The Major League Baseball season kicked off last Thursday, and the opening series of the year are winding down. The first weekend of baseball culminates on Sunday night with a nationally-televised clash between the Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers.
So far, it has been all Rangers in this series. Despite a tough debut from Jacob deGrom, Texas won on Opening Day, 11-7. They came back even stronger on Saturday, winning by a football score of 16-3. Can the Phillies, led by starter Bailey Falter, get in the win column on Sunday? Or will Martin Perez and the Rangers wrap up the three-game sweep?
With both teams looking to set the tone early in the year, we should be in for a treat on Sunday night. Kick back, relax, and enjoy the game while making some money with the first 2023 edition of MLB Best Bets.
Odds courtesy of DraftKings.
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Best Bet No. 1: Martin Perez OVER 4.5 Strikeouts (+105)
Perez is ready for another fantastic season with Texas after posting a career-best 3.27 FIP, 3.8 fWAR, and 7.75 K/9 last year. While Perez doesn’t have elite strikeout stuff, he has proven effective late in counts and should pitch at least a handful of innings on Sunday night. Combine these two factors and the southpaw should not only exceed 4.5 strikeouts, but he has a chance to absolutely blow that line out of the water. Lock in this bet at plus money.
Best Bet No. 2: Brandon Marsh OVER 0.5 Total Bases (-140)
Marsh has a .714 slugging percentage through two games this season. While that mark certainly isn’t sustainable, it is indicative of his ability to rack up extra bases. He already has a double and triple, and all this bet requires is for him to get on base. Perez poses a difficult matchup on the mound, but Marsh had a .698 OPS against southpaws in spring training and could fare even better against the righties that come out of the Texas bullpen. Even at -140 odds, I don’t mind this bet.
Best Bet No. 3: Texas Rangers OVER 4.5 Runs (+110)
This one speaks for itself. The Rangers have racked up double-digit runs in each of their first two games, and they’re only getting deeper into the Phillies’ rotation and bullpen as the series carries on. Falter pitched fine last season, but he had a concerning 1.79 HR/9 rate and is projected by STEAMER to see his FIP rise to 4.37 in 2023. Texas has done a great job adding firepower to its lineup over the last two offseasons, and they should have no trouble scoring at least a handful of runs on national television. This is an incredibly appealing bet, especially at plus money.
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