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Best MLB Bets Today: Crowded NL Central Race Heating Up

Written by: Michael Savio
Published April 19, 2024
11 min read
Best MLB Bets Today 04 19 2024

The NL Central may not be baseball's top division, but it is shaping up to be one of the most competitive. All five teams are within three games of each other, leaving us to wonder who will come out on top.

Our favorite two bets today come from two matchups featuring NL Central teams. The first is a matchup between the lowly Marlins and a good Cubs team. The other features a Brewers team traveling to take on one of their top rivals: The Cardinals.

Below, we’ll share our favorite bets along with insights into each. We’ll be using odds provided by BetMGM Sportsbook. If you haven’t wagered with BetMGM before, sign up using our promo code WSNMGM to receive a $1,500 First Bet Offer*.

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: Marlins vs. Cubs (2:20 PM EST)

Cubs -1.5 (at BetMGM Sportsbook)

Chicago enters this matchup with a far better roster. After a mediocre start, the Cubs have four of their previous five games coming into tonight, and we think they will add to that streak today. 

One big reason for that is the massive disparity in the two lineups. The Cubs currently rank sixth in the league in runs scored despite missing a critical bat in Seiya Suzuki. One reason for their success is first baseman Michael Bush, who has a .317 average with six home runs and 13 RBIs.

Bush and the Cubs will have a great chance to go off this afternoon with a struggling Jesus Luzardo (0-2, 7.65 ERA) on the mound. The 26-year-old has been great over the last two seasons but has had a brutal start to 2024. Over his previous two starts, Luzardo has allowed 12 earned runs on 15 hits and six walks. He’ll be up against a good Cubs lineup, and we see it leading to yet another ugly start.

Chicago will also have an edge on the mound in Shota Imanaga (2-0, 0.00 ERA). The Cubs spent a lot of money to acquire him in the offseason, which has paid off. While he has only lasted six innings in one of his three starts, he has yet to allow an earned run. That includes a start against the Dodgers, where he went four innings, allowing two hits and no walks. The Marlins rank twenty-fifth in batting average (.216) and twenty-third in runs scored (70), so we fully expect Imanaga to cruise once again.

Bet on Cubs -1.5 at BetMGM CTA icon

Best MLB Bets Today: Brewers vs. Cardinals (8:15 PM EST)

Brewers -1.5 (at BetMGM Sportsbook)

We are all over the Brewers to win today for a few reasons. First, the Brewers' offense has been among the best in baseball this season. They rank second in the MLB in batting average (.277) and runs scored (98). By comparison, the Cardinals rank in the bottom ten in the league in both categories. That’s a significant disparity despite the Crew not having Christian Yelich healthy.

Aside from the gap between these two offenses, the Brewers also have a significant advantage on the mound Freddy Peralta (2-0, 2.55 ERA). The ace has been fantastic through his first two starts, serving as the team’s only reliable starting pitcher. His elite 0.68 WHIP shows that batters are struggling to get on base against the 27-year-old, and we don’t think a struggling Cardinals offense will be able to fare any better.

St. Louis will turn to veteran Kyle Gibson (1-2, 6.16 ERA) on the mound against Milwaukee today. After posting a quality start in his first outing as a Cardinal, Gibson was hammered hard in his next two appearances. He allowed 11 runs on 13 hits and four walks across 12 innings. It's hardly surprising, given that the 36-year-old has fallen officer the last four seasons. The Brewers' bats will hit him hard, leading to a loss for the Cards.

Bet on Brewers -1.5 at BetMGM CTA icon

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AUTHOR

Michael Savio

485 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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