MLB.TV Free Game of the Day Betting Picks for Guardians-Rangers (5/15/24)

Annie Nader
Annie Nader@ANader33

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. Rangers Betting Odds: Spread, Total, and Moneyline

  • Time: 8:05 p.m. ET
  • Spread: Rangers -1.5 (+122)
  • Total: 8.5
  • Moneyline:
    • Guardians: +140
    • Rangers: -166

Best Bet

Rangers Moneyline (-166)

The Cleveland Guardians (27-16; second-best record in AL) have been off a to red-hot start but could be outdone in tonight's pitching matchup versus the Texas Rangers.

Jon Gray will be on the bump for Texas. Following a tough opening day that saw him give up 5 ER in 3 2/3 IP, Gray has made a bold turn for the better.

In his eight subsequent outings (one of which came in relief), he has let up a mere 7 ER through 42 IP, surrendering fewer than two earned runs in all but one game.

On the season, he owns a 2.36 ERA, 3.38 xFIP, 3.40 SIERA, and a 25.5% K rate. He's been the victim of hardly any power, touting a 0.39 HR/9 ratio (eighth-lowest in MLB).

Look for Gray to deliver another solid performance against a Cleveland team that has been lackluster against righties despite scoring the seventh-most runs per game this season. Entering the night, the Guardians possess a .227 BA (19th), .306 OBP (18th), 8.3% walk rate (20th), and 26.4% hard-hit rate (30th) versus right-handed pitchers.

Steven Kwan, who rocks a team-leading batting average, on-base percentage, and wRC+ -- along with the lowest strikeout rate -- against righties, remains on the 10-Day IL for Cleveland, taking away what would have been a tough out for Gray.

Carlos Carrasco will be on the mound for Cleveland, paving a path for Texas to make some noise.

After a treacherous 2023 season with the New York Mets -- one that saw Carrasco suffer a 6.80 ERA, 6.77 xERA, 5.16 SIERA, 15.8% K rate, and 1.80 HR/9 through 90 IP -- his return to Cleveland has been anything but kind to him.

Through eight starts, he is sporting a 5.36 ERA, 5.25 xERA, 4.93 xFIP, 4.67 SIERA, and 1.56 HR/9. All of the aforementioned marks rank in the bottom 10 among the 98 MLB starters who have thrown for at least 40 innings this season.

While Carrasco has ceded just 12 hits and 4 ER through 13 IP in his last two starts, that's not much of a feat considering those bids came against the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels. In fact, it's pretty unnerving that he let up a pair of bombs to a White Sox team that is averaging only 0.74 homers per game (worst).

The Rangers are riding with the league's seventh-best average, sixth-best OBP, sixth-best wRC+, ninth-best walk rate, and fifth-best hard-hit rate against northpaws.

Our Tom Vecchio has Texas' Jonah Heim suited as one of the best MLB home run props for today.

Look for the Texas bats to give Gray plenty of support, which will be a welcome sight for the righty. While Gray has kept up his end of the bargain lately, the Rangers' offense is averaging just 1.3 runs in the three Gray starts that resulted in a loss.

Best Prop

Carlos Carrasco Under 3.5 Strikeouts (+106)

Entering the night, Carrasco has managed just a 17.4% strikeout rate and 6.92 K/9 through 40 1/3 IP, which somehow serves as an uptick from his 2023 numbers.

He's fanned under 3.5 batters in half of his starts, and I think there's a good reason to back the plus-money side of this prop.

Carrasco exceeded 3.5 strikeouts in matchups against the Boston Red Sox (twice; 4 Ks and 5Ks), Minnesota Twins (6 Ks) and the White Sox (5 Ks)

The Red Sox own the 6th-highest strikeout rate (24.5% K%) and Minnesota carries the 10th-highest strikeout rate (24.2% K%) against righties. While the White Sox rank 19th in this regard (21.8% K%), they've also been the worst lineup in baseball, getting on base at a league-low rate against righties and producing the fewest runs per game.

But Carrasco's competition for tonight will look much different. Not only do the Rangers boast positive hitting splits against right-handers, but they are also striking out at a meager 19.9% rate (sixth-lowest) in the split.

Carrasco fanned just two and three batters in his pair of starts against teams that fare in the top 10 of lowest K%. He also punched out just a trio of batters in competitions against the Oakland Athletics and Angels.

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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.