FanDuel Dinger Tuesday Picks Today | Sean Murphy, Luis Robert Jr, More (August 1)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Pictured: Sean Murphy
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: Sean Murphy +480
Patrick Sandoval is in a second consecutive season where he's been excellent at limiting the long ball, but I'm skeptical that there isn't regression coming with his fly balls leaving the yard. He's allowed a 6.3% HR/FB rate in 2022 and an 8.5% rate in 2023, both elite numbers. That's not in line with his career average, which is 12.4%.
If Sandoval is going to start allowing homers again, the Braves are probably the team to take him deep. No team has more barrels or a higher average exit velocity than Atlanta this year.
Murphy has set personal bests in 2023 for max exit velocity, average exit velocity and barrel rate. Even though he's priced much worse than Marcell Ozuna, Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley, Murphy has a better barrel rate than all of them.
Pick: Luis Robert Jr. +360
Robert has the sixth-best wRC+ against left-handed pitching in all of baseball among qualified hitters. He pairs that with a .298 ISO and .631 SLG against southpaws. He should get at least two, maybe three at-bats against Andrew Heaney, a left-hander with long-documented difficulty limiting home runs. Heaney has allowed 1.69 HR/9 this season, and for his career has allowed a 1.64 HR/9 rate.
Even though Robert's strikeout rate has jumped considerably this season to 29%, he's also found a lot more power as a result. His barrel rate is at a career high 15% and the result is a 40-homer pace in 2023.
It's important not to read too much into a one-year park factor because of statistical noise and variance, but Texas' relatively new ballpark is playing a lot more hitter friendly this season too. The roof has an impact on the run environment, but Globe Life Field is an above-average homer park in 2023.
Pick: Matt Wallner +600
Matt Wallner has earned himself a role in the Twins' lineup as a platoon bat to start when the Twins are facing a right-handed pitcher. He's taken Trevor Larnach's playing time by cutting his strikeout rate and improving his barrel rate.
He's a perfect microcosm of this Twins offense — a lot of strikeouts and a lot of barrels. The sample on his batted balls is pretty small in his MLB career, but 10 barrels in 73 batted balls is clearly above-average power output.
Wallner has also improved his average exit velocity and launch angle since returning to the majors this year. He was on a 25-homer season-long pace in the minors and showed above-average power output there, too, so I'm a believer in him being a three-true-outcomes guy to fit the bottom of the lineup.
He won't maintain his 155 wRC+, but at +600 he's earned a speculative bet on him against Miles Mikolas and the Cardinals.
It doesn't hurt that St. Louis is trading away its best high-leverage relievers, too, which could create a better late-game matchup for Wallner.
Pick: Kerry Carpenter +630
The offenses in this game project as two of the worst in all of baseball, especially with Pittsburgh trading Ji-Man Choi on Tuesday afternoon. With that being said, my colleague Sean Zerillo has bet the over nine runs and the weather is favorable for offense in Pittsburgh.
Kerry Carpenter has improved both his strikeout and walk rates in 2023. He's maintained the same 11% barrel rate as last year and should not be +630 against an average right-handed starter in Johan Oviedo.
The projections have Oviedo allowing 1.24 HR/9 for the rest of 2023, and Matt Manning has had home run issues of his own on the other side to help add to the free bet tally.
I much prefer to target lefties at PNC Park, because it's much easier to pull one out to right than over the deep left field fence. Pittsburgh is dead last in HR park factor for righties and much closer to league average for left-handed bats.
Carpenter has been matched up with a lot of lefties on Dinger Tuesday this year, but this is a more favorable matchup, as he should hit in the middle of the Tigers lineup.
Pick: Ryan McMahon +500
Another week, another bet on the improved power outlook of Rockies slugger Ryan McMahon. He's striking out a little bit more in 2023, but he's also pulling more balls, hitting them harder and showcasing a lot more power output as a result. The market has consistently undervalued McMahon in the homers all season long.
He needs just five more to pass his season-long over/under with two full months in the season left to go. He's only projected a .442 SLG with a 95 wRC+ for the rest of the season by THE BAT X projection system, which expects some regression in his numbers.
McMahon's improvements appear sustainable to me. He has no pinch-hit risk given his spot in the lineup, and Pedro Avila is an unproven arm with a lot of command issues for San Diego.
You can never go wrong with a bet on Juan Soto if you want lower odds, but McMahon against a middling right-handed starter shouldn't be higher than +450.