Betting on baseball can be a grind that reaps an enormous reward.
Day-to-day outlooks can be vastly different due to starting pitchers, and a wealth of advanced stats can let us know an individual pitcher, a bullpen, or a team is due to positive -- or negative -- regression.
Which MLB lines from FanDuel Sportsbook are most appealing today?
Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All stats come from FanGraphs unless noted otherwise. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.
Los Angeles Dodgers at Tampa Bay Rays
Dodgers ML (+102)
I certainly wouldn't slant this one in Tampa Bay's direction given the pitching matchup, but if both offenses come to play, this could be a run-scoring circus.
After sending out the perpetually reliable Jalen Beeks, the Rays will turn to Cooper Criswell as their long guy today. Criswell's 5.75 expected ERA (xERA) and 3.28 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) don't agree with each other on his performance thus far, so it could be dicey. He does have a 4.25 xFIP with Triple-A Durham this year.
That's not a strong proposition when the Rays' bullpen also has the second-worst xFIP in MLB (4.88) behind him. It's awful, so I'm slanting toward Noah Syndergaard and the Dodgers.
Syndergaard's hopes for a bounce-back campaign in L.A. are still alive behind a 4.40 SIERA to this point, and he's done a fine job with his hard-hit rate allowed (32.6%). Los Angeles' bullpen (4.06 xFIP) is considerably better if he falters, too.
These are the top-two offenses (by wRC+) against right-handed pitching. With a more reliable arm, it's easy to like the Dodgers as a 'dog.
San Diego Padres at New York Yankees
Padres ML (-120)
The details of Joe Musgrove's downfall are greatly exaggerated.
Musgrove has had a down year; his 4.30 xERA is a bit above his sub-4.00 mark from three prior consecutive seasons. A 6.75 ERA is still not even close to what he's deserved, and it's largely been at the hands of an 18.2% HR/FB rate that is significantly above the league average (11.8%). After not ceding above 1.15 HR/9 in three years, he's at 2.25 in 2023.
I like his chances today against a Yankees that might be a touch overvalued against right-handed pitching, holding a 100 wRC+ in the split. They were just blanked by Kyle Gibson through seven innings last night, after all.
New York will counter with Randy Vasquez in his major-league debut, but Vasquez's 4.64 xFIP with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre isn't overly inspiring when I don't know much else. San Diego's 91 wRC+ against righties isn't super intimidating, but their 12.2% walk rate in the split is a natural fit against Vasquez's 11.7% walk rate in AAA.
Bettors are flocking in droves to the Yanks as a short home 'dog. I'll take the reliable arm here instead.
Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves
Phillies ML (+130)
In a wild game with a handful of lead changes, this bet didn't work out yesterday. At a better price, I think we can go back to the well.
Set to battle Taijuan Walker, Atlanta might also be a bit too highly regarded against righties. Their 97 wRC+ and 23.6% strikeout rate in the split both fall in the bottom half of the league, and Walker is having a decent year.
He's posted a 4.60 ERA that, like Musgrove, is inflated due to an 18.6% HR/FB rate. Walker's flyball rate (31.6%) and hard-hit rate allowed (28.7%) are excellent, so he shouldn't have long-ball issues forever.
The Braves will send lefty Jared Shuster to bump to face him. This is the split to draw the Phillies; they have just an 88 wRC+ against lefties. Shuster (5.22 xERA) isn't one to be scared of, and his HR/FB rate (7.1%) has been incredibly fortunate to help him combat a massive 49.1% rate of flyballs allowed.
That's the exact luck Walker has been missing, but perhaps it changes tonight in the "A".
San Francisco Giants at Milwaukee Brewers
Giants ML (+120)
In this case, I've saved the best for last.
Alex Wood has been solid for the Giants, and the Brewers are a stellar candidate to help him suppress his numbers even further. Wood's 4.05 ERA is well-supported by a 4.30 SIERA, and his strikeout rate (22.8%) is healthy. There is no better matchup he can draw than Milwaukee, who have the worst OPS (.620) and strikeout rate (30.1%) against lefties in all of baseball.
Of course, the Brew Crew are a home favorite because they'll have one of their best arms, Freddy Peralta, on the mound tonight. Peralta's 4.15 ERA and 4.32 SIERA are very similar to Wood's, but he should have a much tougher matchup ahead of him. The Giants hold a .755 OPS against righties (ninth-best in MLB).
Plus, as we head to the bullpens, San Francisco's bullpen xFIP (3.92) is significantly lower than Milwaukee's (4.57). Against public sentiment, I like the G-Men to score another win in Wisconsin on Friday.