This article is part of our MLB Betting series.
This is my first MLB betting article of the season for RotoWire and I am very excited to be back in the writing fold and part of the team. After taking the last 18 months off from writing, the juices are flowing and I hope to give you some great insight on betting baseball this season.
I have been betting baseball for 25-plus years. When I started you went to the local newsstand to get the lines, which was just picking winners. Now we have an explosion of sports books with so many menu options it is dizzying at times.
But that also presents many opportunities where you can dig for value and not play the -220 Dodgers at the Rockies. Most of my plays will look for that -100 to -120 range or on the dog side, as we need to hit 52.3 percent to profit. Here is today's slate. Happy Easter!
Braves at Phillies, 1:05 p.m.
One of my favorite bets in baseball is looking at the first five innings on the starting pitcher. The last few years, with so many teams limiting starting pitcher innings it has become very frustrating seeing a decision you make get evaporated by the bullpen. MLB has turned into two games in one with the first five and second four innings being the two "mini" games, so to speak.
I like to look for spots with two solid pitchers who can limit both sides while going through the opposing lineups twice. Younger pitchers are high risk when they get to the third time around the batting order. Anderson and Eflin both project very high in fantasy points Sunday, and I think we get a limited amount of scoring in the first five innings. Bet under 2.5 total runs in the first three Innings ( -102) for 1 RWBuck.
Rangers at Royals, 2:10 p.m.
The Royals have scored 14 and 11 runs in the first two games against the Rangers. Expect more of the same, especially with the wind forecasted to blow out at 15 mph and Jordan Lyles on the mound. The Rangers were 6-24 on the road in 2020 and the Royals were one of my favorite teams to bet wins over the total.
The price on Singer is -195, which is just too much to lay, so we look for opportunities that are closer to the -100 to -120 range. Instead of relying on who I think will win, I think about just something as simple as the Royals will score a bunch of runs early and Singer will hold the Rangers down. The best bet in this scenario is having KC getting to five runs first. Bet Royals first team to five runs (-110) for 1 RWBuck.
Astros at Athletics, 4:07 p.m.
The Astros have started hot, outscoring the A's 26-7 in three consecutive wins. I was high on the Astros coming into the season, as I love the lineup with Yordan Alvarez back. Getting them at a pick 'em price in a pretty even pitching matchup is very attractive.
Manaea pitched well at home in his last six outings, going 5-1 with a 3.32 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 8/1 K/BB rate. Jose Urquidy only has 12 career starts but the numbers have been good especially on the control side with about a 4:1 K to BB rate.
Bottom line in this game is the Astros lineup strength over the A's, and while this might be a lower-scoring game than the first three, Houston should complete the sweep. Bet Astros to win (-107) for 1 RWBuck.