Padres vs. Braves MLB Best Bet: Show Respect to Elder’s Arm Against Darvish

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Bryce Elder #55 of the Atlanta Braves pitches during the first inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Truist Park on April 28, 2024. Todd Kirkland/Getty Images/AFP

We have the normal full Sunday card of Major League Baseball betting matchups, with 14 games in the afternoon plus Sunday Night Baseball. 

And here we are with the three plays we feel have the most betting value at the current MLB odds offered by the top-rated sportsbooks. These best bets are based mostly on our proprietary model. 

Our model points to a side in that Sunday Night Baseball matchup with the Padres visiting the Braves.

Check out our other best bets for today:

MLB Best Bet: Braves ML (-118) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Braves ML (-118)
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San Diego Padres vs. Atlanta Braves

Sunday, May 19, 2024 – 07:10 PM ET at Truist Park

While Yu Darvish of the Padres has been great lately, Bryce Elder of the Braves has also pitched well in three of his four starts. With the Atlanta offense potent at home, we are backing the Bravos at a cheap price.

One Bad Start

Elder enters at 1-1 with a 4.79 ERA and 4.27 xFIP through four starts, but those figures are skewed over 20.2 innings due to one bad start. Bryce has pitched well in three of his four outings, and the one bad outing came against a great Dodgers lineup in Los Angeles, which is forgivable.

He gave up a total of four runs over the other three starts, allowing two runs in two of the outings and tossing 6.2 scoreless innings in the other. He comes off an outing against the Mets where he struck out a season-high six batters in 5.2 innings with his average fastball velocity of 90.2 MPH also a season-high. 

Granted, that is not very fast, but it will do as a complimentary pitch to his better sinker and slider which have combined to produce an excellent 58.5% groundball rate.

Facing Better Offense

Now we totally get that the ageless Darvish is still putting up numbers at the age of 37, as he is 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA after tossing 17 scoreless innings in his last three starts. Keep in mind, however, that he went just five innings in two of those starts and not all his indicators are strong, starting with the noticeably higher 3.80 xFIP.

Yu’s current strikeout rate of 8.19/9 is the lowest of his career and the first time he has averaged less than one strikeout per inning. He is also yielding an above-average hard-contact rate of 30.4%, escaping damage by being lucky in allowing a low BABIP of .236.

And let us not forget he is facing an Atlanta offense whose already good wRC+ of 105 against righties overall jumps to 114 along with a nice .758 OPS here at home.

MLB Best Bet

So with Elder pitching well in three of his four starts, Darvish lucky escaping hard contact with a reduced strikeout rate and the Braves potent offensively at home, bet on the Braves at Turner Field.

Predicted Score: Braves 5 – Padres 3

MLB Best Bet: Braves ML (-118) at Bovada

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Braves ML (-118)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.