Sunday MLB Odds & Picks: Our 3 Favorite Bets, Including Royals vs. Tigers, Phillies vs. Rockies & Padres vs. Dodgers (April 25)
Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images. Pictured: Fernanto Tatis Jr. rounds first base after a home run as Edwin Rios looks on.
- Another busy week of Major League Baseball comes to a close, with a loaded 16-game slate on the docket.
- Take a look below to check out the top picks from our analysts, which include plays on Royals vs. Tigers and Phillies vs. Rockies
Below, you’ll find our staff’s best bets from Sunday’s slate, including a pair of totals and one moneyline play.
MLB Odds & Picks
Kansas City Royals vs. Detroit Tigers
Kenny Ducey: It’s time to start believing in Michael Fulmer again. The right-hander is now two years removed from Tommy John surgery, which is typically when we see players hit their stride again.
Fulmer’s certainly done that, pitching so well out of the bullpen that he earned himself a spot in the rotation. In 16 innings, he’s allowed seven runs on 11 hits, and most impressively he’s only walked two hitters. That is especially fantastic to hear considering his numbers in that area had begun to balloon, as is the fact that he’s sitting at a 3.64 expected ERA, signaling that he may even be the bearer of some bad luck this year.
So, I envision Fulmer navigating this Royals’ offense that ranks 13th in wRC+ against righties relatively easily. He may run into a little bit of trouble, but he’s shown great control and an ability to limit hard contact. On the other hand, the Tigers should be a no-contest at the dish.
Detroit has certainly shown that it can hit the ball this year, but not against left-handed pitching. It has been downright dreadful, producing just a 47 wRC+ and striking out 32.7% of the time. Danny Duffy is left-handed, and has an above-average strikeout rate so far at 26%. Both of these pitchers should be on their game, and this should be a relatively comfortable cover.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Colorado Rockies
Jeff Hicks: Jon Gray has been one of the welcomed pleasantries for what could be an awful season in Denver. The 2020 shortened season brought a lower fastball velocity with poor results for Gray. So far in 2021, the velocity is the same and Gray has made it work in his favor. His Hard Hit Percentage has dropped nearly 14% and he is throwing strikes in the zone and getting the calls. The Philadelphia Phillies are one of the worst teams in terms of striking out and are one of 10 teams that have a negative Offensive WAR and BsR (FanGraphs’ baserunning stat).
Chase Anderson is starting for Philly, and that has been an adventure. His actual ERA is notably lower than his xERA and xFIP. Anderson has also only pitched 13 innings in three starts. It is not as bad as last season, but the Phillies’ bullpen is among the worst in ERA and home run rate.
San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Collin Whitchurch: Let’s keep it simple with this nationally televised Sunday Night Baseball game on ESPN.
This Dodgers-Padres series has been riveting. All six games so far, including last weekend in San Diego, have been high drama, and now we get the series finale in Los Angeles (with 12 more games yet ahead of us) between Joe Musgrove and Dustin May.
It’s hardly the most intriguing pitching matchup of the series, with all due respect to Musgrove’s recent no-hitter and overall ascent, nor May’s former prospect stature and general promise.
Both pitchers are off to very good starts to the season, but at 7.5, this total is simply too low. Both offenses have been off to slow starts relative to preseason expectations, but they’ve also been performing better of late, and we saw Saturday night what Los Angeles can do to the Padres’ exhausted bullpen.
Even if Musgrove and May pitch deep, I think these offenses can do enough damage to hit eight. If either or both exit early, the offenses will tee off against the respective bullpens. At plus money, over 7.5 is too appealing and I’d bet it so long as you can find it with a + in front of the number.