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.
Free Pick’Em Contests! Compete for prizes every day by entering our free betting games. NFL, MLB, golf and more!
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