3 MLB Best Bets for Friday 7/5/24

Austan Kas
Austan Kas@AustanKas

Baseball has you covered if you want a large inventory of options to bet.

From moneylines to run totals to first-five-inning wagers, we have plenty of ways to bet the long, arduous MLB schedule daily. Outlooks can be vastly different due to starting pitchers, and a wealth of advanced stats can let us know if an individual pitcher, a bullpen, or a team is due for positive -- or negative -- regression.

Using numberFire's projections as a guide, which MLB odds 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 and Baseball Savant unless noted otherwise. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated projections.

MLB Betting Picks

New York Mets at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:41 p.m. ET

Under 7.5 Runs (+100)

Runs should be hard to come by today in Pittsburgh.

I probably don't need to do much convincing on one side of things as Paul Skenes is throwing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The rookie has taken baseball by storm this year en route to a sparkling 2.42 SIERA, 34.1% strikeout rate and 14.1% swinging-strike rate.

The New York Mets' offense is facing a tall task.

The other side of things needs a little more convincing as the Mets will start Luis Severino.

Severino has pretty blah numbers overall, including a 4.36 SIERA and 18.5% K rate. But he's shown the ability to succeed in good matchups. He fanned 10 in six shutout innings against the Chicago Cubs two outings ago and dealt versus both the Washington Nationals (one run in eight innings) and Miami Marlins (one run in six innings) in early June.

The Pirates certainly qualify as a good matchup. Against right-handers, they're 28th in wOBA (.285) with the 5th-highest K rate (25.1%).

Skenes is already one of the game's elite pitchers, and Severino can take advantage of a friendly matchup.

Tampa Bay Rays at Texas Rangers, 8:06 p.m. ET

Rays Moneyline (+100)

The Tampa Bay Rays have the edge on the mound tonight, and that makes them an intriguing underdog.

Tampa Bay is giving the ball to Shane Baz. It will be Baz's first appearance in The Show since 2022 due to injury. With the caveat that Baz's MLB sample size is small, he's shown that he can thrive at the big-league level, putting up a 3.31 SIERA, 28.9% strikeout rate and 14.2% swinging-strike rate in 40 1/3 MLB innings.

Baz made six minor league starts this year on his way back from injury, and he was pretty good in those outings, pitching to a 24.7% K rate and 12.1% swinging-strike rate. While it might be a big ask for Baz to hit the ground running in a fairly tough matchup, he's capable of delivering a good outing.

Michael Lorenzen will be on the bump for the Texas Rangers. Lorenzen has underwhelming numbers this year, including a 4.93 SIERA and 17.6% strikeout rate. It's a continuation of what he did a year ago, when Lorenzen struggled to a 4.87 SIERA and 17.8% K rate.

Tampa Bay's offense is red-hot, sporting a .343 wOBA over the last 14 days. They should be able to give Lorenzen hits.

numberFire's model projects Tampa Bay to win this game by 0.03 runs. It's obviously a tight matchup. With Tampa's offense rolling and in a friendly matchup against Lorenzen, give me the slight underdog at +100 to win.

Baltimore Orioles at Oakland Athletics, 9:41 p.m. ET

Orioles Over 4.5 Runs (-138)

The Baltimore Orioles' offense can feast tonight against southpaw Hogan Harris.

Harris has pitched to a 4.70 SIERA over 102 2/3 innings, and his 2024 K rate is a lowly 18.3%. Harris' strikeout rate is just 11.8% over his last three outings.

This is a brutal spot for Harris as the O's are great against left-handers, posting the third-best wOBA in the split (.338). They have a slew of bats who pack a punch versus southpaws, including Anthony Santander, Jordan Westburg, Adley Rutschman, Austin Hays, Ryan Mountcastle and even lefty Gunnar Henderson.

Once Harris is out of the game, Baltimore can keep the party going thanks to an Oakland bullpen that has the 11th-worst xFIP (4.15).

numberFire projects the Orioles to score 5.21 runs, and I don't mind taking the O's over 5.5 runs at +126 in addition to over 4.5 runs at -138.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.