3 MLB Best Bets for Thursday 5/9/24

Gabriel Santiago
Gabriel Santiago@gps_onthemic

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

Arizona Diamondbacks at Cincinnati Reds, 1:10 p.m. ET

Reds Moneyline (-118)

As one of the first contests on this short slate, the Arizona Diamondbacks will wrap up their series with the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday. Currently, these sides are both under .500 despite having competitive expectations for 2024.

This matinee at the Great American Ball Park will feature starting pitchers Slade Cecconi and Hunter Greene. On paper, both hurlers have fared well this season. Greene has produced a 3.61 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) this year for the Reds while Cecconi is at a 3.53 SIERA.

Admittedly, Cincinnati is looking to pull themselves out of a rut, but there are some signs that they're doing just that. Star infielder Elly De La Cruz is boasting an .899 OPS with 19 stolen bases. The latter figure currently paces MLB, putting him in a two-man race with Ronald Acuna Jr. to lead baseball in steals.

From there, 2021 NL Rookie of the Year Jonathan India is coming back around, collecting three hits with a double and home run over his past three games.

The D-backs maintain a respectable offense, as their .713 team OPS lands 12th in MLB. However, Arizona's pitching tends to get the team into trouble. Right now, Arizona's staff shares an unimpressive 4.13 FIP.

In this instance, I like Cincy on the moneyline at home at these -118 odds. numberFire's model is narrowly on my side for this bid, giving the Reds a 54.3% chance at victory on Thursday. Additionally, ESPN Analytics is yielding a 56.7% winning likelihood for Cincinnati.

Seattle Mariners at Minnesota Twins, 1:10 p.m. ET

Over 6.5 Runs (-122)

In Minneapolis' Warehouse District, there will be day baseball between the Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Twins. With pleasant weather conditions on hand for Thursday, I think there is quality potential to go over a diminutive total of 6.5 runs.

At FanDuel Sportsbook, this listed number (6.5) is the smallest of any MLB total over the past two days. Of course, the projected starters -- Logan Gilbert and Pablo Lopez -- at Target Field are both very good. Gilbert has a 3.25 SIERA over seven starts, and Lopez is currently punching out 10.75 batters per nine innings.

Still, I am confident that these sides can combine for seven or more runs on Thursday. Minnesota might not boast the top lineup in baseball, but they are improving. The Twins' .718 team OPS ranks just outside MLB's top 10. Ryan Jeffers has led the charge, posting a .977 OPS with 26 RBI.

The Mariners are one of the lower-scoring sides in MLB so far, plating just 3.75 runs per game. Still, that frugal clip is more than halfway toward breaching a 6.5-run total. Star centerfielder Julio Rodriguez has been lacking power, but he's had some head-to-head success (1.166 OPS) versus Lopez throughout his career.

Back at numberFire, the MLB game projections support the over for this game in the Twin Cities, showing a forecasted score of 4.17-4.12 in favor of the Twins. That presents more than eight total runs. With extra innings as our potential ally, I'm confident there will be enough scoring for the over to hit in this American League clash.

Cleveland Guardians at Chicago White Sox, 7:40 p.m. ET

Guardians -1.5 (+106)

For a divisional affair, let's slide over to the AL Central where the Cleveland Guardians will be on the Southside to play the Chicago White Sox. Thursday's contest will be the second series of the season between these Midwestern foes.

In 2024, Cleveland has already won two of three games against Chicago. The Guardians did well over that set, scoring 5.33 runs per night in the series. Considering Cleveland's .710 team OPS right now, I see them as a favorable run-line candidate -- listed with +106 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook -- against the struggling White Sox.

The last-place Sox are currently 15.0 games behind the Guardians. From there, the Pale Hose own both baseball's worst OPS (.588) and worst wOBA (.266). That, coupled with the fact that Cleveland has been MLB's most successful side against the run line this season (24-13 ATS), makes me eager to lay -1.5 on the road team.

Ben Lively and Erick Fedde are the probable pitchers at Guaranteed Rate Field. As of now, Lively sports a sharp 3.27 SIERA over four starts. For the ChiSox, Fedde is displaying a poor 4.53 FIP this year. Keep in mind: this is Fedde's first season back in MLB after spending one campaign in the KBO.

numberFire's MLB power rankings list these divisional rivals quite a few places apart. The Guardians (0.47 nERD) are positioned 15th overall while the White Sox (-2.22 nERD) are in the penultimate spot -- give me Cleveland by two or more runs.

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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.