This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Previous day: 2-2, -0.4 RWBucks
Season: 64-84-2, -28.89 RWBucks
I'm not one to sugar-coat my record. It's been a tough first half, and all I can do is keep grinding away, doing the work, and hoping some of the variance swings back.
What I am proud of is the way in which I have managed the losses. It's very tempting, down almost 30 units, to try to get it all back at once. If this is a journey with an amateur, the one professional idea I have tried hard to implement is money management. Whether you're betting $1 a game, $100 a game, or $10,000 a game, you have to map your bets to your bankroll and stick to that. As Chuck and Wendy Rhoades will tell you, a little discipline is the key to happiness.
Looking back at the year, I have kept to mostly one-unit bets, maxing out at two units, and often putting less than that in play on some bets. Outside of the two big Fridays, I've never had more than seven units – 7% of my bankroll – in play on any given night. Even those Fridays had props and half-unit bets to keep the overall outlay fairly small. (They were both plus nights, as well.) If anything, I might be too conservative on the upside, preferring to keep the losses from spiraling, but also trying to model behavior that I haven't always performed.
You're going to have losing streaks if you bet sports. The only way to survive them is to have a bankroll left when they end, so you can climb out of the hole when things turn. Trying to get it all back with one swing – 15 units on the Tigers +195! – is a bad idea in a book, it's a bad idea in an app, and it's even a bad idea in a column where the units are RWBucks.
If it means I end the year in the red, well, that's not the end of the world. Losing a manageable amount of units is far batter than losing your stack, and the stack after that, and the stack after that.
On to Friday night's full card. As a reminder, I pull my lines from DraftKings, whose interface and betting options I like best.
7 p.m. Indians (Mejia)/Pirates (Kuhl) under 9 (-118)
Juan Carlos Mejia has been the best of the replacement starters the Indians have used with Zach Plesac and Shane Bieber on the injured list. This pick, though, is about getting two of the seven worst offenses in baseball at a good number. Both teams having yesterday off means the good sides of each pen will be available, likely as early as the fifth inning. 1.5 RWBucks.
7 p.m. Mets (Lucchesi)/Nationals (Fedde) over 9 (-110)
A couple of back-end starters on a warm night in D.C. with the wind blowing out. I'd be happier at 8.5, but don't care to pay the additional juice. This is one of those warm-weather lines that will come down to how many balls in the air we get. We should get a fair number, upwards of 20, and that drives the pick. 1 RWBuck.
8 p.m. Marlins (Lopez) +148 over Cubs (Davies)
I've lost track of the times I've been on the Marlins and taken an L. Here we get a borderline #2 in Lopez against the currently hard-to-watch Cubs with a big edge in the starting pitcher matchup. I feel like I've lost in this particular spot more than any other this year, but I can't pass up this price. When the Marlins lose 2-1, just be glad it was only for 1 RWBuck.
8 p.m. Astros (Garcia) -105 over White Sox (Rodon)
This doesn't seem real. The Astros have become a killing machine, with by far the best offense in baseball. They catch a decimated Sox team, at home, and yet they're a small dog. Carlos Rodon has been that good, driving the line in his direction. That's not enough for me to step in front of this Astros train, not with a team batting Adam Engel second. 2 RWBucks.