FanDuel Dinger Tuesday Picks Today | Kyle Tucker, Kerry Carpenter & More (August 15)
Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images. Pictured: Kerry Carpenter (Tigers)
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'll 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.
Daulton Varsho has had an extremely disappointing season for the Blue Jays, and he's started to lose playing time as a result. His wRC+ sits at 76, and the market is really down on him with this price.
While Varsho's overall hitter profile isn't great, he still pulls a lot of fly balls. Varsho ranks in the top 10 in all of baseball in pull rate and in fly-ball rate. It enables him to outperform his barrel rate and still projects him for 25 home run power over the course of a season.
His rest-of-the-season projections from THE BAT X see him hitting to a 105 wRC+. Varsho has the highest launch angle and hardest max exit velocity of his career this year, so that's a sign that the 10% barrel rate he showed in 2022 isn't that far away.
Luis Severino has been a broken pitcher for most of the season, and Bryce Elder has recently regressed after an All-Star first half of the season.
Given the ballpark, offenses and hitting environment, this is one of the best games on the board to play on Tuesday. Severino has allowed 2.54 HR/9 this season and now faces the lineup that might break the record for the most homers hit by a team in one season.
Instead of targeting the Braves' lineup though, I'm looking at Yankees slugger Jake Bauers. Elder has quietly had a home run problem of his own lately, and the projections suggest more regression looms for him in his HR/FB and HR/9 rates going forward.
Bauers has just a .319 wOBA, but when you compare it to his .363 xwOBA and his fly ball, pull rates and barrel rates, there's a lot more power for him to tap into.
Of all hitters in this game on Tuesday, only Aaron Judge has a higher barrel rate than Bauers. The price difference is too big between him and the other top hitters.
His +500 at FanDuel is by far the best price available across other sportsbooks.
Kerry Carpenter is one of the more frequent players on my Dinger Tuesday card because the market consistently underrates him. He hits a lot of fly balls (39.6%), he pulls the ball often (44.6%) and he has a barrel rate above 10%.
All of that creates a profile that enables him to out-homer his projections and the batted-ball stats.
Carpenter doesn't have elite raw power and wasn't a highly heralded prospect, but his 15 homers in 277 plate appearances projects for more than 30 HR power in a regular season.
His main matchup on Tuesday will be Twins righty Bailey Ober. Ober fills up the zone with a lot of strikes and allows a lot of fly balls himself. Ober's ground-ball rate is just 31.8%, which makes him an extreme fly-ball pitcher who's prone to allowing a lot of homers if the conditions are right.
Ober has maintained solid HR/FB rates thus far (below 10%), but the projections think regression is coming.
Throughout his entire career, Francisco Lindor has shown more home run power from the right side compared to the left. He doesn't have a large platoon split for his career, but his HR per plate appearance is considerably lower against southpaws.
Now Lindor gets a matchup with Pirates lefty Bailey Falter, who's had a consistent home run problem in his brief MLB time in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. He's allowed 1.68 HR/9 this year and is projected to allow 1.55 for the remainder of the season.
Lindor is the only hitter for the Mets whose best price is at FanDuel and has a barrel rate above 10%. Pete Alonso at +300 isn't a great bet, even though he clearly has more raw and game power than Lindor does.
Lindor is also pulling the ball more than ever in 2023 and hitting more fly balls, so this is a clear indicator of his attempts to tap into more power.
Both pitchers in this matchup project for some real home run issues. Astros starter Cristian Javier has seen a sharp decline in his stuff and strikeout rates while maintaining his mediocre home run rates.
Marlins starter Johnny Cueto doesn't have close to the same stuff he used to and relies heavily on his command to get by at this stage in his career.
Both of these lineups are quite underrated when it comes to barrel rate, which makes up for the pitcher friendly nature of the ballpark on Tuesday night.
Kyle Tucker has cut his strikeout rate to 12% this year, improved his walk rate and has kept an elite overall hitting profile.
The barrels haven't quite been up to last year's standards, but there's nothing in his profile to suggest he won't hit more barrels in the future and regress back towards his career average.