MLB Betting Guide for Thursday 4/20/23: Which Team Has the Pitching Advantage in San Francisco?
Betting on baseball can be a grind that reaps an enormous reward.
Day-to-day outlooks can be vastly different by starting pitchers, and a wealth of advanced stats can let us know an individual pitcher or team is due to positive -- or negative -- regression.
Which MLB lines 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 unless noted otherwise. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.
Angels ML (+128)
Trends that aren't conventional wisdom can be worth their weight in gold when betting MLB games.
The Yankees, despite a lineup filled with right-handed titans, can't hit southpaws to start 2023. They've got just a .613 OPS against them thus far despite great plate discipline numbers -- like an MLB-best 14.4% walk rate.
So, while Los Angeles' Patrick Sandoval is imperfect, he presents a difficult matchup for them. Sandoval's walk rate is modest (9.5%), and he's allowing a meager 27.7% hard-hit rate thus far. His 4.92 skill-interactive ERA is juxtaposed with a 1.92 ERA, so regression is coming. But this matchup is a tremendous one.
On the other side, the Angels crush lefties. They've got a 151 wRC+ thus far in the split (third-best in MLB). Nestor Cortes' 4.39 SIERA just isn't scary enough to think the Halos don't find a way to plate runs in their better split.
I wouldn't have expected the Angels' offense to hold this platoon advantage tonight in a matchup of lefties, but they do. That's a solid package for an underdog.
Giants ML (+104)
This one is a good, old-fashioned, peripheral-related value play.
San Francisco's Sean Manaea has been unfortunate to open the year. His 4.76 ERA is unlucky, per a 3.81 SIERA, and Manaea's actually done an excellent job generating whiffs thus far with a 12.3% swinging-strike rate. The opposing Mets (101 wRC+) are a very standard matchup for southpaws.
While Kodai Senga has had an excellent start to his rookie campaign (3.38 ERA), danger could be lurking. His 4.17 SIERA isn't very good (and is higher than Manaea's), and his 43.6% hard-hit rate is elevated. He's going up against a Giants brigade that has mashed righties for a .816 OPS to this point (second-best in baseball).
San Francisco's bullpen xFIP (4.08) is also lower than New York's (4.38) early in the season.
It's easy to favor the Giants in these splits, but they're coming back with just a 49.0% implied chance to win at home tonight. We'll take that.