This is it: the last Sunday Funday of the baseball season. Well, the regular season, at least – there will be more Sunday baseball during the playoffs, but we won’t have the same full schedule of games from which to carefully hand-select (with the help of our analytic models) our top MLB picks.
Let’s get in while the getting is good. We should warn you ahead of time that there’s virtually nothing at stake for most teams at this point, so shenanigans are always a threat; all three of the games below still count for something but be prepared nonetheless.
New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves
Sunday, October 02, 2022 – 07:08 PM EDT at Truist Park
Finally, we get to include this week’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast on our list. And both teams will definitely be giving it their all; New York and Atlanta are still fighting over the NL East division crown with just a handful of games left to go.
New York Mets
The Mets have the better pitching staff in this matchup, including their bullpen, but they’re still a bit mediocre in both departments.
Projected starter Chris Bassit (3.64 xFIP) is up a healthy 4.85 betting units on a team record of 20-9, although his 16-12-1 Over record and 3.27 ERA suggest he’s enjoyed some good fortune along the way.
Atlanta’s run differential is 29 higher than New York’s at press time, and they have the better hitting; maybe veteran Charlie Morton will see some positive regression after his 3.62 xFIP got turned into a 4.29 ERA. For now, Morton is down two units on a team record of 16-13.
The Moneyline Pick
The defending World Series champs are a rare value pick on the MLB odds board. They’re worth a standard one-unit bet according to our models.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals
Sunday, October 02, 2022 – 01:35 PM EDT at Nationals Park
This game matters too. The Phillies are battling the San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers for the last two NL Wild Card berths; the first goes to whoever loses the race between New York and Atlanta.
Philadelphia “deserve” one of those two spots based on run differential, but they’re quite dependent on their starting pitching – including Zack Wheeler (3.15 xFIP), whose excellence hasn’t prevented the Phillies from dropping 2.60 units on a record of 13-12.
This game also matters to Washington, in that they’re racing the Oakland A’s to the bottom of the standings, and therefore the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. But their bullpen isn’t complete trash, and Patrick Corbin’s 6.08 ERA is way higher than his 4.12 ERA.
We’re hoping the universe will recognize that unfairness and lift Corbin out of last place on the MLB money charts (6-23, minus-13.85 units).
The Run Line Pick
This is your classic value MLB pick – almost. Corbin and the Nats aren’t as bad as they look, and giving them the extra 1.5 runs will help mitigate any intentional losing they might get up to. Maybe size your bets down to account for tanking, though.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Houston Astros
Sunday, October 02, 2022 – 02:10 PM EDT at Minute Maid Park
As usual, the best total on Sunday still isn’t worth more than a recreational bet – totals have become quite popular in recent years, so their markets have gotten more efficient. But this game is once again a meaningful one for the Rays, who are fighting for Wild Card seeding on the junior circuit.
Tampa Bay Rays
Like the Phillies, Tampa is very much a pitching team – and Corey Kluber (3.93 xFIP) has the Under slightly ahead at 15-13-2 this year. His last start against Houston was a 5-2 loss on September 21 that pushed their 7-run total, but we’ve got 7.5 runs to clear this time.
The Astros have the best pitching in baseball according to the FanGraphs WAR charts. Their hitting is No. 6 overall, which is a bit less outstanding, and while Luis Garcia (3.83 xFIP) has split the totals down the middle at 13-13-1, he helped blank the Rays 4-0 (Under 7) back on September 19.
The Over/Under Pick
We’d feel better about the Under with a better deal on vigorish – which we think you’ll get if you wait closer to the first pitch, given the usual habits of the betting public. Time (and size) your bets accordingly, and may the sphere be with you.
*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.