MLB Dinger Tuesday Picks: Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Joey Gallo Among Top Bets to Go Yard (August 23)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images. Pictured: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Each Tuesday, FanDuel runs a popular promotion that allows each user to bet $25 on one player in every MLB game played that day to hit a home run. Regardless of whether or not the player you bet on homered, you receive $5 in free bets back for each home run hit in the game, with a max return of $25.
Given the average number of home runs in an MLB game in 2021 was 2.44, you will receive an average of $12.20 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 want to learn more on how Dinger Tuesday works, here’s an explainer.
Here are my favorite selections for this Tuesday’s slate.
Reds vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m. ET
Pick: Rhys Hoskins +300
Hoskins against a left-handed pitcher in a favorable ballpark is always a good option for Dinger Tuesday and he's my pick for this game. Nick Lodolo and Ranger Suarez are both sinker-type pitchers who induce ground balls, so this game may not be as good as a normal Philadelphia game.
He's one of the streakiest hitters in all of baseball and right now, he's seeing the ball extremely well. Since August began, Hoskins has a 17.9% rate on the Phillies with nine in 52 batted balls, a top 15 mark in all of baseball. His .606 SLG against left-handed pitching and 1.018 OPS are among the best in the NL as well.
Braves at Pirates, 7:10 p.m.
Pick: Michael Harris +600
There's always a ton of good options on the Braves, who have the deepest lineup of barrel rates in all of baseball. But given the prices of Atlanta's top power hitters being really short against Pittsburgh's J.T. Brubaker, I'm going further down the board for a rising young star in Michael Harris II.
Harris has 50 batted balls in August and has barreled seven of them. That number is actually higher than both Austin Riley and Matt Olson, the two best power hitters in the Atlanta lineup.
The Braves rookie has 13 homers in 273 at-bats, which means he's on pace as a rookie to hit about 25 home run pace in a full season. A hitter with that kind of easy power (112.8 mph max exit velocity) should not be +600.
Blue Jays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m.
Pick: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. +340
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been heating up in the month of August and that's evidenced by his rolling hard-hit rate shown in the graph below, from FanGraphs.
While Matt Chapman saw a big power surge in July, it's Guerrero who is experiencing one this month. He has a 16.2% barrel rate and now gets to go to extremely hitter friendly Fenway Park. Guerrero has never been a big pull for line drives type hitter, which helps with Fenway's left field wall.
When Guerrero runs into trouble, it's usually because he's been hitting too many grounders. But recently, he's been barreling the ball a lot more and gets a favorable matchup with Boston's Josh Winckowski.
Twins at Astros, 8:10 p.m. ET
Pick: Trey Mancini +400
I do like Trey Mancini, who gets a very favorable matchup with Aaron Sanchez, a favorable home park that should help boost his power numbers (and already has).
Mancini is one of three Astros with a 10% barrel rate or higher — a good barometer for power — since August began. The other two are Yordan Alvarez, who is +255, and Chas McCormick, who isn't in the lineup. I like Mancini's odds here at home with the short porch.
Rangers at Rockies, 8:40 p.m. ET
Pick: Adolis Garcia +340
The Rangers' lineup doesn't have much to love in terms of barrel rates at this point, especially in the last two months. But I do love Adolis Garcia, who has seven barrels in 52 batted balls in August and gets an excellent matchup with German Marquez. Garcia is excellent against fastballs and Marquez's fastball is one of the worst in baseball this season.
Garcia hits a ton of fly balls and that's a recipe for success at Coors Field. You have to pick someone in this game, and so even though there aren't a ton of great options, I'm happy to take Garcia over Marcus Semien and Corey Seager at much worse odds.
Brewers at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. ET
Pick: Joey Gallo +560
The Dodgers acquired Gallo at the trade deadline and thought they saw something in his swing that they could tweak and help him improve. Since joining the Dodgers, Gallo has four barrels in 16 batted ball events.
The sample is small, but we know that Gallo has elite raw power and ability to hit bombs from his time in Texas.
I know the matchup with Corbin Burnes isn't good, but Gallo has homered off Brandon Woodruff and tripled off Sandy Alcantara in the last week. Peak Gallo in Texas averaged barrel rates between 22-26% and he can get to even the best of pitchers.
If you want to wait until the lineups are announced before placing your bet and Gallo is out, or don't want to risk betting a player who may not start, then I'd bet Max Muncy as my pick for this game. Muncy is one of the hottest hitters in the league with 16 barrels in his last 89 batted ball events.
Other Picks: Josh Donaldson +420 (NYY), Franmil Reyes +420 (CHC), Joc Pederson +370 (SF), Christian Walker +400 (ARI)