MLB Betting Picks for Thursday 5/2/24

Gabriel Santiago
Gabriel Santiago@gps_onthemic
MLB Betting Picks for Thursday 5/2/24

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

Chicago Cubs at New York Mets, 1:10 p.m. ET

Over 8.5 Runs (+100)

Whenever the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets get together, I am reminded of the timeless baseball film Rookie of the Year (1993). Nothing from that movie will apply here, but it is still a fun matchup nonetheless -- especially with the current rosters.

For Thursday's bid, the projected starters on the mound are Ben Brown and Adrian Houser. The rookie Brown has been strong through 32 innings pitched, posting a 3.54 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA). As for Houser, he is still winless in 2024 while holding a dismal 6.05 SIERA. Furthermore, his current Statcast hard-hit rate of 43.9% will not bode well against Chicago.

Both clubs on hand at Citi Field have potent lineups. The Cubbies are yielding a .706 team OPS in addition to drawing walks at a quality rate (9.6 BB%). The Metropolitans are currently operating with a .311 wOBA, which is respectable. With that, I feel confident about over 8.5 runs (+100 odds) Thursday afternoon in Queens.

Presently, New York is scoring 4.41 runs per game while the Cubs are slightly better at 4.97 runs per game. The averages there put us over this set total. With warm temperatures forecasted at first pitch, I expect players like Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Mike Tauchman and Michael Busch to have explosive results on batted balls.

Washington Nationals at Texas Rangers, 2:35 p.m. ET

Rangers -1.5 (+100)

For a bit of interleague action, the Washington Nationals and Texas Rangers are set to wrap up their series from Globe Life Field. This matinee will be powered by probable pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and southpaw Mitchell Parker.

In three career starts, the rookie Parker has surrendered only three combined runs. That is quite stingy, but he's also allowed a 41.3% Statcast hard-hit rate. When taking on Texas' lineup of sluggers, Parker could run into trouble. Right-handed hitters Adolis Garcia (.932 OPS) and Marcus Semien (20 RBI) are seeing the baseball well right now.

Eovaldi is in his 13th MLB campaign. This year, he is working behind a 3.91 FIP through 32.0 innings pitched. The wily veteran will have a much easier assignment in this one compared to the rook. The Nats are scoring only 4.07 runs per game in 2024. For the Rangers, they show a .725 team OPS (ninth in MLB) in addition to producing 4.63 runs per game.

At numberFire, their model has Texas winning by an estimated score of 5.67-3.99. For me, that's enough support to wager on a run-line play at even money for the home team; I'll take the Rangers by two or more.

Cleveland Guardians at Houston Astros, 8:10 p.m. ET

Guardians Moneyline (+114)

A matchup we could see later this October, the Cleveland Guardians and Houston Astros are the lone night game on Thursday. So, what's the best angle here?

The Guardians currently sit atop the AL Central and have thrived behind their power. Houston is clawing out of the AL West cellar after a slow start, but they've played Cleveland well in this series at Minute Maid Park. Still, I like the Guardians to win on the road at an advantageous price of +114 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Toeing the rubber in this bid will be Logan Allen and Spencer Arrighetti. Both men have experienced woes in 2024, but Arrighetti is presently labeled with a 0-3 record and 10.97 ERA. The Houston hurler is also issuing 5.91 BB/9, which could translate to trouble against Cleveland.

At 5.24 runs per game, the Guardians are the American League's second-best scoring team. Cleveland's lineup has operated efficiently, showing four hitters with OPS north of .700: Steven Kwan, Josh Naylor, Jose Ramirez and Andres Gimenez.

Largely, the Astros have been a poor pitching team this season. Adding Justin Verlander back into the mix should help this group in the long run, but Houston is still showing a 4.20 team SIERA; that is the fourth-worst clip in the Majors.

On numberFire's MLB power rankings, the Guardians (0.64 nERD) are slotted 12th while the 'Stros (0.08 nERD) show up further down at 19th. Given Cleveland's plus-money odds at FanDuel Sportsbook, I believe they have authentic value to upset Houston.

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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.