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Best MLB Bets Today: Texas Teams Look to Shake Off Sluggish Starts

Written by: Michael Savio
Published April 17, 2024
11 min read
Best MLB Bets Today 04 17 2024

The Astros and Rangers were expected to compete for the AL West title, but neither has looked the part early in 2024. Houston has managed to win just six of their first 18 games, while the Rangers lead the division with a measly 9-9 record.

Their early struggles mean that both Texas teams will be desperate for a win today. First, the Rangers will look to get back into the win column after losing two of their first three games against the Tigers. After that, the NL East favorite Braves will take on the Astros in Houston.

Below, we’ll be sharing our favorite bet for each game. BetMGM Sportsbook provides all odds. New players can take advantage of a $1,500 First Bet Offer when they use promo code WSNMGM.

For more betting opportunities check our list of the best MLB betting sites and curated list of MLB promos and bonuses.

Best MLB Bets Today: Rangers vs. Tigers (1:10 PM EST)

Rangers ML (+125) at BetMGM Sportsbook

The Rangers lost a painful game to the Tigers yesterday, but we see them getting even this afternoon. One reason is the massive gap between these two offenses. 

The Rangers have a far better lineup despite getting off to an uneven start. Adolis Garcia has led the way, opening with a .303 batting average to go with four home runs, 15 RBIs, and four stolen bases. He has hit Skubal well in limited appearances, as has shortstop Corey Seager. The 29-year-old has had a tough April but got the day off yesterday. He is a candidate for AL MVP when healthy, and we think the day off will help him return to that form.

The Rangers' offensive advantage will help overcome a mismatch on the mound. Tarik Skubal (2-0, 2.08 ERA) will be getting the start for the Tigers, while Dane Dunning (2-1, 4.50 ERA) will be up for the Rangers. Skubal is far better, but Dunning is a solid back-end rotation piece. He has allowed three runs in all three of his starts, registering a quality start in two.

We see Dunning being able to deliver another quality start today against a weak Detroit lineup, leading to a win for the Rangers.

Bet on Rangers ML at BetMGM CTA icon

Best MLB Bets Today: Braves vs. Astros (2:10 PM EST)

Braves ML (-150) at BetMGM Sportsbook

We know this is an excellent Astros team, but they have been nearly impossible to trust in 2024. The Braves have had their own issues but are among the few teams with a lineup as impressive as the Astros. With both teams capable of scoring a lot of runs, we turn to the pitching matchup to pick a winner.

The Braves will have Max Fried (1-0, 8.74 ERA) on the mound this afternoon. The 30-year-old has been one of the best arms in the NL over the last four seasons, but he’s had a rocky start in 2024. He gave up a combined 11 runs (10 earned) across five innings in his first two starts. However, he bounced back in a big way last week. He went 6 ⅓ innings against the Marlins, allowing one run on four hits. We see him carrying that momentum into today, especially considering the Astros have a career .163 batting average against Fried.

Houston will have JP France (0-2, 8.22 ERA) starting opposite Fried today. The second-year pitcher stepped up as a reliable part of the rotation in 2023, but he has gotten worse in each of his three starts this season. The worst came on Friday against the Rangers, where he allowed eight runs on eight hits and four walks across four innings. The 29-year-old is struggling to miss bats, with a 1.89 WHIP. Struggling with control is a big problem, especially when facing a lineup like the Braves.

Bet on Braves ML at BetMGM CTA icon


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Michael Savio

477 Articles

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.

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