Happy Mother’s Day! Major League Baseball is celebrating all the moms in our lives with a massive slate of games. There has been plenty of inclement weather recently, so there are 18 contests to choose from on Sunday.
The Pick: Reds ML (-135)
The Reds managed to split their doubleheader vs. the Pirates on Saturday, giving them just their fourth win of the season. That brings them to 4-23 for the year, putting them on pace for a historically bad season. The worst winning percentage in MLB history belongs to the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics at .235, but the Reds are at just .148 through their first 27 games.
Still, the Reds are in a great spot to get back into the win column on Sunday. They’ll send Tyler Mahle to the mound, who has been much better than his results indicate. His 7.01 ERA is inflated by a .367 batting average on balls in play and a paltry 51.6% strand rate. His 3.69 xERA and 3.20 FIP suggest he’s due for some positive regression. That could start Sunday vs. the Pirates, who rank just 24th in xwOBA to start the year.
Meanwhile, the Pirates will turn to Zach Thompson, who has been completely overmatched in his first year in Pittsburgh. He owns a 9.39 ERA to go along with a 6.80 xERA and a 6.73 FIP. He’s walked nearly as many batters as he’s struck out, and he’s allowed 2.35 homers per nine innings. The Reds' offense has been the worst in the league by a large margin, but this is a spot where their bats could wake up.
The Pick: Marlins ML (+140)
This matchup features a quality pitching matchup between Trevor Rogers and Joe Musgrove. Musgrove has been one of the best starters in baseball this season, boasting a 1.97 ERA through his first five starts, while Rogers made the All-Star team in his first full professional season. He’s struggled to start the year – he owns a 6.14 ERA through his first five outings – but it’s still too early to panic. His strikeout rate is down and his walk rate is up, but his Statcast data has actually improved compared to last year. He’s allowed a hard-hit rate of just 29.4%, while opposing batters have managed a barrel rate of just 4.4%.
Going against Musgrove is scary, but the sharps appear to like the Marlins in this spot. They’ve received just 13% of the moneyline bets, but those bets have accounted for 28% of the dollars. That’s caused the line on the Marlins to drop from +145 to +140. Ultimately, I’m going to trust the sharps and bank on some positive regression for Rogers.
The Pick: Under 8.5 (+100)
The story of the season has been the lack of scoring. Batting averages and homers are both down, which has combined to make the under extremely profitable.
Unsurprisingly, the under has been at its best when used in games with high totals. The under has gone a whopping 150-95-12 in games with a total of at least eight runs, good for a return on investment of 16.3%. Overall, a $100 bettor would be up nearly $4,200 taking the under in each of those contests.
The Angels should also keep the Nationals' scoring chances to a minimum in this contest. They’ll send Patrick Sandoval to the mound, who has been fantastic to start the year. He owns a 1.29 ERA through his first four starts, and his advanced metrics support his dominance. The Angels will likely score some runs vs. Erick Fedde, but Sandoval should do enough to keep this game under 8.5 runs.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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