Best Bets of the Day – May 2nd

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

MLB bettors likely ran the gamut of emotions in April. A 162-game season can be both a beauty and a curse, bouncing back instantly from some bad beats or just as quickly losing your winnings from a successful day.

Of course, it’s wonderful for baseball fans to know there’s always another game around the corner. After some early hiccups, all 30 teams are scheduled to compete this Sunday. Let’s take a look at some of the best wagers to conclude the week.


Cardinals vs. Pirates: O/U 8.5 Runs

The Cardinals are swinging hot bats at Pittsburgh, where they’ve plated 19 runs in back-to-back victories. While they needed this burst just to bring their team OBP above .300, they have tallied at least five runs in five of their last nine games. They can complete a sweep against Will Crowe, who has allowed 12 walks and 15 runs in 13 career innings. That’s a probable outcome, but we’re not getting great odds on the moneyline (-134 on FanDuel, -148 on DraftKings).

Let’s increase the potential payout — and protect ourselves from a possible shootout — by chasing the run line instead. A game involving the Pirates rarely projects too many runs. Their lineup is light on power, but not necessarily helpless. Behind strong returns from Adam Frazier, Bryan Reynolds, and Colin Moran, they ranked 13th in wOBA against righties in April.

The oddsmakers may believe they’re running into Carlos Martínez at the wrong time, as the righty has relinquished just six hits and three runs in his past two starts. Don’t call it a successful comeback just yet. Although the 29-year-old sports a solid 3.74 FIP, his 4.76 SIERA matches his uninspiring ERA. He continues to throw his fastball at the diminished velocity (92.9 mph) displayed in 2020, leading to just 17 strikeouts in 28.1 innings. Having already served up a dozen barrels, Martínez is already one away from matching his total ceded in 118.2 frames in 2018.

Pittsburgh has produced 28 runs in the past six games, so don’t assume Martínez tosses another gem. This game could resemble St. Louis’ 12-5 victory last night.

Pick: Over (-109 on DraftKings, -110 on FanDuel)


Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers: Moneyline

Like Martínez, it’s still too soon to trust Garrett Richards again. The oft-injured righty should have been dropped from most fantasy leagues by the time he allowed one run in Tuesday’s seven-inning, 10-strikeout gem against the Mets. Despite that terrific outing, he ended April with a 4.94 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, and 8.3% K-BB rate. The Mets, meanwhile, have scored an NL-low 3.0 runs per game in a dreadful start.

Hardly offensive juggernauts themselves, the last-place Rangers are right on par with the Mets in wRC+ and wOBA. Yet they’ve struggled far more against lefties (.279 wOBA) than righties (.318 wOBA) thus far. Joey Gallo and Adolis García give them plenty of power potential alongside the streaking Nick Solak and Nate Lowe.

Texas also isn’t countering with an ace. Run out of Atlanta last year, Mike Foltynewciz has already given up eight homers with his new squad. He also, however, holds a solid 3.99 SIERA and 1.28 WHIP. The 29-year-old hasn’t issued a run in his last two starts, including his own one-run outing Tuesday. This doesn’t mean he’ll hold up against a stout Boston lineup, but he’s a capable option and arguably a bit better than Richards. It’s an opportune time to chase a home underdog.

Pick: Rangers (+115 on DraftKings, +108 on FanDuel)


Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees: Run Line

Come on, you had to know the Yankees’ offense would heat up eventually. After weeks of frenzied calls to WFAN, Joe from Staten Island can finally take a deep breath. They’ve won four of their last five games, outscoring the opposition (Orioles and Tigers) 31-9. The Bronx Bombers can break .500 by cementing a home sweep Sunday afternoon.

Despite their 13-14 record, the Yankees have a higher run differential (+12) than the 16-9 Royals and 17-10 Brewers. The Tigers can’t make a similar excuse to justify their early doldrums. They’ve handily earned their MLB-high 20 losses with a minus-60 run margin, easily MLB’s worst rate. That averages out to them getting outscored 2.1 runs per game. To wit, they suffered 15 defeats by at least two runs.

That’s all to say a two-run loss isn’t much of a longshot at Yankee Stadium against a stacked squad finally emerging from an early-April slumber. While the line reflects this reality, don’t let that deter you. As the Yankees regress upward to the mean, José Ureña and his career 7.6 K-BB% are likely heading for a course correction after allowing two runs in each of his last four starts. The steady veteran is going into a bandbox right as Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are blazing hot.

Ureña has pitched much better than Corey Kluber, but the frequent slow starter is coming off the best performance (6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) of his young Yankees tenure. While this has some makings of a trap game, the bullpens solidify New York as the play. The Yankees’ relievers boast MLB’s second-best ERA at 2.41; the Tigers have the game’s worst bullpen (6.68 ERA) by over a full run.

Pick: Yankees -1.5 (-125 on FanDuel, -127 on DraftKings)


Andrew Gould Overall Record: 6-8

Net Money (Assuming all wagers are $100): -$128.52

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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