After a push in Monday's lone best bet, MLB handicapper Dalton Brown is back with a pair of plays on Tuesday's fully-packed baseball slate.
7:05 p.m. ET: St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals: Nationals +1.5 (-120) at DraftKings
The Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals will continue their three-game series from the District Tuesday night, and I'm backing the Nats at home to bounce back after a loss in the opener.
St. Louis is sending lefty Jordan Montgomery to the mound to start, a pitcher who bettors have made a ton of money fading over the past several weeks. The Cardinals have lost 11 of Montgomery's last 12 starts outright, and the three or more runs he's allowed in five of his last seven starts are not encouraging either. Washington strongly prefers hitting left-handed pitching, too, posting a strong wRC+ of 106 against southpaws.
The Cardinals are traditionally lefty-mashers themselves, but St. Louis hasn't lived up to expectation this season as a whole. Since May 15, the Cards are actually slightly below average when facing lefties with a wRC+ of 98 - and MacKenzie Gore is coming off of one of the most encouraging outings of his young career. Gore pitched 5.2 scoreless innings on the road at Houston, silencing a lineup known for hitting southpaws well in a ballpark that is not easy to find success in as an opposing pitcher.
I give Washington a small edge in the starting pitching matchup here, and they aren't giving much of anything up in terms of lineups or bullpens of late either. Let's take the 1.5 runs and hope to collect some cash with the Nats on Tuesday.
7:10 p.m. ET: Colorado Rockies at Cincinnati Reds: OVER 9.5 (-106) at FanDuel
It is always tempting to expect high-scoring games at the Great American "Small Park" in Cincinnati, and Tuesday night's affair fits the bill perfectly as the Rockies and Reds continue their series.
The Reds are red-hot, winners of nine straight and 12 of 14 after Monday night's 5-4 triumph. Tuesday, they'll take their shot at Noah Davis, starting on short notice with Kyle Freeland coming down ill. Davis hasn't pitched at the MLB level since April 29, when he allowed a staggering seven runs in just two innings to the Phillies. Somehow, things have been just as brutal for the righty in the minors - at Triple-A Albuquerque, Davis has managed to surrender a 12.00 ERA so far in June over three starts.
There is a good chance we see a ton of Colorado's bullpen on Tuesday, which is usually a disastrous proposition for the Rockies. Colorado's bullpen ranks dead-last in MLB with a 5.15 xFIP since May 15.
On the other side, Ben Lively will head to the mound for Cincinnati. Lively (4-4, 4.07) has been average-ish since joining Cincinnati's rotation, but his 6.52 ERA in June is a sign that the wheels might be coming off once and for all. Lively has surrendered double-digit hits in two straight starts as his early success continues to fade.
Lively will last longer than Davis in all likelihood, but Cincinnati's bullpen has been almost as poor as Colorado's. The Reds' pen ranks 29th in MLB with an xFIP of 5.09, and closer Alexis Diaz needed 21 pitches to get through his inning of work on Monday.