The first weekend is wrapping up and a couple of teams are already in mid-season form. A few are going to try and pull out the brooms on their first series of the year, and three of the games are featured here. There is one team you can confidently bet to get it done.
(Odds courtesy DraftKings)
Oakland Athletics vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-1.5) O/U 9 (First pitch 1:05 p.m. ET)
The Athletics have dropped their first two games, and there’s a feeling they will do much more of that during the season. It’s well known the team got rid of basically anyone with talent, including Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, and Sean Manaea, as they field a group of young players and journeymen.
It’s early, but the team is 27th in batting average (.176), hits (11), and last in slugging percentage (.197). The pitching hasn’t helped much either, as their 7.31 ERA is 27th and they are 24th in earned runs (13). So far, they’re on pace to go way under the 69 projected wins.
On the other side, the Phillies made some big moves to bolster their lineup, and it’s already paying off. New additions Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos have already gone deep and pushed the Phillies to two early wins.
Zack Eflin will pitch in his first regular-season game since July 16 after he needed season-ending knee surgery. They may decide to ease Eflin in, resulting in a shorter start. Luckily the Phillies’ bullpen is rested as Kyle Gibson pitched seven innings yesterday.
Philadelphia made the moves to get better this season, but we can’t be sure if that’s the case overall or because of who they are playing. Either way, they need to take advantage of playing these types of teams, and they’ll pull the brooms out. Which might be a recurring theme for the A’s.
Leg 1: Phillies ML (-220)
New York Mets (-1.5) vs. Washington Nationals O/U 9.5 (First Pitch 1:35 p.m.)
The Mets have put on a hitting display over the first games in the state capitol. They’ve scored a league-high 17 runs, 34 hits, and are batting .318. They will need to keep that train rolling as they have Carlos Carrasco on the mound in the series finale.
Carrasco struggled at the end of last year, losing three straight and allowing five or more runs in two of those losses. His track record against this Nationals lineup isn’t much better as the team is hitting .293 with a .505 slugging percentage and .351 wOBA against him. In his one start against Washington last year, he gave up four hits and four runs in just one inning.
The Nats will counter with Erick Fedde, who hasn’t been the most effective against the Mets, but much better than Carrasco. New York is batting .254 against Fedde, with a .360 slugging percentage and .315 wOBA. He did have one good start against the Mets at home, pitching seven shutout innings and allowing just two hits. The advantage clearly goes to Washington here.
It has not been a good start to the Nationals’ season, but they have the advantage to come away from this series with at least one win.
Leg 2: Nationals +1.5
Cleveland Guardians (-1.5) vs. Kansas City Royals (First Pitch 2:10 p.m. ET)
The Guardians will try to avoid the sweep in Kansas City, but they’ve played very close in both games. Losing by a combined score of 4-1 in the first two games, Cleveland has not been able to get the hits when they need them as they’ve left 34 men on base.
Cal Quantrill will get the start, and he pitched incredibly last year after becoming a starter, going 8-2 with a 3.08 ERA since May 31st. He was just as impressive last year against the Royals as he went 3-0, with all three being quality starts.
The Royals have not been much better on offense as they are just one of four teams without a home run and are 28th in slugging percentage. Thankfully the pitching has been holding it down as they’ve allowed just one earned run in 19 innings.
They will go with Kris Bubic, who also switched between starting and bullpen last year and finished the season at 6-7 and a 4.43 ERA. Bubic will have the advantage of this Guardians lineup being unfamiliar with him as Amed Rosario is the only one on the roster with more than two at-bats against him.
With Quantrill’s track record against Kansas City, the pitching advantage of Bubic, and the fact that just five runs have scored through the first two games, the under is the best bet.
Leg 3: Under 8.5 (+100)
Top MLB Parlay Odds & Pick
Total parlay odds on DraftKings: +414
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