We have another full slate of baseball on Sunday. All 30 MLB teams are scheduled for action, so there are plenty of opportunities to look for value in the betting market.
The Pick: Under 8.5 runs (-115)
Unders continue to absolutely crush to start the MLB season. The under has gone 181-123-13, good for a return on investment of +13.4%. That means that a $100 bettor would be up approximately $4,250 if they bet the under on every game this season. The combination of cold weather and a seemingly dead baseball has resulted in homers and batting averages decreasing across the league. Overall, teams are averaging just 4.03 runs per game, which is way down from the average of 4.53 last year.
Sunday’s matchup between the Red Sox and Orioles isn’t expected to feature great pitching, with Nick PIvetta taking on Jordan Lyles. Pivetta has pitched to an 8.27 ERA through his first four starts, while Lyles is at 5.40. That’s resulted in an over/under of 8.5 runs in this contest, and the evidence thus far suggests that’s simply too high for a baseball game in 2022. Unders have gone 101-57-5 in games with a total of greater than eight runs this season, resulting in a return on investment of +21.8%. I’m going to trust the data and back the under once again on Sunday.
The Pick: Under 7.5 runs (-105)
Let’s keep the under train going. This total isn’t nearly as high as the previous contest, but it features a much stronger pitching matchup. The Nationals will turn to Josiah Gray, who has started to live up to his billing as a top prospect. He’s struck out 12.6 batters per nine innings through his first four starts this season, resulting in a 3.21 xFIP. Overall, he’s posted an xFIP of 3.03 or better in three of his first four outings.
On the other side, the Giants will hand the ball to Alex Cobb. Cobb was acquired by the Giants in the offseason following a phenomenal 2021 campaign with the Angels. He pitched to a 2.92 FIP over 93 1/3 innings, and he’s been nasty in his first two starts this year. He’s racked up 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings – easily the top mark of his career – but he’s gotten a bit unlucky on balls in play. Still, his 1.06 xERA and 0.69 FIP suggest he’s been filthy.
Putting these two pitchers in Oracle Park – one of the most pitcher-friendly venues in all of baseball – should result in a low-scoring game. Neither of these offenses has been particularly imposing, either. The Nationals own the worst average exit velocity to start the year, while the Giants rank just 14th in xwOBA.
The Pick: Astros ML (+135)
The Astros are going to have a tough task ahead of them on Sunday. They’re taking on right-hander Kevin Gausman, who has been phenomenal to start the year. There was some concern that he wouldn’t be able to duplicate his success from last season with the Giants, but his numbers have actually improved after leaving San Francisco. He’s pitched to a 2.19 ERA and an 0.54 FIP through his first four starts while striking out an average of 11.31 batters per nine innings.
However, the Astros’ offense is good enough to do damage against anyone. They were first in the league in wRC+ vs. right-handers last season, and they boast some of the best hitters in the game. They haven’t been quite as impressive to start the new year, but expect them to move up the leaderboard quickly. Overall, they currently rank eighth in xwOBA.
Additionally, the Astros will have a quality pitcher of their own on the mound in Framber Valdez. There simply aren’t a ton of opportunities to back a team like the Astros at +135, so let’s take advantage.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL/IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-877-770-STOP (7867) (LA), 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), visit OPGR.org (OR), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA).
21+ (18+ NH/WY). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/LA/MI/NH/NJ/NY/OR/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.