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MLB Best Bets for Sunday – 3/31/2024

MLB Best Bets for Sunday – 3/31/2024

MLB BEST BETS FOR SUNDAY – 3/31/2024 – I had a tough day yesterday after getting way too cute with some of my picks. The Tigers beat the White Sox by one one run (so I lost by the hook) and the Rockies thumped the Diamondbacks after I spent 300 words explaining how much the Rockies suck. The Yankees came through with a win to go up 3-0 on the Astros in the series and that was my only real win.

I’ve evened my mark picking games against the run line and now sit at 5-5 on Daily Picks. Here’s to hoping for a strong outing today.

Be sure to also check out Johnny’s Quick Picks, where John Fredericks picks a buffet of games every day.

Read below for MLB Best Bets for Sunday – 3/31/2024.

Los Angeles Angels vs. Baltimore Orioles 

Odds: Orioles -1.5 Runs; O/U 8.5 Runs

The Orioles offense has picked up right where it left off ion 2023. They’ve scored 24 runs in two games against the hapless Angels and are seeking a third win and a clean sweep to start their season. They’ve tagged Angels pitchers for four home runs and a .338 team batting average. Anthony Santendar has a slugging percentage of 1.250 in two games. They’re on a roll.

Scheduled to start today for the Angels is Reid Detmers. He posted a 4.48 ERA last year in 28 starts, going 4-10 in that stretch. His fastball velocity hovers are 94 mph and, while he can be effective with his strikeout rate, batters tend to hit him hard. The Angels’ bullpen has been horrid so far, combining for a 10.39 ERA. If Detmers doesn’t have his stuff, it could be a long day for L.A.

Baltimore will start Tyler Wells, who had one of his best seasons last year, recording a 3.64 ERA in the 20 games he started for the Orioles. He uses his four seam fastball 36% of the time and can be very effective at keeping that pitch in the park. According to BaseballSavant, his fastball run value ranks in the 83rd percentile of all major league pitchers. He can get into trouble when he relies on his off speed stuff, especially his curveball.

Outside of Mike Trout, I’m not sure the Angels lineup will be disciplined enough to wait for the opportune breaking ball. If they try to jump all over the fastball, the run production might not keep up with Baltimore’s.

I rode the hot bats to a Yankees win yesterday and will do the same today. Take the O’s.

Jack’s Pick: Orioles -1.5 Runs

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Miami Marlins

Odds: Marlins -1.5 Runs; O/U 8.5 Runs

The Pirates offense is off to a hot start in South Beach and Pittsburgh has relied in part on their offensive output beat the Marlins all three games of this four game series so far. Pittsburgh has scored 22 runs in three games (granted the opener went into extras). Their team batting average is .289 and their slugging percentage is .446.

The Pirates’ pitching staff has absolutely shut down the Marlins thus far in the season. The Marlins have managed just 10 runs and the team is batting a measly .206 with a .286 OBP. This is the worst offense in the major leagues through the first weekend. It’s hard to know if it’s the dominance of the Pirates’ pitching or the anemia of the Marlins lineup. Either way, something isn’t right in South Beach.

Still, it’s hard to sweep a team in a four game series at home and Vegas is baiting us with a Pirates run line on the plus side (+1.5). This has to do with Pirates’ starter, Bailey Falter, who doesn’t do anything very well. He started 14 games for the Pirates last year and went 2-9 with a 5.36 ERA. His fastball averages 90 mph, which is only effective if you can paint the corners with your off speed pitches. He doesn’t do that particularly well either.

The Marlins will start Trevor Rogers today and hope for some production out of him. Rogers only pitched 18 innings last year, so there’s not much we can glean from his performances. He was incredibly effective in 2021 before imploding in 2022. He looked all right this spring, but I don’t like to use spring training as an indicator for a pitcher’s success.

I don’t think either of these pitchers are going to be terribly effective today. I won’t touch the run line, because it’s too difficult to complete a four game sweep on the road, but you can give me the 8.5 run total. The Pirates might get there all on their own.

Jack’s Pick: OVER 8.5 Total Runs

Cleveland Guardians vs. Oakland Athletics

Odds: Guardians -1.5 Runs; O/U 8.5 Runs

You could probably ignore every single MLB best bets column across the recesses of the internet, fade the A’s every sing game, and come out with plus money at the end of the season. I’m not a fan of laying massive juice on the moneyline, especially in baseball, where there’s too much variance, but today we benefit from Carlos Carrasco’s abysmal 2023 season for a nice moneyline bet on the Guardians at -120.

Carrasco was just flat out bad last year, posting an ERA of 6.80 in 20 games started and striking out only 66 batters. His advanced metrics paint a bleak pitcher for the 14 year veteran. In 2023, he was in the bottom 3rd percentile in both fastball run value and breaking ball run value. He could be effective with his off speed stuff, but not enough to make it matter.

Still, this the A’s we’re talking about and their offense stinks. They are batting .191 as a team to start the season, with a .271 OBP and a .298 slugging percentage. If you wanted to just walk J.D. Davis every time he got up to the plate, I don’t think the A’s could manufacture any offense.

If Carrasco is going to see a return to form, it’s going to be agains the A’s. I trust Carrasco will be pulled early if he has nothing and I figure Cleveland can cobble together a bullpen game if they have to. I’ll lay the -120 and take Cleveland on the moenyline.

Jack’s Pick: Cleveland Moneyline (-120)

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  1. Pingback:Johnny's Quick Picks March 31, 2024

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