MLB Best Bets: 3 Top Picks For Sunday, Including Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks & Marlins vs. Dodgers
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images. Pictured: Sandy Alcantara
- Sunday's MLB slate is loaded with playoff implications, and there's plenty of betting value to be found.
- Our analysts have their eyes on White Sox vs. Guardians, Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks and Marlins vs. Dodgers.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of our best bets from today in Major League Baseball.
Another weekend in Major League Baseball wraps up with a loaded Sunday slate with several pivotal matchups with postseason stakes.
It gets going with the Peacock game between the White Sox and Guardians and wraps up with Sunday Night Baseball between the Orioles and Red Sox. Our analysts have a pick on the former game, plus Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks and NL Cy Young favorite Sandy Alcantara and the Marlins going against the behemoth Dodgers.
Here are our three best bets from Sunday’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
White Sox vs. Guardians
Tony Sartori: Dylan Cease is coming off a sub-par start (at least by his standards) in which he allowed three earned runs on six hits in five innings against the Astros.
The Astros possess one of the best lineups in baseball, but it is not out of the question that the Guardians could also see some success. In fact, Cease has struggled against Cleveland in his career.
Over eight career starts against the Guardians, Cease possesses a 4.08 ERA with a 1.51 WHIP. Following Cease is a below-average bullpen.
On the mound for the Guardians, we can expect to see right-hander Aaron Civale. Through 14 starts this season, Civale is 2-5 with a 5.63 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.
Civale has been much better than those numbers suggest. Over his past eight starts, Civale boasts a 2.97 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. Secondly, Cleveland possesses the bullpen advantage.
Since July 1, the Guardians’ relief pitching ranks seventh in the league in ERA, fourth in WHIP, 11th in BA, 10th in SLG, fourth in wOBA and second in FIP. Additionally, this pitching staff should get some decent run support in this contest.
When facing right-handed pitchers, Cleveland ranks fourth in the league in BA, 11th in OPS and 13th in wOBA since the beginning of July. Through 82 career plate appearances against Cease, this current Guardians roster boasts a .297 BA, .419 SLG and a .341 wOBA.
Cleveland has dominated the White Sox this season and I expect that trend to continue on Sunday. While Cease is certainly a monster, the Guardians boast the matchup advantage and the better bullpen.
Cease has not done as well against Cleveland as he has against the rest of the league, which is why we are getting a short number. Add in home-field advantage in a big divisional matchup and I will bite on the fishy line.
Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks
Jules Posner: Merrill Kelly takes the mound as the Arizona Diamondbacks look to avoid the sweep at home against the St. Louis Cardinals. Kelly has been incredibly consistent for the D’backs this season and he looks to salvage at least one game of this three game set.
Since the All-Star break, Kelly has posted a 1.32 ERA with a 2.36 FIP over five starts. He’ll be taking on a Cardinals offense that has been the best offense in baseball over the past two weeks against RHP on the road, but their sample is relatively small compared to the rest of the league. This seems like a regression game for the Cards’ offense.
Jose Quintana will be making his fourth start as a Cardinal and he has fared well thus far, but he’s had a relatively soft schedule in his debut. While the D’backs offense also has a small sample they have been the fourth best offense at home against LHP over the past month. However, Quintana’s overall numbers on the road indicate he is more vulnerable away from home.
The D’backs moneyline presently sits in plus money and that’s a great deal for a Kelly start.
Marlins vs. Dodgers
Brad Cunningham: Call me crazy, but I don’t think the NL Cy Young favorite should be an underdog against Ryan Pepiot.
Sandy Alcantara is currently sporting a 2.78 xERA, is allowing only a .243 xwOBA, and opposing hitters also only have .209 xBA against him. He does a fantastic job at mixing his pitches to keep opposing hitters off balance, as he has four pitches that he goes to over 20% of the time.
What’s even more impressive is all four of those pitches (changeup, fastball, sinker, slider) are all allowing an xwOBA under .300. So, even though he’s going up against the best offense in baseball, Alcantara will be well equipped to quiet the Dodgers bats.
Pepiot has made six starts in the majors and, boy, has it not gone well. He currently has a 5.03 xERA, a 7.11 BB/9 rate, and 1.77 HR/9 rate. A little over 25 innings is a small sample size, but FanGraphs’ rest of season projections have him as a 4.90 ERA type of pitchers, so being favorite over Alcantara is a little insane.
I have Alcantara and the Marlins projected as -123 favorites for the first five innings, so I love the value on them at +124 and would play anything at plus money.
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