As the saying goes, sometimes too much rest can do more harm than good. The teams that enjoyed byes in the postseason—like the Orioles, Braves, and Dodgers, top performers in the regular season—seemed rusty when they played their first game after nearly a week off. Now, as we approach Game 2, it’s do-or-die for these home teams. Let’s delve into my Same Game Parlay, boasting odds of nearly 6/1 at FanDuel Sportsbook.
MLB Parlay: No Run First Inning (-140)
Game 2 of the ALDS sets the stage for a pitching duel between Jordan Montgomery and Grayson Rodriguez, and I anticipate a low-scoring affair that kicks off with a scoreless first inning. Montgomery has been in terrific form, not allowing a first-inning run in 10 of his last 11 starts. This impressive streak includes his dominant performance in the wild-card round. Although Montgomery didn’t face the Orioles in the regular season, he has a strong track record against Austin Hays and Adley Rutschman.
On the other side of the mound, Grayson Rodriguez struggled at the start of the season. Despite being Baltimore’s highly touted prospect, he posted a 7.35 ERA and 1.74 WHIP in his first 10 MLB starts. The weight of expectations seemed to weigh on Rodriguez. Fortunately, he turned things around after a brief stint in the Minors. Since his return, the rookie has arguably been Baltimore’s best pitcher. Here’s the remarkable part—he hasn’t allowed a first-inning run since his call-up, boasting 13 straight starts without surrendering a run in the opening frame. With Montgomery and Rodriguez on the mound, the first inning should move swiftly.
MLB Parlay: Alternate Total Under 6.5 (+164)
Analyzing both pitching staffs and the likely starters for this series, this matchup in the ALDS presents the most enticing pitching duel. Montgomery has assumed the role of the Rangers’ ace, earning a Game 1 start in the wild-card series against the Rays, where he delivered a masterful performance. In that outing, Montgomery tossed 7 scoreless innings, allowing only 6 hits and zero walks against a formidable Tampa Bay lineup. His recent form speaks volumes, with just 2 earned runs conceded in his last 5 starts over 34 innings—an astonishing 0.54 ERA in his last 5 outings.
The Orioles opted for Kyle Bradish in Game 1, a move that, despite the loss, made sense as he had been their ace and performed admirably with 9 strikeouts. The blame for the defeat largely fell on Baltimore’s offense, which mustered only 5 hits and went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. The extended break appeared to have disrupted the Orioles’ rhythm, and facing Montgomery in Game 2 could prove even more challenging. On the other side, Grayson Rodriguez, one of this season’s standout rookies, presents a compelling counterpoint. Rodriguez experienced a dramatic transformation after rejoining the Orioles’ starting rotation following a rocky start to the season, posting a 2.58 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 13 starts after the All-Star break. During that stretch, Rodriguez limited opponents to 2 or fewer earned runs in 5 of his 7 starts at Camden Yards. I anticipate a similar scoreline to Game 1.
MLB Parlay: Evan Carter to Record a Hit (-160)
Rather than focusing on the likes of Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, or Adolis Garcia, I’ve turned my attention to the Rangers’ rookie, Evan Carter. He began the postseason near the bottom of the lineup but earned a promotion to the #5 spot in Game 1 of the ALDS. It’s only a matter of time before he climbs further, potentially into the #3 spot ahead of Robbie Grossman. Carter brings a patient approach to the plate, refraining from chasing pitches outside the zone and waiting for his ideal pitch.
Recently, Carter’s patience has been rewarded. In the three postseason games the Rangers have played, he boasts a remarkable 4-for-6 record with 3 doubles and a home run. His discipline is further underscored by his 5 walks, demonstrating his ability to wait out pitchers. However, this could be more challenging against Grayson Rodriguez, who has demonstrated excellent command in recent months. The final component of this Same Game Parlay hinges on the rookie recording a hit in Game 2.
For further insights, don’t miss our Twins vs. Astros SGP analysis.
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