3 MLB Best Bets for Monday 7/8/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
3 MLB Best Bets for Monday 7/8/24

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

St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals

Nationals Moneyline (-116)

The Washington Nationals should have a pitching advantage throughout this game, which is good enough to make a play on their moneyline considering the two underwhelming offenses at hand.

In terms of starting pitching, lefty Mitchell Parker has enjoyed a better year than Miles Mikolas. Parker's identical 4.08 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) and expected ERA (xERA) slightly trumps the St. Louis Cardinals starter holding a 4.26 SIERA and 4.28 xERA. It's a small margin, but the gap in "stuff" can easily be noted by chase rate; Parker's (30.2%) drowns Mikolas' league-worst mark among qualifiers (16.1%).

St. Louis has an 88 wRC+ against lefties in the past 30 days, but they've got the league's worst isolated power (.097 ISO) in those same parameters. Washington, meanwhile, has a sizzling 113 wRC+ against righties in this period with an ISO to make a difference (.168). That's a huge advantage when also at home.

Plus, the Nationals' bullpen (3.66 xFIP) has dramatically outperformed the Cardinals' (4.51) in the past month, as well. That could be the difference if the affair is tight late.

In the first three games of this series, the Cardinals won Friday, lost Saturday, and won Sunday. Taking Washington today fits that small trend in addition to their key edges on paper.

Colorado Rockies at Cincinnati Reds

Under 4.5 Runs in First 5 Innings (+100)

The Colorado Rockies and Cincinnati Reds are well-accustomed to favorable hitting conditions. They've proven to struggle offensively in their anticipated splits tonight regardless.

Colorado has a .709 OPS against lefties in the past month, which is 12th-worst in baseball using a stat not adjusted for their elite hitter's park. Tonight, they a draw a pretty good one in the form of Andrew Abbott. Abbott's 3.28 ERA is supported by a 3.50 xERA, .225 expected batting average allowed (xBA), and 31.3% hard-hit rate allowed. All are 65th percentile or better across MLB.

On the other side, the Reds have been one of baseball's weakest offenses against righties all season, and it hasn't changed with an 81 wRC+ and 24.8% punchout rate in the past 30 days. Though Ryan Feltner draws the "bad" label from a 5.40 ERA, his 4.14 xERA is much better. He does a decent job limiting hard contact (37.0% rate) and has only ceded 1.07 HR/9 away from Coors.

Though improving, the Rockies' bullpen (4.32 xFIP in the last 30) is still a bit of an adventure to trust a full-game under. I'll take a dart at the first-five-inning total, projecting these two starters can navigate their outings relatively unscathed.

Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels

Over 8.5 Runs (-120)

After reaching the summit as a key piece on last year's title team, Jon Gray has found a valley in 2024.

Gray's 4.65 xERA, .280 xBA, and 44.6% hard-hit rate allowed are all 25th percentile or worse across MLB. His struggles might not find great respite against the Los Angeles Angels, who have quietly handled right-handed pitching of late. Their .719 team OPS and 104 wRC+ against righties are both top-15 marks in baseball during the past month of play.

On the other side, the Halos' pitching situation is enough of a disaster to think the defending champs can also contribute to this average total. Davis Daniel's first two starts have come against the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics, so the Texas Rangers represent a slight upgrade in wOBA (.295) and plate discipline (20.6% strikeout rate; 10th-lowest) in the past month. I'm still skeptical of Daniel given a 5.97 SIERA in limited action last season, and at worst, the Angels' bullpen is floundering in the past 30 days (4.68 xFIP; third-worst in MLB) behind him.

I wanted to target the game's full over with a dynamic where the Angels should flourish early and the Rangers should have an easier time at the plate in the later innings. Either way, L.A.'s home park is ninth-best in MLB for runs, according to Statcast, so there isn't a huge obstacle on either mound to letting this venue do its thing at a modest total.

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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.