MLB Betting Picks for Thursday 4/4/24

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

Detroit Tigers at New York Mets, 12:10 p.m. ET

Mets Moneyline (-130)

Here we see a couple ball clubs on opposite ends of MLB's payroll rankings. As this year's highest spender (per Spotrac), the New York Mets are looking to get over the hump in 2024. On Thursday, they'll "play two" with the Detroit Tigers, who are down at 22nd in total payroll. When surveying the comparative figures, the Metropolitans are spending approximately three times as much as Detroit is this season.

Thursday's action features a doubleheader in Queens, but let's consider only the earlier bid wherein Casey Mize and Adrian Houser are scheduled as starters on the mound (12:10 p.m. ET). Neither offense at hand has much experience facing these hurlers, but I am eager to see how Houser looks in his first outing as a Met. From there, I'm willing to lean on New York's experienced batting lineup -- one that is certainly due.

The Big Apple's National League franchise is reeling for a win. At 0-4 to commence the season, the Mets are on the struggle bus. They certainly have talent with sluggers like Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Francisco Lindor and Brandon Nimmo, but they've yet to put it all together in 2024. Well, I think NYM can get right against Detroit.

New York is scoring just 2.0 runs per game at this point, but that is bound to change. With mostly the same lineup, the Mets produced 4.43 runs per game in 2023. I think we'll see closer to that latter output when taking on Mize.

For the first of two games at Citi Field on Thursday, numberFire gives the Mets a 57.4% chance at victory over Detroit -- a sliver above the 56.5% implied odds from this -130 moneyline. I think -130 is a fair number for Carlos Mendoza to win his first game as skipper of the Mets.

Cleveland Guardians at Minnesota Twins, 4:10 p.m. ET

Over 7.5 Runs (-104)

Off the bat, 7.5 runs for the Cleveland Guardians at Minnesota Twins is among the lowest baseball totals of the week. That gives me optimism in this AL Central clash -- can these divisional foes push each other over a diminutive total?

The Twins are coming off an interleague win at the Milwaukee Brewers, a game which was largely Minnesota's best offensive outing of 2024. They managed to tag Milwaukee pitching for seven runs on 11 hits. As a great sign for the Twin Cities, stars Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa and Ryan Jeffers powered a five-run, seventh-inning rally.

If that aforementioned core can stay healthy for Minnesota, they will have a good shot to win back-to-back division titles; FanDuel Sportsbook's AL Central odds have the Twins labeled as odds-on (-105) favorites.

Cleveland has played great baseball to open 2024. Through a West Coast road trip (visiting the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners), the Guardians excelled in the batter's box, scoring 6.57 runs per game. For their final game in Seattle, Cleveland managed eight runs before the fifth inning, lighting up a quality pitcher in George Kirby. Steven Kwan (.344 wOBA) and Jose Ramirez (6 RBI) -- who perpetuated Wednesday's early scoring -- both appear to be in midseason form.

For Thursday's game at Target Field, the probable pitchers are Tanner Bibee and Pablo Lopez. After a solid rookie campaign for Cleveland, Bibee has a 6.54 skill-interactive ERA through one outing in 2024, giving up three runs over four innings in Oakland. Across the diamond, Lopez was sharp in his lone start for the Twins, allowing just one run to the Kansas City Royals in a winning effort last week.

Per numberFire's MLB game projections, Minnesota is expected to win by a score of 4.48-3.68 on Thursday. That summates to 8.16 estimated runs. Cue Prince and the Revolution: let's go (crazy!) over 7.5 runs in Minneapolis.

Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals, 7:40 p.m. ET

Under 8.0 Runs (-105)

In an attempt to target two frustrated offenses from around the Majors, let's dive into the Chicago White Sox at Kansas City.

Staying with the AL Central, Chicago and K.C. are both struggling at the dish right now. Entering Thursday, the White Sox have scored the fewest runs in the American League (11) while the Royals' lineup has struck out at a concerning rate (24% of at bats).

The projected starters for ChiSox-Royals are Mike Soroka and Seth Lugo. Both pitchers are in their first season with these respective clubs. Through one start each, Lugo was much better than Soroka, with Lugo throwing six innings of shutout ball versus Minnesota. To the contrary, Soroka allowed four runs through five innings in his debut for the Southsiders.

Considering it is still early spring, it will be a bit colder in KC. Local temperatures are projected to dip into the mid 40s in this divisional tilt, which will create dense air for the baseball to travel through. Simply, the carry will not be at its full potential on Thursday evening. The wind should be blowing in, too.

The Royals' team OPS of .754 is not a top-10 figure, but it is also not the worst. In the other dugout, the White Sox have produced a .573 team OPS (27th), which is actually lower than the OPS for both the A's and Colorado Rockies.

At FanDuel Sportsbook, under 8.0 runs is currently paying back at -105 odds. That gives me enough incentive to challenge these two lineups to get things rolling (on a cold night in the Great Plains, mind you). Lastly, this total (8.0) is without a hook, which presents some safety if the final number pushes.

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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.