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.
Reds ML (+120)
It has not been a pretty start to the season for the Reds. They’ve won just two of their first 15 games, and they’re currently riding an 11-game losing streak. Overall, they’ve been outscored by 44 runs, which is easily the worst mark in the league.
However, they will be turning to one of their best pitching prospects on Sunday in Nick Lodolo. His results to start the year are unimpressive – he owns an 8.00 ERA over nine innings – but his advanced metrics suggest plenty of room for improvement. He has a 3.74 xERA and a 3.47 xFIP, thanks in part to an elite average of 12 strikeouts per nine innings. With some better luck on balls in play, he’s an excellent candidate for some positive regression.
The sharps are also very interested in the Reds this afternoon. They’re currently receiving just 13% of the moneyline bets, but those bets have accounted for 55% of the dollars. That’s a massive discrepancy, especially for a divisional matchup.
Marlins ML (+110)
The Braves have had a bit of a hangover to start the year after winning the World Series. They’re just 7-9 through their first 16 games, and their pitching staff has been a massive disappointment. They’ve racked up a combined 4.56 ERA to start the year, which is the seventh-worst mark in the league.
They’ll send Bryce Elder to the mound on Sunday, who is arguably their worst starting pitcher. He owns a 7.35 xERA and 6.09 FIP through his first two starts, and he’s averaged a paltry 6.30 strikeouts per nine innings.
That gives the Marlins a pretty sizable advantage on the mound. They’ll have Jesus Luzardo on the bump, and he’s been dominant through his first two outings this season. He’s racked up 14.46 strikeouts per nine innings, and he’s managed to keep his walks in check. Walks have always been the biggest issue for Luzardo, so if he’s managed to figure that out, he could be poised for a big season. The former No. 5 overall prospect owns a 2.55 xERA and 2.09 xFIP to start the year.
The Atlanta offense is still very good, but I like Luzardo’s chances of picking up a win for the Fish.
Gerrit Cole Under 6.5 strikeouts (+110)
Is it time to panic with Cole? I wouldn’t go that far, but he definitely shouldn’t make you feel warm and fuzzy. He’s being paid like one of the top pitchers in baseball, but his numbers have been troublesome for a while now. He pitched to a 4.14 ERA over the second half of the season last year, including a 5.13 ERA in September and October. He’s been even worse to start the new season, racking up a 6.35 ERA through his first three starts. He’s also averaging just 9.53 strikeouts per nine innings, which would be his worst mark since 2017.
I’m still not writing off a bounce-back for Cole this season, but the Guardians are not a good matchup for his strikeout numbers. They excel at putting the ball in play, and they own the fifth-lowest strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers this year. Cole has also yet to finish six innings this season, and he’s coming off just 1 2/3 innings in his last outing. It doesn’t seem like he’ll see a huge bump in pitch count on Sunday, so I’ll roll the dice on the under at better than even money.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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