MLB Free Game of the Day Betting Picks for Guardians-Athletics (3/29/24)

Annie Nader
Annie Nader@ANader33
MLB Free Game of the Day Betting Picks for Guardians-Athletics (3/29/24)

The lengthy MLB season can cause some games to get lost in the shuffle, but MLB.TV provides fans with a Free Game of the Day throughout the regular season that can also be seen on FanDuel TV+ here, or also available on Apple TV, Roku, Android TV, Fire TV, and FanDuel Sportsbook.

Why not add to the viewing excitement by getting in on the MLB odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook?

For this article, we've got you covered with a betting guide for each Free Game of the Day. With that, let's take a look at some of the best bets for today's free game.

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

Guardians vs. Athletics Betting Odds: Spread, Total, and Moneyline

  • Time: 9:40 p.m. ET
  • Spread: Guardians -1.5 (+130)
  • Total: 7.5
  • Moneyline:
    • Guardians: -134
    • Athletics: +114

Best Bet

Guardians -1.5 (+130)

The Cleveland Guardians shut out the Oakland Athletics last night, winning by a score of 8-0.

Just another run-of-the-mill Opening Day for Oakland fans.

The Athletics' +50000 World Series 2024 odds (tied for longest) and 58.5 Team Win Total projection suggest another unbearable season is on the horizon.

With Ross Stripling set to take the mound, I don't think tonight's game will be an exception.

Last season, Stripling posted a 5.36 ERA through 89 IP. His 18.4% strikeout rate (K%) was weak while he allowed 2.02 home runs per nine innings.

Some of the Cleveland bats disappointed last season, but they still have some players who can mash, especially against vulnerable righties.

Jose Ramirez touted a .303 batting average (BA), .865 on base + slugging percentage (OPS), and 135 wRC+ against righties in 2023.

Josh Naylor also made the grade against northpaws, ending 2023 with a .311 BA, .852 OPS, and 127 wRC+ versus this handedness.

Stripling started 11 games last season while he came in as relief for 11 games. He's not an in-for-the-long-haul pitcher, which might not hold up well for an Oakland bullpen that pitched 5.2 innings last night and struggled with a 5.20 ERA last season (third-worst in MLB).

I have faith that the Guardians can do some damage against Stripling and company. I don't have much faith that Oakland's unimpressive lineup can get one over on Logan Allen.

Allen had a decent rookie season in 2023. Through 24 starts, he posted a 3.81 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, and a 22.2% K%. He looks primed to grow in his sophomore bid, and what better way to kick things off than a go at the Athletics?

While I don't want to beat a team when they're eternally down, we can't pretend that Oakland's lineup wasn't hot garbage last year. They ended the season with a .223 BA (worst) and a .298 OBP (second-worst behind only the Chicago White Sox). A quiet offseason likely means that more of the same is in store.

Oakland did add J.D. Davis, a player who is no stranger to an extra-base hit. Brent Rooker, meanwhile, slammed 30 home runs last year.

Allen is a young pitcher who could be susceptible to a shaky season debut, but with Davis and Rooker topping the notable names list, I think he'll have a smooth go of it.

You can get Cleveland's moneyline at -134, but I think Guardians -1.5 at +130 odds is the best bet.

I should note that Oakland-Alameda County is expected to get some rain tonight. Precipitation is expected to wane around game time but is something to look out for, nonetheless.

Best Props

Jose Ramirez To Record 2+ Bases (-105)

Let's look for Jose Ramirez to lead the way for the Guardians.

As mentioned, Ramirez is solid against right-handed pitchers. He managed a .303 BA, .865 OPS, and 135 wRC+ against this handedness in 2023, so he's the best candidate to help Cleveland get out in front when Stripling is on the mound.

While I like this matchup, pound-for-pound, I'm most interested in the total bases market due to Stripling's distaste for walks.

There's nothing worse than betting on a player in this market and seeing them get walked.

Luckily for us, Stripling posted just a 4.2% walk percentage last season, good for the eighth-lowest among 172 pitchers who threw at least 80 innings.

Neither Stripling nor Ramirez have a high strikeout rate. In fact, Ramirez ended last year with the fifth-lowest K% among 134 eligible players. He looks primed to make his way around the basepaths tonight.

Josh Naylor To Record An RBI (+125)

Josh Naylor should help put the Guardians on the board tonight.

His 2023 numbers against righties include a 311 BA, .495 SLG, and 127 wRC+. He did all this while striking out at just a 15.2% rate versus this handedness.

Naylor bats cleanup, so he's always in a decent spot to walk to the plate with runners in scoring position, especially against a team like Oakland.

The A's let up 924 runs last season (second-most) and we can't speak highly of their pitching depth.

Look for Ramirez -- or Steven Kwan and Ramon Laureano -- to be in scoring position once Naylor walks up to the batter's box. Last season, Naylor batted fourth in 73 games. He recorded 68 RBIs in this split.

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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.