Sunday MLB Odds, Best Bets: 6 Picks for Sunday, Including Astros vs. Angels, Red Sox vs. Yankees (April 10)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images. Pictured: Rafael Devers #11, Xander Bogaerts of the Boston Red Sox.
Sunday presents a golden opportunity for MLB bettors with 15 games and all 30 teams in action. Our Action Network MLB analysts have found six best bets across five of these games on Sunday afternoon and evening. Check out their picks and analysis below.
MLB Odds & Picks
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Oakland Athletics vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Nicholas Martin: Philadelphia’s lineup looks scary good. It seems like most Phillies losses this season will be because of subpar pitching and defense. Considering my expectation for slight progression this season from Zach Eflin, I don’t expect one of those defeats to come on Sunday against this lowly Athletics lineup.
It’s easy to argue that Philadelphia holds an edge in the pitching matchup here, and that makes me believe they start the season with a sweep. I project the Phillies to win this contest by two runs or more often enough that they have value at -110 to cover a run line.
Taking the Phillies to win the first five innings is certainly an option, but the biggest edge is playing the full game run line. Even though the Phillies bullpen is going to be quite average, the expected production from this Athletics lineup makes me feel comfortable playing this matchup over nine innings.
A price of -110 in this spot seems like an early season line to take advantage of. In two months, this pitching matchup between these two teams might easily have the run line sitting at -130. Single-game parlays involving Eflin to book the win will be another set of lines to monitor.
New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals
Tony Sartori: In this matchup, the Nationals have both the pitching and hitting advantage. With both of those and playing at home, I like the Nationals to get the win as the underdog.
Against Erick Fedde, New York’s current lineup possesses a .254 batting average, .360 slugging percentage and .315 wOBA over 132 career plate appearances. I expect the Nationals to give Fedde plenty of run support, especially at home going against a right-handed pitcher.
At home last season, the Nationals ranked fifth in the MLB in average, sixth in on-base, 11th in slugging and ninth in OPS. Washington had similar success against right-handers last year as they ranked sixth, fifth, 13th, and 11th in those same categories.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Colorado Rockies
Nick Shlain: I like the Dodgers to win big here. Los Angeles has the best offense in the league, they’re due to breakout against a pitcher (Antonio Senzatela) they beat up on a couple times last year and they have their own best pitcher (Julio Urias) on the mound.
Last season, Urias faced the Rockies four times, and three of those games were at Coors Field. He pitched at least 5.2 innings in all four and the Dodgers won all four.
The Dodgers won by at least two runs in three of those games. Urias threw 61 pitches in his last spring training start so he should be able to throw at least 80 pitches here and get through five or six innings.
Houston Astros vs Los Angeles Angels
DJ James: The Houston Astros will wrap up their series in Los Angeles (Anaheim) with the Angels. They will face a lefty, José Suarez, whom they have crushed over the last few seasons. José Urquidy throws for Houston.
Last season, Houston owned a 116 collective wRC+ off of left-handers, and even if Suarez does not allow much hard contact, he can struggle. Last season, he held a .322 xwOBA. Interestingly enough, his WHIP against righties was lower than against lefties, but his career xFIP off of righties is over 5.00.
It does not help him that Yordan Álvarez and Kyle Tucker (both lefties) posted a 140 and up wRC+. This should tell the story. With a lineup like Houston’s, he will not be able to see them more than twice through the order.
Urquidy, on the other hand, was slightly above average last season with a 3.98 xERA. He also ranked in the 96th percentile in Walk Rate, so he will not permit free passes to the Angels. If he can manage five strong, he will hand it off to a strong bullpen.
The Angels had a 91 wRC+ last season, and Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon will bounce back from an injury-riddled 2021 season. Still, the advantage the Astros hold when facing a lefty jumps off the page in this matchup. Since Suarez has not proven he can punch out righties on a consistent basis, Houston will win this game. Play it to -125.
Houston Astros vs Los Angeles Angels
Michael Arinze: We’re wrapping up the first weekend of the MLB season, and the Houston Astros are one of eight teams with three games under their belt already. While that sample size isn’t nearly enough to form too many conclusions, there are some inferences we can draw in terms of the offenses we see on the field.
Houston is coming off its first defeat as it failed to get on the scoreboard in a 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. The Astros will hope to clinch the four-game series with their starter, José Urquidy getting the start against José Suárez.
Houston’s offense has been the better side through three games as it ranks sixth with a wRC+ value of 149. In contrast, the Angels have a below-average value of 95.
In 2021, Houston went 13-6 against Los Angeles. Moreover, the Astros were lower than a -120 favorite in only two of those 19 games.
Since 2005, our BetLabs database shows that the Astros are 6-2 for 4.42 units when facing the Angels off a shutout loss. Lastly, our database also shows that the Astros are a perfect 4-0 as the visitor in an AL West matchup when facing a left-handed starter off a shutout loss.
Thus, with Houston available as a slight favorite at -108 on FanDuel, I like the value of backing the visiting team on Sunday. I would play the Astros up to -115.
Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees
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Brad Cunningham: Tanner Houck has a much better matchup against the Yankees lineup than Jordan Montgomery does against the Red Sox.
The Red Sox have gotten off to a hot start to 2022, but this will be their first time facing a lefty. In 2021, Boston was solid against lefties, putting up a .326 wOBA and 102 wRC+, which was top 10 in MLB. Adding Trevor Story should only improve those numbers considering Story had a .405 wOBA with 33 RBIs in only 145 plate appearances against lefties last year.
Montgomery has a five-pitch arsenal and mainly utilizes a changeup/curveball/sinker combination. However, the Red Sox were one of only two teams last season to have positive run values against every single pitch type, so they should have a decent matchup against Montgomery.
Houck put up amazing numbers for a rookie with a xERA at 3.20 and a K/9 rate over 11.
The main reason for that success is his slider, which was almost unhittable last year. Opponents only had a .143 Expected Batting Average against it and produced an insane 42.7% Whiff Rate. If he sticks to his fastball/slider combination, he should have a pretty good matchup against this Yankees lineup.
I have Houck and the Red Sox projected at +111 for the first five innings, so I like the value on the current line of +135 (DraftKings).