Friday MLB Betting Picks: Our 5 Favorite Bets Including Dodgers vs. Rockies, Astros vs. Athletics & White Sox vs. Angels (April 2)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Buster Posey.
- The second day of the MLB season only has eight games, but there's betting value galore.
- Five of our baseball analysts highlight their best plays for Friday night.
We’re one day into the MLB season and thus far, it’s the year of the huge underdog.
The Blue Jays, Pirates and Rockies all cashed as heavy underdogs, and one of our baseball analysts is going back to that well in a big way on Friday night.
The slate features only eight games, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of betting value to be found. Continue on below to find five of our writers’ best bets for Night 2 of the 2021 MLB season:
MLB Odds & Picks
Dodgers vs. Rockies
Brad Cunningham: This is the worst possible matchup for Antonio Senzatela.
The Colorado right-hander may have posted a 3.33 ERA in 2020, but don’t be fooled by that because he is one of the worst starting pitchers in MLB. He fills up the strike zone with fastballs, which really doesn’t work against the Dodgers or at Coors Field. His xFIP was all the way up at 4.85 last season, mainly because opposing hitters teed off on his fastball hitting for a .313 average and .364 wOBA.
The Dodgers were not only one of the best lineups in baseball against right-handed pitching last season, putting up a .355 wOBA. They also were the second-best team in MLB against fastballs. Los Angeles should be able to hit Senzatela all Coors Field tonight.
Additionally, the Rockies are projected to have one of the worst bullpens in all of baseball so even if the Dodgers knock Senzatela out early, the hit parade should continue into the later innings.
Dodgers vs. Rockies
Kevin Davis: As someone who also bets on Asian baseball, I frequently get the chance to bet on run lines of 2.5 or more. In MLB, large run lines are rare, but luckily there is 2.5 on Friday night’s matchup between the Dodgers and the Rockies.
The Dodgers are the best team in the league, and the Rockies are one of the worst. Pitching for LA is 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer. On paper, the Dodgers are a “lock”, but over the course of a long season, “locks” do not always win because of variance. That is why I like the Rockies.
The reason why I am not on the Rockies +230 moneyline is because my model gives the Rockies only a 2.4% edge. However, when I simulated Friday night’s game 10,000 times in my model, the Rockies cover the +2.5 run line 55.2% of the time.
White Sox vs. Angels
Kenny Ducey: One of these teams absolutely destroyed lefties last year. One … not so much. In a game that’ll pit southpaw against southpaw, I see value in backing the better pitcher, who happens to play for the same team that dominated left-handed pitching a year ago.
The White Sox sat atop the league with an absolutely stupid 142 wRC+ against lefties last year, and while they won’t have the benefit of penciling in right-handed-power bat Eloy Jimenez for a while, this lineup is still pretty formidable against lefties. Adam Eaton, who is one of the men replacing Jimenez and homered in Thursday’s loss, has hit .263 against lefties over his career, while Andrew Vaughn will make his debut in this one and absolutely mashes from the right side.
This Chicago lineup was stymied by Dylan Bundy on Thursday, which is hardly surprising considering how well he has pitched over the last two seasons. You can’t really expect the same from the disappointing Andrew Heaney, who gave up a boatload of hard contact last year and had an ugly .442 expected slugging percentage against. That won’t fly tonight against the Sox, but the baseball sure will.
I’m backing these Chicago bats to atone for their sins of a night ago and beat up on the Hean Dog. I’m also a big fan of Dallas Keuchel coming into this season and think he should be more than capable of navigating this Angels lineup, which was unspectacular last year against lefties, at least twice before handing things off to one of the more exciting bullpens in baseball.
Astros vs. Athletics
Sean Zerillo: We’re going right back to the well with the Under at the Coliseum on Friday after a relatively annoying beat on Thursday night.
A 1-0 game through five innings quickly dissolved into terror thanks to Oakland’s bullpen, which has seen a significant downgrade from the group they trotted out in 2020. A flare and a wild pitch in the top of the ninth inning sealed our fate, turning what looked like a solid bet into a devastating loss in a matter of minutes.
I projected this game total at 7.23 runs in a pitching matchup between potential young studs Cristian Javier and Jesús Luzardo.
Giants vs. Mariners
Matt Trebby: I get why the Giants are underdogs in Seattle. It’s Johnny Cueto going up against lefty Yusei Kikuchi, who has had a lot of hype entering his third MLB season. I’m not totally buying that hype just yet, though. Kikuchi has a 5.39 ERA and 5.17 FIP in 41 career starts, more than enough to tell us that he has been overmatched in MLB.
While Cueto hasn’t been much/any better over the past two seasons, I’m not expecting the Giants to let him go too far into the season opener. San Francisco’s lineup teed off on Seattle pitching last night and is one of the more underrated units in baseball.