5 best bets from Friday’s slate (April 29)

Friday’s MLB slate is loaded with nightly games. All 30 teams are set to play, with a number of intriguing series beginning.

Our analysts are all over this list, with five bets on four of these games. We have a pair of bets on Diamondbacks-Cardinals, as well as an underdog moneyline in Angels-White Sox and a total in Guardians-Athletics.

Here are our top five bets from Friday’s Major League Baseball slate.

MLB odds and picks

Seattle Mariners vs. Miami Marlins

To take
Sailors -110
Book
FanDuel
Pitchers
Matt Brash vs. Elieser Hernandez
First launch
6:40 p.m. ET

Mike Ianniello: Although Matt Brash hasn’t yet gotten the dominant results and outings some were expecting, his stuff is so nasty it just seems inevitable. Despite ranking 12th in wOBA at home plate, the Marlins are only 19th in xwOBA.

The Mariners rank second in xwOBA. Elieser Hernandez has struggled this year and the Mariners are in a great position in this game. Hernandez throws his fastball 49% of the time and has been hammered to the tune of a .323 batting average, .490 wOBA and 42.3% hit rate.

Seattle hit fastballs better than any team in the entire league by a wide margin. The Mariners have a wFB value of 20.3, more than double the second-best team. Ty France, JP Crawford and Adam Frazier are all batting over .300 against fastballs this year and France and Crawford have a wOBA over .500 against four-seam players.

None of the starting pitchers have been able to go very far in games this year and the Mariners bullpen currently ranks fifth in the league in xFIP, where the Marlins relievers rank 16th.

I expect the Mariners offense to jump on Hernandez early and often and build a lead that allows Brash to run his business with confidence.

Seattle has a big home plate advantage in this game and the price is just too short with Brash on the mound.

Take MLB leaders in fun differential at -110 and I’d play them at -125.


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Los Angeles Angels vs. Chicago White Sox

To take
Angels +114
Book
FanDuel
Pitchers
Noah Syndergaard vs. Lucas Giolito
First launch
7:10 p.m. ET

Tanner McGrath: I’m fully prepared to back the scorching Angels and scorching Noah Syndergaard as underdogs.

After years of injuries and wear and tear, Syndergaard will likely never be the punching machine he once was. But, he still managed to keep his exit speed low (85.6 mph on average), which is what he was in the elite at.

As a result, Syndergaard ranks in the 90th percentile of qualified xSLG pitchers allowed (.264) and has posted three straight starts over five innings and under two runs allowed.

That’s more than enough for an Angels squad that leads MLB in wRC+ (128), OPS (.762) and wOBA (.342). Shohei Ohtani still hasn’t started (.691 OPS, 25 Ks in 80 AB) and the Angels offense is still smashing the ball.

The Angels will face Lucas Giolito, who has been nearly perfect in two starts. But I’m worried about one stat in particular: Giolito ranks in the fifth percentile in average allowable exit speed. It doesn’t matter because he’s struck out 15 in eight innings, but we can’t reasonably expect him to post a 16.5 K/9 over 30 starts.

The White Sox have lost nine of 10. The offense has been putrid but is due to a significant amount of positive regression. But even if you factor in that regression, the White Sox bats still haven’t seen the ball like the Halos.

The relievers are basically a washout (LAA 3.93 xFIP reliever; CHW 4.03 xFIP reliever), so I’ll happily bet Syndergaard, Mike Trout and Tyler Ward to win in Chicago today.


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Arizona Diamondbacks vs. St. Louis Cardinals

To take
Cardinals Team Total Over 4 (-105)
Book
PointsBet
Pitchers
Madison Bumgarner vs. Adam Wainwright
First launch
8:15 p.m. ET

DJ James: The St. Louis Cardinals are the best batting team against lefties this young season. Madison Bumgarner only has a 1.00 ERA on the season, but her 3.61 xERA tells a different story. He walked the batters to a 13.3% clip. The Cardinals are chasing at a 30.3 percent clip this season, but they should be able to handle Bumgarner and the Arizona Diamondbacks’ pitching staff.

Tyler O’Neill is the player who watched this game. He only has 68 wRC+, but his xwOBA against lefties is over .500. It also works at a rate of 11.6%. In addition to him, the Cardinals have three other .400-plus hitters. The top of this range should be patient enough and able to feast on the MadBum early.

Building on that, Arizona’s bullpen is brutal. It has accumulated -0.4 fWAR and has an xFIP of 4.68. The Snakes only have three to four competitive relievers. Otherwise, if the Cards can force MadBum out before the fifth inning, they’ll be a few points behind.

The moneyline on the cards is a little steep, so look to bring the team total over 4 (-105). Play this at 4.5 (-110). Even with under bets hitting at an alarming rate this season, the most on the cards is good position.


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Arizona Diamondbacks vs. St. Louis Cardinals

To take
Cardinals -1.5 (+120)
Book
BetMGM
Pitchers
Madison Bumgarner vs. Adam Wainwright
First launch
8:15 p.m. ET

Jules Posner: You know that Breaking Bad meme where Jesse Pinkman yells, “He can’t keep getting away with this!” »? This is Madison Bumgarner.

He comes into Friday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals with a 1.00 ERA. However, his FIP is 4.01 and his xFIP is 4.69. Also, he didn’t give up an earned run in his first road start in 2022, but his road FIP is 3.47.

Bumgarner had long awaited a regression and it could happen tonight in St. Louis. In a small sample, the Cardinals lead the league as a wRC+ team at home against LHP. Those numbers are inflated due to the small sample against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but Bumgarner’s peripherals indicate he needs to be scored.

Pair that with the Arizona Diamondbacks’ last five bullpen by FIP and the Cardinals should be in a position to offend.

Adam Wainwright is on the hill for the Cardinals and he’s constantly off at home. He pitched six scoreless innings against the Pirates in his first home start and the Diamondbacks offense is pretty much Pirates-y in its own right.

Although the Cards’ bullpen suffered a tough loss Monday night, they should recover from a much weaker offense. The RL is the game here and should be taken while it is out of the money.


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Cleveland Guardians vs. Oakland Athletics

To take
More than 6.5 (-104)
Book
FanDuel
Pitchers
Aaron Civale vs. Frankie Montas
First launch
9:40 p.m. ET

Collin Whitchurch: Typically, when we see such low totals, it’s because the game is made up of two elite starting pitchers. Frankie Montas might be close to qualifying as such, but Aaron Civale definitely isn’t.

Civale simply has no shortage of bats this year. So far this season, he’s only caused swing strikes nine percent of the time, more than two percent below the league average, and his CSW percentage (called + swing strike) has lagged. line up the same way.

The Athletics offense is nothing special, but the way to get them out is to take them out. They have the second-worst K-rate in the majors so far this year, and in a battle between a moving object and a stoppable force, I’m going with the side that showed more skill – at least to scratch a few races against a very hittable pitcher.

Montas misses a lot of bats and he will face a Cleveland offense that avoids the punch better than the league average (19th in K%). There’s a lot to love about Montas overall – and anyone who trades for him will likely be happy – but it’s hard to imagine him going five unscathed if he doesn’t run out of bats at the rate he is. has seen so far this season.

Simply put, I like both of these offenses making at least a few runs against vulnerable starting pitchers. Both relievers did well early on, but we’re not exactly looking at two elite units either.

Every time I see a total of 6.5 I almost blindly side with the plus, but there’s a legit rationale here. Additionally, this will be the sixth time this season that a total has closed at 6.5 or lower this season, and the most is 4-1 so far in such cases, per Bet Labs. This is especially remarkable in a season where under betting has been so profitable overall.

I’ll take less than 6.5 at -115. 7 is fine if the line moves, it just increases your risk of a push.


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