MLB Betting Picks, Predictions: Our Best Bets for Sunday, Including Pirates vs. Cardinals & Rockies vs. Rangers

Credit:

Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Dakota Hudson

  • Betting Sunday's 15 MLB games? Our experts have pinpointed three bets worth making.
  • See their betting analysis and picks on those games below.

Sunday’s 15-game MLB slate kicks off at 1:05 p.m. ET and goes all the way through the Giants-Dodgers game at 10:08 p.m. ET.

There may be 15 games for you to choose from, but we’re honed in on a pair of matinees for our favorite bets. If you’re a Dakota Hudson fan, you may not want to go any further than this.

Odds current as of 10:30 a.m. ET.

Collin Wilson: Pirates +133

  • Odds available at DraftKings [Bet Now]
  • First pitch: 2:15 ET

Betting the Pirates on Saturday took a bit of money out of the wallet, but in baseball everyday is a clean slate. Mitch Keller is also searching for a clean slate after an dumpster fire of a 2019 season. He did endure some terrible luck, as hitters posted a ridiculous .475 BABIP (batting average on balls in play) against the Cedar Rapids native last year.

Before 2019, Keller’s electric fastball fanned almost a third of every batter he faced in the minor leagues. With some positive regression, look for Keller to be a big surprise for Pittsburgh in 2020.

Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.


While I believe in Keller, I am also happy to fade Dakota Hudson as a favorite in this spot. In four separate outings against the Bucs last season, the Cardinals starter never had an xFIP below 4.94 and gave up 21 hits in 17 innings pitched.

Hudson will also have to contend with home-plate Umpire Jordan Baker, who is 123-111 for -14.54 units lifetime against home teams.

[Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

Stuckey: Pittsburgh Pirates (+133)

  • Odds available at DraftKings [Bet Now]
  • First pitch: 2:15 p.m. ET

I agree with Collin here as we begin our 2020 fade campaign of Dakota Hudson — who just never ran out of luck last season. The ground-ball specialist finished with a 3.35 ERA — a whopping 1.58 runs lower than his 4.93 FIP.

That was the largest discrepancy in baseball by a wide margin; Mike Fiers finished with the second highest discrepancy of 1.07. I’m not a fan of this Cardinals team as a whole and think the Pirates are a bit better than the market, so we will try to capture both with a Hudson fade early in the season. I also split my bet with a first-5-innings wager.

[Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

BJ Cunningham: Colorado Rockies (+138)

  • Odds available at DraftKings [Bet Now]
  • First pitch: 2:35 p.m. ET

Corey Kluber is a decent favorite to win his Rangers’ debut. Is the market too high on Klubot on Sunday?

Colorado Rockies

Projected Lineup

Colorado rebounded with a win on Saturday but still only scored three runs on sixhits. That performance came on the heels of a three-hit showing agains Lance Lynn and a terrible Rangers’ bullpen on Friday night.

The Rockies didn’t make any moves to improve their offense over the offseason, but the top of their lineup remains loaded.

David Dahl, Trevor Story, Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado combined for 484 wRC+ in 2019 but after those four guys the lineup drops off pretty hard. If the top of the lineup doesn’t get the job done, it’ll be hard for the Rockies to win.


Advanced Stats Glossary

Learn more about BaseRuns and how I use it to build my projections in a deep dive of my model.

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.


Rockies Probable Starter

Kyle Freeland, LHP

Projected Stats (ZIPS) (Via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Kyle Freeland may have had a tremendous Wild Card Game performance two years ago, but he rates out as a below-average pitcher. He doesn’t have any pitches that I would consider above average and he’s prone to giving up a lot of hard-hit balls. In 2019, he ranked in the bottom-20 of all qualified pitchers with a 40.5% hard-hit rate.

He’ll have to navigate a Rangers lineup that ranked fourth in hard-hit percentage a year ago.

Rangers

Projected Lineup

The Rangers were held in check in the first two games of the series, only producing three runs on 11 hits. They should have a good opportunity to score against Freeland, but Texas did rank 26th in wRC+ against left-handed pitching in 2019, so there is some cause for concern.

The Rangers were a middle of the road offense a year ago ranking 23rd in wRC+ and 16th in wOBA. The only real addition they made over the offseason was signing a past-his-primeTodd Frazier.

Rangers Probable Starter

Corey Kluber, RHP

Projected Stats (ZIPS) (Via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Corey Kluber’s 2019 season was cut short after fracturing his right forearm. He was then traded to the Rangers in the offseason as he and the Indians could not come to a contract agreement.

Kluber is getting up there in age, but his curveball is still elite. In 2018, opponents only had a .143 wOBA against it and struck out 77 times.

If Kluber can rebound from his 2019 injury he’s still a top-end starting pitcher in the league.

Bullpens

With both games being very low scoring, both bullpens should be close to fully rested for this game. Even though both bullpens are pretty weak, the matchup is basically a wash.

Projections and Pick

Despite the Rangers having the advantage in the matchup of starting pitchers, I think the market is overvaluing them in this spot. So, I am going to back the Rockies to win and take the series.

[Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

How would you rate this article?

Top Offers

Odds Boosts
See More >
Odds boosts are simply regular bets offered at enticing odds. They're available to everyone and there's no limit to how many you can bet.
Sportsbook Reviews
See More >
Discover the best online sports betting sites and take advantage of bonus offers from legal sportsbooks.
Expert Picks
See More >
See what plays the Action Network experts are making for all of today's games.
PRO Membership
See More >
Access betting systems and signals to get daily, actionable picks.
Download the App
See More >
Download the Action app to track all your bets in one place. Exclusive data helped you make smarter betting decisions.
Newsletter
See More >
The best sports betting newsletter with trends, insights and news - condensed in a two-minute read.
Live Odds
See More >
See live odds and the best lines for every game.

Follow Us On Social

Top Stories