Dinger Tuesday Picks: Expert Bets for Christian Yelich, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Juan Soto

Dinger Tuesday Picks: Expert Bets for Christian Yelich, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Juan Soto article feature image

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) Pictured: Juan Soto

One of the most popular promotions in all of the sports betting community is back once again this week: Dinger Tuesday from FanDuel.

The promotion allows each user to bet $25 on one player in every MLB game played that day to hit a home run. Regardless of whether the player you bet on homers, you receive $5 in free bets back for each home run hit in the game, with a max return of $25 for the game.

Many users have been limited by FanDuel this season and are only allowed to receive a maximum $25 back in free bets — essentially five free homers back for the day in free bets. Last season, there were higher limits, usually $50, on the return in free bets for players.

Given the average number of home runs in an MLB game in 2023 was 2.20, you will receive an average of $12 in free bets back for each $25 home run bet you make, without accounting for the loss in expected value on the vig of the home run yes prop.

If you’re not limited at all, you should play as many games as you’re comfortable with because the promo is still plus-EV for most of the board.

If you are limited to the max return of $25, an average of two to three games will return your $25 maximum free bets.

Note: It could be just one game to reach the $25 ceiling if there are five homers in that game.

Here are my three favorite home run picks for the first Dinger Tuesday of the 2024 season.

(Maximize your Dinger Tuesday action with our FanDuel promo code.)

Tuesday, Apr 2
4:10 p.m. ET
Christian Yelich (+480)

Christian Yelich has been an elite fastball hitter for multiple years now, as he slugged .590 on the pitch last season. He gets a matchup with Twins righty Louie Varland, who allowed 16 homers in 68 innings pitched in MLB last year. Varland allowed 1.38 HR/9 in 26 innings in 2022 and then 2.12 HR/9 last season. Limiting the long ball is a clear issue for his arsenal and Yelich is a guaranteed four or five at-bats, while other top Brewers option Jake Bauers has some platoon sub risk in the second half of this game once Minnesota uses lefty relievers.

Varland has a high velocity fastball, but his overall Stuff+ metrics graded out around league average last season as a starter and in spring training. American Family Field is an underrated stadium for homers, with eighth-highest Statcast park factor for long balls despite playing below average as a whole. It's a tiny and mostly meaningless sample, but it is encouraging that Yelich has already barreled two of his nine batted balls in 2024 and has been lifting the ball more given his past trends as a ground ball happy hitter.

Tuesday, Apr 2
7:40 p.m. ET
Ronald Acuna Jr. (+320)

The weather at Guaranteed Rate Field is quite favorable for offense due to the forecasted 15-20 mph northwest wind, which blows straight out of Chicago's stadium. The rainy and dreary conditions don't help offense overall, but it wouldn't take much for a ball to get out of the stadium in these conditions. Atlanta has more great homer options than any other team in MLB and Acuna at higher than +300 against a lefty in Garrett Crochet is worth a bet.

Acuna's early season strikeout and whiff rates are closer to his career averages, but the right-hander has immense raw power. He has yet to barrel a ball, but his improved walk rate suggests that he is maintaining his skill of lower chase rates. Given the matchup with the lefty Garrett Crochet and then multiple cracks at the futile White Sox bullpen, Acuna is the best value bet on the board for the Braves on Tuesday.

Tuesday, Apr 2
9:40 p.m. ET
Juan Soto (+470)

Zac Gallen's velocity is down across the board, both in spring training and in his first start of the regular season on Thursday against Colorado. The Diamondbacks' ace threw 243 innings including the postseason last year, and the drop off in his Stuff+ and his underlying peripherals raises major questions about his effectiveness against a tough Yankees lineup. Gallen has never had overpowering stuff, and as that stuff diminished, homers became a real problem for him in the 2023 playoffs.

Juan Soto's swing rates on pitches inside the zone are up almost eight percent year over year, but he's also maintaining elite plate discipline with just an 18% chase rate. Soto has been criticized for his ground ball rate and overly cautious approach at the plate, but he is both swinging more and lifting the ball more to begin 2024. The roof is also open on Tuesday night at Chase Field, which helps the scoring environment. Soto has all of the tools to be a 40-home run hitter one day, and the increased aggressiveness could be the key to unlocking that. At +470, he's worth a bet.

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