Best Bets of the Day – April 4th

Andrew Gould highlights his favorite bets for Sunday's games.

Sunday baseball is finally back. Nothing beats sitting back and enjoying a full day of MLB action, especially when its return still feels so fresh and revigorating.

Then again, a leisurely Sunday isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Some fans need skin in the game. Let’s sift through DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook to find some of the best bets on the day’s slate.


Cleveland vs. Detroit Tigers: O/U 8.5 Runs


Detroit has commenced the season with 3-2 and 5-2 victories over Cleveland. Ranking 26th in team wOBA last year, Cleveland’s lineup looks even weaker without Francisco Lindor. A lofty over-under line nevertheless expects more offense Sunday.

After failing to muster any offense against Matthew Boyd and Julio Teheran, Cleveland gets a potentially tougher task in the tantalizing Tarik Skubal. The prized southpaw posted a 5.63 ERA in last year’s brief rookie campaign, but he teased plenty of promise by way of a 27.6% K rate. He also allowed two earned runs in each of his final three outings, accruing 20 strikeouts to three walks. Don’t be surprised if the 24-year-old shines in his 2021 inauguration.

Aaron Civale’s 2020 went the reverse route; the righty started strong before getting struck for eight runs in his final turn. That damaged his ERA to 4.73, but he still sports a 3.69 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 3.76 FIP through 22 career big-league starts. His 30.8% CSW rate also ranked 30th among starters with at least 50 innings pitched last year.

Detroit’s offense matched Cleveland’s pedantic .303 wOBA last season, and the Tigers aren’t exactly sending out a murderer’s row to begin 2021. Although this contest could yield an opposite outcome in favor of Cleveland, expect a similar scoring range below the run line.

Pick: Under (-107 on DraftKings Sportsbook, -106 on FanDuel Sportsbook)


St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds: O/U 9.5 Runs


The Cardinals and Reds combined for 17 runs — 16 off Luis Castillo and Jack Flaherty — Opening Day and 15 more Saturday. These offenses can both stay hot in Sunday’s rubber match, which features a volatile pitching matching between Carlos Martínez and Jeff Hoffman.

Once the Red Birds’ ace, Martínez hasn’t allowed three or fewer runs in a start spanning at least five innings since July 13, 2018. His return to the rotation went disastrously in 2020, as the righty relinquished 32 hits, 10 walks, and 26 runs (22 earned) in just 20 frames. The 29-year-old looked sharp this spring, but counting on an impressive turn at the hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark is a big ask.

Hoffman succeeding is an even worse bet. Once a promising prospect drafted ninth overall in 2014, he got eaten alive by Coors Field before finally escaping Colorado this offseason. He now holds a 6.40 career ERA and an even uglier 7.38 ERA in 100 innings since the start of 2018. Before expecting a change-of-scenery rebirth, he has relinquished a 4.86 ERA and .350 wOBA in 100 career innings on the road.

Runs could be bountiful in the early innings. Even if this NL Central bout isn’t an instant slugfest, both squads will likely need to open the bullpen doors early. That’s especially bad news since the Reds and Cardinals received just 8.1 and seven innings from their starters, respectively, in the first two games. It’s also possible a pitcher foolishly gets himself ejected — and/or needlessly gifts the other team an extra baserunner — seeking misguided vengeance from Saturday’s benches-clearing kerfuffle.

Look for a series sweep in the over department. Given Hoffman’s long road back to relevance, consider pairing the over with the Cardinals’ money line at +240 on FanDuel.

Pick: Over (-105 on FanDuel Sportsbook)


Chicago White Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels: Moneyline


The hype surrounding Shohei Ohtani’s return to the mound led the Angels to open as favorites. Adding intrigue to the Sunday Night Baseball showcase, he’s expecting to pitch and hit, per The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya. It also helps that the opposing Dylan Cease had the second-worst FIP (6.39) and K-BB rate (3.9%) among all starters with at least 50 innings last season.

And yeah, the Angels still have that Mike Trout fellow.

I’m picking the White Sox, but I hope I’m wrong. It would be awesome to see Ohtani simultaneously excel as a legitimate two-way star. He’s restored the hype by hitting dingers to straight center and reaching triple digits on the radar gun this spring, so we might finally see the two-way star dominate in both facets.

The problem is, it’s been three years since we’ve seen anything from Ohtani the pitcher. After not pitching in 2019 because of Tommy John surgery, he gave up three hits, three walks, and five runs in his 2020 debut without recording a single out. He issued five walks against 10 batters the next turn before once again transitioning into a full-time hitter.

Ohtani still has ace upside if health cooperates, but we’re crossing our fingers as he opposes a game White Sox lineup. And while Cease is coming off a dreadful 2020, he entered spring drawing rave reviews from Yasmani Grandal and ended it by recording 11 strikeouts to no walks in his final outing. Pounce on a superior team getting treated as the underdog. Yermín Mercedes should be good for another four or seven hits.

Pick: Chicago White Sox (+108 on FanDuel Sportsbook)


Andrew Gould Overall Record: 0-0-0

Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Andrew Gould

Andrew is Pitcher List's DFS Manager who also covers MLB and NFL for FantasyPros and Bleacher Report. He placed second in FantasyPros' MLB accuracy ratings in 2016 and fifth in 2018.

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