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Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros celebrates with his teammates after defeating the Texas Rangers in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series at Globe Life Field as we look at our MLB best best and player props for Friday.
Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros celebrates with his teammates after defeating the Texas Rangers in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series at Globe Life Field. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images/AFP.

Day 2 of the 2024 MLB season promises another docket of entertaining games, and we're looking at our MLB player props and bets for Friday based on the best MLB odds.

The MLB slate for Friday is a little lighter, as is usually the case following Opening Day, with off days built into the schedule due to the possibility of weather postponements. But there are still 10 games on tap, with six contests starting after 8 p.m. ET.

One of the two-afternoon tilts features the Atlanta Braves versus the Philadelphia Phillies, a matchup of two NL powerhouses. The game gets underway at 3:05 p.m. ET from Citizens Bank Park. Elsewhere, the New York Yankees continue their series against the Houston Astros at 8:10 p.m. from Minute Maid Park.

Here are our MLB player props and best bets for Friday (MLB picks based on odds via our best MLB betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Friday’s MLB best bets

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Friday’s MLB player props

A.J Puk Over 5.5 strikeouts (-142 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Game info: Pirates vs. Marlins | Spread: Marlins (-130 via bet365) | Total: Over 8.5 (-110)/Under 8.5 (-110) via bet365 | Start time: 7:10 p.m. ET

Odds Over 5.5 (-165)Over 5.5 (-158)Over 5.5 (-149) Over 5.5 (-142) Over 5.5 (-145)

A.J. Puk returns to a starting role in 2024, and he's doing coming off an impressive spring training, with the southpaw allowing just two earned runs over 13 2/3 innings. And as has been the case during his time in the bullpen, much of that success is rooted in strikeouts. 

Puk excelled over 56 2/3 innings of relief in 2023 while recording 12.4 K/9. He took that effectiveness up a notch or three during spring training, finishing with a 15.9 K/9. His 32.2 strikeout percentage was especially dazzling and ranked in the top 5% league-wide, according to Baseball Savant.

Now he gets to tee off on a Pittsburgh Pirates team that was punchout-prone in 2023. The Pirates ended the campaign with the 10th-most strikeouts.

We're getting a quality price from Caesars, too. While the odds may not seem appealing at first, projections widely favor Puk cruising to hit the Over here, including BallPark Pal giving that outcome a -400 price. The -142 from that Caesars is also dramatically more inviting than the -165 from DraftKings.

The odds from Caesars lead to an implied probability of 62.26%, and a $6.06 profit on a $10 wager.

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Joe Musgrove Over 5.5 strikeouts (-105 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Game info: Giants vs. Padres | Spread: Padres (-149 via BetMGM) | Total: Over 7.5(-118)/Under 7.5 (-104) via FanDuel | Start time: 9:40 p.m. ET

Odds Over 5.5 (-105) Over 5.5 (-122)Over 5.5 (-105)Over 5.5 (-115)Over 5.5 (-110)

Similar to Puk, Joe Musgrove gets a soft landing in his first start against a strikeout-susceptible lineup. The San Francisco Giants were even worse in that regard during 2023, finishing with the seventh-most whiffs.

One of the Giants' most notable offseason additions was third baseman Matt Chapman, who struck out 165 times in 2023 and 170 in 2022. 

Musgrove struggled through some injuries in 2023, but he's shown strikeout ability in the recent past while racking up 184 in 2022. The combination of that past effectiveness and the alluring matchup are the main factors leading to highly favorable projections, with BallPark Pal pricing this prop at -307.

The best odds for this prop can be found at BetMGM and DraftKings, with mostly marginal differences compared to the rest of our best sportsbooks. FanDuel is the exception at -122.

DraftKings' odds translate to a 51.22% implied probability, and a $9.52 profit on a $10 wager.

Zack Wheeler Over 1.5 earned runs allowed (-113 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Game info: Braves vs. Phillies | Spread: Braves (-125 via DraftKings) | Total: Over 7 (-115)/Under (-105) via bet365) | Start time: 3:06 p.m. ET

OddsOver 1.5 (-125)N/AN/AOver 1.5 (-113)Over 1.5 (-120)

Zack Wheeler was often a force for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2023, especially during the playoffs when he didn't allow more than two runs over four starts.

But as effective as he was, this is still a tough bar to stay under for a hurler whose ERA in 2023 grew sizeably. It went from 2.82 the season before to 3.61. Wheeler was limping to the finish line by his standards while posting a 3.71 ERA in September and October.

He now faces the daunting task of keeping the damage to a minimum against a juggernaut Atlanta Braves lineup that led the league in nearly every major offensive category in 2023, including home runs, runs, OPS, and slugging.

Our best sports betting sites are still setting a low line of 1.5 earned runs for Wheeler, with Caesars offering easily the best price at -113. That leads to 53.1% implied odds, and an $8.85 profit on a $10 bet.

Jose Altuve Over 1.5 total bases (-104 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Game info: Yankees vs. Astros | Spread: Astros (-120 via DraftKings) | Total: Over 9 (-115)/Under 9 (105) via Caesars | Start time: 8:10 p.m. ET

OddsOver 1.5 (-110) Over 1.5 (-105)Over 1.5 (-105)Over 1.5 (-104)Over 1.5 (-110

Jose Altuve will be well-positioned on Friday while facing New York Yankees starter Carlos Rodon for a chunk of the matchup. Rodon regularly gave up rockets in 2023 while posting a 91.6 average exit velocity, which ranked among the bottom 2% of the league, according to Baseball Savant.

Rodon was frequently ripped apart en route to a 6.85 ERA. He also surrendered an .838 OPS, a significant leap from his .571 in 2022. That all bodes well for a slugger who produced a .311/.393/.522 slash line in 2023.

Consequently, Ballpark Pal is giving Altuve a -133 price to hit the Over on 1.5 total bases. That equates to an implied probability of 57.08%, while the -104 odds from Caesars imply a 50.98% chance. A $10 play would lead to a $9.62 profit.

MLB best bets made 3/29/24 at 9:58 a.m. ET.

Here are our best MLB betting sites:

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