MLB

MLB Betting Guide: Friday 4/16/21

numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, a runline, or moneyline.

For those new to numberFire, we use a five-star system to show which bets you should be targeting on any given night. Stars represent how much you should risk on a wager relative to what you would normally bet. For example, if you would normally bet $110 to win $100 on a -110 spread wager, if we give a three-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300.

Using our model as a guide, let's take a look at the best bets to make at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.

San Francisco Giants at Miami Marlins

Over 8.0 (-118): 3-Star Rating out of 5

When the San Francisco Giants and Miami Marlins tangle tonight in South Florida, it'll be Anthony DeSclafani versus Daniel Castano as the pitching matchup.

DeSclafani isn't a bad pitcher, sporting a 4.16 SIERA for his career, and he's gotten off to a solid start in 2021. However, he still owns a 5.08 SIERA in 44 2/3 frames since the start of 2020, striking out just 18.0% of hitters in that time. And the Marlins' lineup has been a little better than expected in the early going, sitting right around the league average in wOBA (.312).

Castano has thrown just 29 2/3 innings in the bigs, all of which came last year. It hasn't gone well, as he holds a 5.92 SIERA and 9.5% strikeout rate. Yes, 9.5%. The Giants' offense is pretty meh, but they currently rank eighth in hard-hit rate (33.6%).

Betting on the over is more about these two pitchers than it is the offenses, and the lowly 8.0-run line doesn't hurt. Our model projects the over to hit 61.6% of the time. We have the final score being 5.23-4.65 in favor of San Fran, which amounts to 9.88 runs.

Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers

Orioles +1.5 (-178): 3-Star Rating out of 5
Orioles Moneyline (+108): 2-Star Rating out of 5

Our algorithm likes the Baltimore Orioles today in their game at the Texas Rangers, and Baltimore is listed as a 1.5-run 'dog.

This is a game between two teams that should be cellar dwellers this season. FanGraphs' rest-of-season WAR projections have the Rangers and O's with the second- and fourth-fewest WAR. These squads are bad, and they're projected to be about equally bad, which doesn't fall in line with the betting odds for this game.

The starting pitchers today are Mike Foltynewicz for Texas and Jorge Lopez for Baltimore. Foltynewicz has been really bad since the start of 2019, struggling to a 4.79 SIERA while allowing a 39.8% hard-hit rate and 41.3% fly-ball rate. As for Lopez, he's nothing amazing, carrying a 4.71 SIERA since the start of 2020, but he's done a much better job limiting juicy contact (34.2% hard-hit rate and 30.8% fly-ball rate).

We forecast Baltimore to win this game by a score of 5.01-4.37, giving the O's a 54.6% chance to get the victory. That makes Baltimore at +108 on the moneyline a two-star wager. We also have the Orioles covering the runline 71.7% of the time and rate that as a three-star bet.

Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals

Over 8.5 (-115): 3-Star Rating out of 5

Our model projects a lot of runs in this one as we get a pitching matchup of lefties in Steven Matz against Mike Minor.

Minor has some swing-and-miss upside, but he also allows a lot of loud contact. In 56 2/3 innings a year ago, Minor permitted a 39.7% hard-hit rate and 44.9% fly-ball rate. Facing a Toronto Blue Jays lineup with a lot of right-handed pop -- including Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Randal Grichuk and Marcus Semien -- Minor could be in for a rough night.

Matz is off to a superb start so far this campaign, but we're talking about only 12 1/3 innings. Across 191 innings in 2020 and 2019, Matz recorded a 4.41 SIERA and 9.8% swinging-strike rate -- not terrible but not all that good, either. And like Toronto, the Kansas City Royals have some guys hitting from the right side who should give Matz trouble -- namely Whit Merrifield, Jorge Soler, Salvador Perez and Carlos Santana. In this year's small sample, Kansas City sports the sixth-highest wOBA against lefties (.359) as well as the second-best hard-hit rate (37.0%) in the split.

Our model projects a tight game, pegging KC to win 5.05-5.01. That's a total of 10.06 runs, which is well over the 8.5-run total we're getting. We have the over hitting 63.2% of the time and mark the bet as a three-star play.