Thursday MLB Betting: High-Profile Padres – Braves Matchup

Written By Eli Hershkovich on April 14, 2022
MLB Bets

Throughout the MLB season, I’ll dabble in game-by-game betting breakdowns. Let’s break down my MLB bets for the first of the Padres-Braves’ four-game series. You can find the rest of Thursday’s odds here.

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San Diego Padres vs. Atlanta Braves Odds

After the Padres opened as -120 favorites on Wednesday, the betting market quickly bet the Braves down to a pick’em, which is where it sits as of this afternoon.

Not only is there value with San Diego after losing consecutive games to San Francisco, but its ace Joe Musgrove is also on the bump. The 29-year-old broke out a season ago, tallying the 14th-highest strikeout rate among qualified starters.

Even though Musgrove faced the Diamondbacks’ pedestrian lineup in his first start of the 2022 campaign, his peripherals didn’t disappoint. He yielded a league-average .308 BABIP while surrendering two earned runs in six innings, yet his 1.55 xFIP stood out the most.

Musgrove employs his cutter most often — followed by his curveball. Last season, Atlanta’s most productive hitters against those off-speed pitches, via FanGraphs’ “pitch value,” were Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuña Jr. Freeman now anchors the Dodgers’ lineup while Acuña remains sidelined, still recovering from a torn ACL.

On the flip side, veteran Charlie Morton is well-known for his curveball and four-steam fastball mix. Despite Fernando Tatís Jr. (fractured wrist) sitting on the Padres’ shelf, using the metric above, his teammates are adept at hitting Morton’s premier off-speed pitch.

They were one of the least barrel-reliant teams in the 2021 campaign as well. That bodes well against Morton, as he doesn’t surrender much hard contact.

Let’s take a stab at Padres pick’em — with Braves still slightly overvalued as the defending champs.

Eli’s MLB Bets: Padres ML (-108 on FanDuel Sportsbook)
Best Available Line: Padres

Continue the discussion in our MLB Discord betting chat, where bettors chat about their favorite MLB futures bets and nightly bets. Follow TheLines on Twitter.

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Eli Hershkovich Avatar
Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

View all posts by Eli Hershkovich