We have another full slate of baseball scheduled for Sunday, with action spread all throughout the day. There’s an eight-game main slate starting at 1:35 p.m. ET, a five-game afternoon slate at 4:05 p.m. ET, and a Sunday Night Baseball matchup between two of the favorites in the National League.
Let’s dive into three of my favorite wagers on DraftKings Sportsbook for Sunday’s slate.
Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners:
The Pick: Mariners Moneyline (-135)
Sunday’s matchup between the Astros and Mariners will feature two pitchers making just their second start of the season. However, these pitchers fared way differently in their first outings.
Bryce Miller was somewhat surprisingly called up by the Mariners straight from Double-A, and he pitched just over 70 innings above A ball for his career. He has a bright future – FanGraphs had him listed as the No. 85 prospect in baseball – but he wasn’t expected to arrive in the big leagues for at least another year.
Still, he was extremely effective in his first career start, fanning 10 batters over six innings of one-run ball. His advanced metrics were even more favorable, resulting in a 0.45 xERA and a 0.03 FIP. Those obviously aren’t sustainable, but it’s possible that Miller is ready for primetime.
Meanwhile, Brandon Bielak has yet to find sustained success in the majors. He was hit hard in his first outing, posting a 6.84 xERA across just four innings. Opposing batters had no problem squaring him up, posting an average exit velocity of 99.5% with a 25% barrel rate.
We’re dealing with small samples here, but it’s hard not to give the Mariners an edge on the mound. They also have an edge offensively, with the Mariners ranking just 22nd in wRC+ vs. right-handers to start the year. The only reason the Mariners aren’t larger favorites is the Astros’ reputation, but they have not lived up to the billing this season.
Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels:
The Pick: Under 9.5 runs (-110)
The total for Rangers-Angels is set at 9.5 runs, which feels high given the pitching matchup. The Rangers will hand the ball to Martin Perez, who has evolved into a very reliable starter. He broke out with a 2.89 ERA in 32 starts with the Rangers last year, and he’s off to another excellent start this season. He’s pitched to a 2.41 ERA through six outings, and while his advanced metrics aren’t quite as favorable, Perez is the type of pitcher who routinely outperforms his peripherals. He’s not a high-strikeout guy, but he excels at limiting the damage on balls in play.
Jose Suarez hasn’t been nearly as good for the Angels, but he does have a track record of success. He’s pitched to an ERA of 3.96 or better in each of the past two years, which makes his current 7.89 ERA feel like an outlier. He’s struggled with both walks and homers, but if those regress to his career norms, he’s a solid candidate for improvement.
Both of these offenses can hit left-handed pitching, but the sharps are still gravitating toward the under in this spot.
Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres:
The Pick: Under 8.0 runs (-110)
Sunday Night Baseball features one of the best new rivalries in the league, with the Dodgers taking on the Padres. These squads both have big aspirations, and they figure to battle for the NL West crown for the next decade.
Both of these teams will have excellent pitchers on the mound on Sunday. The Dodgers will turn to Julio Urias, who is one of the most underrated starters in baseball. He’s not off to his best start this season, but he thoroughly dominated the Phillies in his last outing, racking up 10 strikeouts while allowing just one hit across seven innings. Urias has averaged 10.21 strikeouts per nine innings this season, putting him on pace for a new career high. If he continues to whiff batters at that frequency, he should continue to build on his success from his last outing.
The Padres will send Joe Musgrove to the mound, another undervalued starter. He’s made just two appearances so far this season, but he posted a career-best 2.93 ERA with the Padres last season. He had a 3.18 ERA the year prior, so he has proven he can keep runs off the scoreboard.
Historically, when two high-strikeout pitchers have met in a contest with a total of at least eight runs, the under has hit at approximately a 57% clip. The sharps have also shown great interest in the under, which has received 76% of the dollars on just 48% of the bets.
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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.