MLB Betting Picks for Friday 3/29/24

Gabriel Santiago
Gabriel Santiago@gps_onthemic
MLB Betting Picks for Friday 3/29/24

As is traditional of the second full day of the MLB season, many teams throughout the Midwest and East Coast are out of action. That results in a smaller slate on Friday before diving all the way back in this weekend.

Still, 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 Yankees at Houston Astros, 8:10 p.m. ET

F5 Result: Astros (+106)

Opening Day provided an instant classic between the New York Yankees and Houston Astros, two teams who have developed a fierce American League rivalry in recent years.

On Thursday, the 'Stros jumped out to a 4-0 lead before New York used the middle innings to surge ahead, ultimately winning 5-4. As you probably saw, right fielder Juan Soto -- in his first regular season game as a Yankee -- did well to earn a critical outfield assist, throwing out the would-be tying run at home plate in the ninth inning. Simply, it was nails.

That sort of late comeback reminded me of one of baseball's most useful markets: a first-five innings result. In an effort to subvert any bullpen collapse or late comeback effort, I like the Astros to be ahead after five completed innings (+106 odds). Keep in mind that this is a three-way market (side A/tie/side B), which is how soccer lines are commonly played.

In yesterday's win for the Bombers, Houston was able to cash this F5 result as the Astros were ahead 4-3 at the point in the ball game. Looking back to 2023, H-Town was a top-10 team in terms of runs score within the first five innings: 2.79 runs. In the other dugout, the Yanks ranked 23rd of 30 in that category, scoring just 2.37 runs through F5.

On Friday (airing on Apple TV+), the projected starters at Minute Maid Park will be Cristian Javier for the home team with Carlos Rodon going for the clean-shaven visitors. The southpaw Rodon is coming off of a campaign where he produced his second-worst skill-interactive ERA (4.87) since entering the Majors. Going against an Astros team with plenty of right-handed pop, I believe Houston will be winning after five innings.

Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m. ET

Diamondbacks -1.5 (-115)

In an effort to bully a team expected to struggle through the year's entirety, let us have a look at an NL West romp in the desert. Hosting the Colorado Rockies, the reigning National League-champion Arizona Diamondbacks appear in a strong position to cover the run line for a second consecutive night.

On Opening Day, the D-backs shellacked Colorado by a score of 16-1. Naturally, Arizona's 16 runs were the largest total on Thursday's box scores. Outfielder Lourdes Gurriel was particularly dominant, smashing a home run as part of a three-hit, five-RBI night.

Unfortunately for residents of the Mile High, the Rox are projected to win only 63 contests in 2024 (per FanGraphs). That is the very lowest number on the board. Still, struggles are nothing new to Colorado's MLB franchise. They lost 103 games in 2023. Additionally, the Rockies were under .500 on the run line last year despite almost always being on the receiving end.

Playing at just under 1,100 feet of elevation, the projected starters at Chase Field will be Merrill Kelly and Cal Quantrill. Sporting a 5.50 SIERA in 2023, Quantrill is not exactly an arm we need to avoid. Also, four members of Arizona's starting lineup have previously homered off Quantrill, including the red-hot Gurriel.

According to numberFire, the D-backs have a 68.1% chance at victory on Friday. From there, the score projections show Arizona winning by an estimation of 5.47-3.96. Those figures present a run differential of 1.51, which supports my Diamondbacks (-1.5) runline play at -115 odds.

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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.