Walk-Off Wagers: MLB Best Bets Today (Back Underdog Pirates vs. Dodgers for a Juicy Payout)

MLB betting insider Jennifer Piacenti offers a plus-money bet to consider.
Apr 6, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Bailey Falter (26) throws against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Bailey Falter (26) throws against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports / David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

If you’ve followed my bets at Sports Illustrated, you know I love nothing more than plus-money action.

On the surface, backing the Pirates (28-32) vs. the Dodgers (38-24) looks pretty crazy. Los Angeles is the heavy favorite at -180, while Pittsburgh backers will be paid +158 if they pull off the upset.

No, rookie sensation Paul Skenes is not pitching for the Bucs. He got the win on Wednesday night. Neither is Jared Jones. He won on Tuesday. Instead, we will see Bailey Falter get the ball in Pittsburgh as the Pirates go for the sweep.  

No one is buzzing about Falter the way they are about his teammates above, but those paying close attention know Falter has an ERA of just 2.56 across his last10 starts. That’s not too shabby.  

Full disclosure: Falter is a lefty and the Los Angeles Dodgers mash lefties. They own the second-best OPS and ISO and the third-best SLG vs. southpaws in MLB (hence the -180). However, this team has been struggling offensively lately, averaging just 3.18 runs per game across the last two weeks of play.   

Righty Walker Buehler gets the start for the Dodgers. Since returning in May from Tommy John surgery, Buehler has not returned to his previous form. Buehler has an ERA of 4.32 in his five starts this season, and in his two away starts, his ERA is 6.00.

Buehler isn’t generating whiffs, and his 2.16 home runs allowed per nine innings is among the worst in MLB. That could spell trouble if the Pirates continue hitting well. 

The Pirates have averaged five runs per game across the past two weeks of play, the fifth-most in MLB. Bryan Reynolds is swinging a hot bat with three home runs and 14 RBI in that period.  

Pittsburgh is 9-5 as the home underdog this season. That 64% win rate as the home underdog is the fifth-best in MLB. 

The Dodgers are 5-5 in their last 10 games.

The Pirates are 6-4, including a 10-6 win vs. the Dodgers last night.

The Pirates bullpen is a wild card in the event, but no risk it, no biscuit.  Who wants to take a walk on the wild side?

The Bet: Pirates ML +158 at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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Jennifer Piacenti

JENNIFER PIACENTI

In addition to being a fantasy sports and betting analyst at Sports Illustrated, Jennifer is a radio host for Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, and she hosts her own podcast, “Waiver Wired” on the Extra Points podcast network. Jennifer has been nominated for multiple FSWA awards for her NFL DFS video series. She’s a Scott Fish Bowl Finalist, and she finished third overall in the 2021 NFFC post-season mini. Jennifer is also a featured expert on MLB Network’s “Bettor’s Eye,” and a member of the esteemed Tout Wars, the fantasy baseball battle of the experts.