FanDuel Dinger Tuesday Picks Today | Bobby Witt Jr, Dansby Swanson, Max Muncy, More (August 8)
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Bobby Witt Jr.
One of the most popular promotions in the sports betting community is back again this week: Dinger Tuesday from FanDuel.
The promotion allows each user to bet $25 on one player in every MLB game played that day to hit a home run. Regardless of whether the player you bet on homers, you receive $5 in free bets back for each home run hit in the game, with a max return of $25 for the game.
Some users have been limited by FanDuel this season and are only allowed to receive a maximum $50 back in free bets — essentially 10 free homers back for the day in free bets. Last season, there were no limits on the promotion for any players.
Given the average number of home runs in an MLB game in 2022 was 2.14, you will receive an average of $10.07 in free bets back for each $25 home run bet you make, without accounting for the loss in expected value on the vig of the home run yes prop.
If you’re not limited at all, you should play as many games as you’re comfortable with because the promo is +EV for most of the board.
If you are limited to the max return of $50, an average of five games will return your $50 maximum free bets.
Here are my five favorite Dinger Tuesday picks for this week.
Pick: Matt McLain +460
McLain should be back in the Reds lineup against a southpaw on Tuesday as the Reds face Marlins lefty Braxton Garrett. Garrett's HR/9 allowed has increased consistently as he's pitched more in MLB. He had elite HR rates allowed in 2021 in 34 innings and in 2022 in 88 innings. This season, he's much closer to league average.
Great American Ball Park is the best home run park in all of baseball, even higher than Coors Field. It's 28% better than league average for homers for righties and 33% overall. McLain has a 189 wRC+ against left-handed pitching thus far in his MLB career with five homers in 77 plate appearances. That's a 30-35 homer pace over an entire season and he shouldn't be higher than +400 to homer in this game.
McLain also has shown a real ability to lift the ball for a rookie — he's hit just 34% ground balls against lefties and that's why he has an unsustainable but excellent .324 ISO against southpaws.
Pick: Dansby Swanson +450
Mets starter Carlos Carrasco looks just about done as an MLB starter at this point in his career. His K-BB% has fallen to a career low 5.4%. He's allowing more hard hits and barrels than he ever has in his career and the Stuff+ metrics have dipped too. His fastball velocity is at a career-worst mark.
The projection systems have picked up on this and THE BAT has him allowing 1.74 HR/9 for the rest of the season.
Dansby Swanson has quietly put together an excellent first season in Chicago. He's improved his swing decisions and as a result, he's cut down his strikeout rate, improved his walk rate and has the highest barrel rate of his career.
Swanson has the second-highest barrel rate among the Cubs regular starters and yet he's fourth on the odds board to homer on Tuesday night. He's been one of the hottest hitters in the lineup of late and has seen a real July power surge as the Cubs have vaulted themselves into the playoff picture.
Royals vs. Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET
Pick: Bobby Witt Jr. +440
Witt is one of six hitters in baseball to rank inside the top five percentile in both expected batting average and expected slugging. The other names on the list: Ronald Acuna Jr., Shohei Ohtani, Freddie Freeman, Corey Seager and Aaron Judge.
He's been one of the best hitters in baseball since July began and he's helped spark an underrated Royals offense in the last month. Witt is priced considerably lower than teammates MJ Melendez and Salvadore Perez despite having higher barrel rates than both of them.
Witt has improved his fly ball rate as the season progressed and now gets a matchup in one of the friendliest hitters parks in MLB at Fenway.
Pick: Kerry Carpenter +700
The toughest decision of the day was whether to pick Riley Greene or Kerry Carpenter for Dinger Tuesday here.
Greene and Carpenter both have comparable barrel rates overall, but Carpenter has a much better fly ball rate compared to Greene. Greene's 23% fly ball rate still keeps a lower ceiling on his power output, while Carpenter is a worse hitter overall but better slugger with a 36% fly ball rate.
He also has a much higher pull rate than Greene. The matchup is difficult for homers against Sonny Gray, who is using a cutter in 2023 to suppress homers better. Despite this, Gray's HR/FB rate suggests regression is looming in the coming weeks given that his underlying portfolio is similar to years past.
Pick: Max Muncy +340
Most other books have Muncy listed below +300, which is where he should be lined against Arizona righty Brandon Pfaadt on Tuesday night.
I'm a big fan of Pfaadt relative to the market and have bet the Diamondbacks for the game, but Pfaadt's home run problem will remain an issue in at least the short term. THE BAT projects Pfaadt to allow 1.95 HR/9 for the rest of the year and Muncy is the top power bet in the Dodgers lineup.
Pfaadt's sweeper is one of his best pitches, but the sweeper also has some real platoon splits that make it difficult to use frequently against left-handed bats like Muncy.
Julio Urías has also had home run problems and seen a drop off in his stuff this year too, which makes this an excellent game to choose for slugging and power.