Baseball is officially back. All 30 teams will be wrapping up their first series of the year on Sunday, giving us plenty of options to choose from in the betting market.
Let’s break down some of my favorite wagers to target on DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Pick: Mets ML (-135)
What’s not to like about the Mets so far this season? They check every box that you’re looking for in an MLB team. Starting pitching? Check. Relief pitching? Check. Offense? Check. They’ve outscored the Nationals 17-4 through the first three games of their series, and I have no problem going back to the well on Sunday.
The Mets will roll with Carlos Carrasco at starting pitcher. He struggled in limited action last year, pitching to a 6.04 ERA over 53 2/3 innings, but he looked a bit better during Spring Training. Carrasco has also been a dominant pitcher for most of his career, posting a sub-4.00 ERA in six of the past eight years.
Meanwhile, the Nats will turn to a mediocre starter in Erick Fedde, who pitched to a 5.47 ERA over 29 appearances last year. The Mets have the edge in every aspect of this contest, so I’m not sure why they’re listed as merely -135 favorites. Let’s take advantage.
The Pick: Pirates ML (+170)
Look, the Pirates are not a good baseball team. I get it. But this number is simply too good to pass up. The Cardinals will turn to left-hander Steven Matz in this contest, and Matz does not deserve to be a -200 favorite over anyone. He’s a decent starting pitcher, posting a 3.82 ERA and 3.79 FIP with the Blue Jays last season, but no one is going to confuse him with a Cy Young winner.
Additionally, the Cardinals taxed their bullpen on Saturday after starter Miles Mikolas lasted just 3 2/3 innings. They used most of their best relievers in that contest, so a few of them could be unavailable in the series finale.
Bryse Wilson will make the start for the Pirates, and while he’s definitely worse than Matz, I’m not sure he’s as worse as the betting line suggests. The Cardinals’ offense was below-average against right-handed pitchers last season, and they haven’t made any substantial changes in that department. I’m happy to roll the dice at such a massive number.
The Pick: Marlins ML (+115)
The Marlins have the potential to be frisky this season. They probably won’t compete in a loaded NL East – the Braves, Mets and Phillies are much better on paper – but they’re no longer a pushover.
The team is led by a dynamic young pitching staff, including Sunday’s starter Trevor Rogers. He was fabulous in his first full MLB season last year, pitching to a 2.64 ERA and 2.55 FIP over 25 starts. He also racked up 10.62 strikeouts per nine innings, which resulted in a trip to the All-Star game.
The Giants were one of the best teams in baseball last year, but it’s clear that they outkicked their coverage. They’re a prime regression candidate, particularly with Anthony DeSclafani on the mound. DeSclafani pitched to a 3.17 ERA, but his 3.62 FIP suggests he was a bit lucky. He thrived thanks to a .265 batting average on balls in play – well below his career mark of .293 – as well as an 11.0% home run to fly ball ratio. Some of the advanced projection systems project his ERA to decrease by more than a full run this season, so the Marlins have the clear edge on the mound in this contest. With that in mind, I’ll take my chances with them as slight underdogs.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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