MLB Betting Picks for Friday 5/3/24

Gabriel Santiago
Gabriel Santiago@gps_onthemic
MLB Betting Picks for Friday 5/3/24

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

Boston Red Sox at Minnesota Twins, 8:10 p.m. ET

F5 Result: Red Sox (+116)

On Friday, there's an interesting clash brewing in Minneapolis' North Loop. At Target Field, we'll see the Boston Red Sox (18-14) and Minnesota Twins (17-13) get after it. I understand the campaign is still somewhat fresh, but both sides here appear to be contenders in the American League thus far.

The projected starters in this bid could present the top pitching matchup of the evening. Tanner Houck will get the ball for Boston while Chris Paddack is on the hill for the Twins. Houck has been hyper-efficient in 2024, boasting a 2.62 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) and 54.7% ground-ball rate. Paddack shows a respectable 4.20 SIERA, and he's thrown at least five innings in each of his past three starts.

Considering both the personnel and market pricing here, I believe the Red Sox are in a favorable position over the first five innings. At FanDuel Sportsbook, Boston is labeled with +116 odds in the three-way market to be ahead on the scoreboard after five completed frames. Genuinely, I think that is the best angle in this contest.

In the current campaign, the BoSox have scored an average of 2.78 runs per game through the first five innings, which is the third-highest rate in the A.L. Conversely, Minnesota is further down at 2.13 F5 runs per game. Full scale, Boston has a .736 team OPS whereas the Twins are displaying .723 in that metric.

The Sox are better offensively compared to the Twins, and Houck has been lights out on the mound. For a plus-money play, I'll bank on Boston to be ahead by the time the sixth inning begins.

San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m. ET

Over 9.0 Runs (-115)

An NL West romp is on hand in downtown Phoenix tonight, as the San Diego Padres (16-18) will visit the Arizona Diamondbacks (14-18) at Chase Field. We are 30+ games into the season, and this will be the first meeting of 2024 between these division rivals.

With two potent lineups at MLB's second-highest elevated ballpark (1,100 ft.), my lean is toward over 9.0 runs (-115 odds) in this contest. At 163 runs (or 4.79 runs per game), San Diego has the third-largest scoring total on the year. In the other dugout, the D-backs are sporting a .719 team OPS, which is the fifth-best clip in the Senior Circuit.

The probable pitchers -- aka our enemies in this market -- for this game are Dylan Cease and Slade Cecconi. Both have been solid in 2024, but Cease's current 53.6% fly-ball rate could spell trouble. Carry on batted balls is much more drastic in Arizona than it is at Petco Park (0 ft. elev.). Cecconi enters this game with a 3.09 SIERA, but he's only made two appearances this season.

At numberFire, we are seeing support for the over in this contest. Per their model, the Padres are projected to win by an estimated score of 5.19-4.17. That puts us just above the nine-run posted total.

The Friars have scored at least six runs in three of their past four games. I think hot left-handed bats Jurickson Profar (.954 OPS) and Jake Cronenworth (.400 wOBA) can do damage versus the young Cecconi. From there, Arizona's lineup -- especially sluggers Lourdes Gurriel and Joc Pederson -- should be able to get to Cease.

Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. ET

Braves Moneyline (-102)

In a prospective 2024 NLCS preview, the Atlanta Braves (20-9) have traveled to Southern California where the Los Angeles Dodgers (20-13) await. At FanDuel Sportsbook, these respective sides yield the shortest odds to win the National League. There, the Dodgers are currently the favorite (+160 odds) while Atlanta is in a close second place (+220 odds).

Of all MLB action this weekend, this series will undoubtedly generate the most buzz. The two juggernauts will commence the action on Friday, sending out fellow righties Charlie Morton and Gavin Stone to toe the rubber. That presents a matchup of widely varying experience; Morton is in Year 17 while Stone is making just his 10th Major-League start.

Admittedly, this marquee meeting at Chavez Ravine could go either way. There is major power saturated throughout both lineups here. Players like Mookie Betts, Ronald Acuna Jr., Shohei Ohtani, Matt Olson, Marcell Ozuna and Max Muncy can put up runs in bunches.

Still, I prefer the veteran Morton over Stone in this meeting. Behind them, the Braves' bullpen has been stronger than Los Angeles's this year. ATL has a 3.42 ERA with 29 issued walks there, while LA shows an ERA of 3.58 with 48 BB.

In a contest that could be labeled as a pick 'em, I like the short-dog Braves (-102 moneyline). numberFire concurs with that sentiment, as their MLB game projections have Atlanta winning by a score of 4.65-4.00 on Friday night. That translates to a 54.9% chance at victory for the Braves. ESPN Analytics echoes similar support, giving ATL a 57.5% shot to win outright.

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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.