MLB Props Odds & Picks: 6 Bets For Dinger Tuesday, Including Cardinals’ Nolan Arenado (August 9)
Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images. Pictured: Nolan Arenado (Cardinals)
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.
Even though home runs have been down in the 2022 season thus far, the promotion remains +EV, and there are signs that homers are trending up in the warmer months again.
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.
Marlins at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. ET
Pick: J.T. Realmuto +440
August heat and humidity has seen balls flying out of Citizens Bank Park in the last week, and I expect another excellent home-run environment in Philly on Tuesday, despite the low total of 7.5.
J.T. Realmuto has an OPS over 1.400 in the last month and a barrel rate of 16.7% since July began.
Because of the line-drive nature of his swing and batted-ball profile, he’s the kind of hitter who benefits more from the plus-home run environment.
Realmuto also gets a favorable split matchup against southpaw Braxton Garrett, but is capable of hitting righties just as well in the Marlins’ bullpen.
Realmuto has the 14th-best barrel rate in MLB since July began, third best on the Phillies. The other two Philadelphia options — Kyle Schwarber and Darick Hall — have their own issues. Schwarber doesn’t hit lefties well, while Hall isn’t in the starting lineup.
Braves at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET
Pick: Austin Riley +285
Riley opened at +300, and I bet that immediately. But I am comfortable with +285 on him, as well, and I would play it at +275 or better.
This is a dream matchup for the Braves slugger, who gets a soft-tossing lefty in Rich Hill in a home-run friendly park at Fenway. Riley has produced 23 barrels in his last 101 batted-ball events, which is the third best in all of baseball since July 1, behind Aaron Judge and Yordan Alvarez.
Hill has allowed a .804 OPS against right-handed bats this season, and he’s especially struggled in hitter-friendly Fenway. Hill has allowed a .907 OPS in front of the home fans and should struggle with a loaded Atlanta lineup on Tuesday.
Riley’s .752 SLG against lefties makes him a must-play on Tuesday, even with the low price.
Nationals at Cubs, 8:10 p.m. ET
Pick: Luke Voit +360
There’s not much to like about the Nationals these days, but Luke Voit has taken his excellent barrel rate from San Diego and brought it to the District. Voit has an 18.3% barrel rate since July 1 and a 16.7% rate for the entire season.
There’s plenty of swing-and-miss for Voit, but that’s not really how Cubs starter Marcus Stroman gets outs anyway.
The Cubs righty is allowing a career-high 1.2 HR/9 this season, and given that the wind is blowing slightly in Wrigley, you need someone with Voit’s power to not have a problem in that area.
His raw power is more than good enough to muscle the ball out of Wrigley, even despite adverse conditions for homers.
Guardians at Tigers, 7:15 p.m. ET
Pick: Riley Greene +630
My favorite long shot on Tuesday is the Tigers’ rookie outfielder.
Greene has posted pretty pedestrian numbers across the board since making his MLB debut earlier this season. But the underlying barrel rate is incredibly encouraging. He’s produced a 12.5% barrel rate since July 1, with 96 batted balls, a meaningful sample.
Shane Bieber has allowed just 0.8 HR/9 this season, which is less than last year despite a drop off in his stuff.
One major reason for this is his unsustainably low HR/FB rate. He’s due for some regression there, and I have my doubts that he can sustain it forever.
We’re buying low on Greene and selling high on Bieber with this long shot.
Cardinals at Rockies, 8:40 p.m. ET
Pick: Nolan Arenado +310
Coors Field hasn’t been good to us in the last few games on Dinger Tuesday, but the park remains a must-have on any card.
Arenado makes a homecoming on Tuesday and brings his 12.2% recent barrel rate with him.
Arenado puts so many balls in play that his barrel rate usually sits in the single digits, but he gets there with volume. The fact his barrel rate is above 10% since July 1 shows how well he’s been getting his power swing and connecting with the ball lately.
There’s not much edge here on the number, but worth it given the promo and the total of 11.
Pirates at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m. ET
Pick: Daulton Varsho +450
The good number on Christian Walker is long gone now, so I will take Daulton Varsho with this pick. His odds are much worse than Walker’s, but Varsho has the better barrel rate since July 1.
With 10 barrels in his last 71 batted balls, Varsho has similar barrel rates to Rhys Hoskins, Pete Alonso and Rowdy Tellez of late.
It hasn’t quite turned into a lot of homers for him, hence the value on him in a positive matchup with Pirates righty Zach Thompson. He ranks in the 24th percentile in Hard Hit Rate.
Other picks: Cal Raleigh +560 (SEA), Mookie Betts (need +320 or better) (LAD), Marcus Semien +400 (TEX)
Note: We don’t have lines for game two of the White Sox-Royals doubleheader yet, but I’ll be targeting MJ Melendez, Vinnie Pasquantino or Eloy Jimenez, depending on who plays and where the market ends up. Given pitcher quality, I’d highly recommend playing this game.
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