrics suggest another regression may be on the way. His 4.54 FIP is still higher than his ERA and opposing batsmen are making quality contact against him. They made hard contact in 36% of batted ball events, which is the third worst mark of his career.

The Phillies’ offense hasn’t lived up to expectations this season, but they’re still packed with standout hitters. Harper, Schwarber, Nick Castellanos, Rhys Hoskins and JT Realmuto are all capable of causing damage in the batter’s box so this isn’t an easy lineup. I think they can come to Bassitt on Sunday night.

No runs in the first inning (-135)

I usually like to bet on a run being scored in the first inning. It’s the only inning guaranteed to have the top three players from both teams on the plate, and it’s routinely the best inning of the year. From 1921 to 2018, the first inning was the highest-scoring inning of the season 85 times, good for a nearly 87% clip. The Mets have scored 37.5% of the time in the first inning this season — the seventh highest mark in the majors — while the Phillies have scored 29.8% of the time in the first inning.

However, I will support the pitchers to keep the attacks off the board to start Sunday’s game. Wheeler was absolutely elite in the first inning of this season. He hasn’t allowed a single run in the opening frame yet – and he’s only allowed eight hits in 33 plate appearances. Bassitt wasn’t quite as dominant, but he still possesses a respectable 4.00 ERA in the opening inning. His troubles came through the lineup the second and third times, so he should be able to keep the Phillies at bay to start the game.

I’m a promoter at DraftKings and also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and sometimes play on my personal account in the games I give advice on. Although I have given my personal opinion on the games and strategies above, they are do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All clients should use their own skill and judgment in building constellations. I can also use other players and strategies than those I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to non-public information.

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