MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals Betting Preview (April 30)
Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images. Pictured: Merrill Kelly (Diamondbacks)
- The Diamondbacks take on the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon.
- Arizona is sending Merrill Kelly to the hill while St. Louis has Miles Mikolas on the bump.
- Here's how D.J. James is betting this matchup.
Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals Odds
|Time||2:15 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Miles Mikolas and the St. Louis Cardinals will take on Merrill Kelly and the Arizona Diamondbacks at home for a Saturday matinee.
Both pitchers have started the season on fire — Mikolas with a 1.21 ERA and Kelly at 1.69.
This does not tell the whole story, though.
Both pitchers have solid peripherals. Kelly may walk more batters than Mikolas will, but both of their Average Exit Velocities against are around 86-88 MPH. Essentially, both are inducing weak contact.
The hang up is the Cardinals cannot hit the ball hard. They rank 23rd in Average Exit Velocity while batting. Arizona ranks 11th. This should equalize the two.
The D-Backs are worth a look on the moneyline.
Diamondbacks’ Kelly Needs to Go Six Innings
The Diamondbacks can hit the ball relatively hard. They may have only posted a measly 81 wRC+ against righties on the season, but they have six hitters averaging over 90 MPH on batted balls.
Three of their hitters are over the .400 xwOBA mark and seven are over .335. This provides enough depth to negate the slight edge Mikolas may have over Kelly.
Kelly also owns a 3.42 xERA. Now, this may be a touch higher than his regular ERA, but he ranks in the 74th percentile when it comes to Chase Rate. The Cards chase at a 30.3% clip, ranking fifth in all of baseball.
This is concerning for them, particularly because Kelly utilizes five different pitches, and he does so evenly. In fact, he has three different fastballs and two off-speed options.
This should keep St. Louis off balance, considering it’s going to swing away at anything anyway.
The Arizona bullpen is terrible, though. Luke Weaver and J.B. Wendelken being on the Injured List just adds to the many issues the D-Backs have in that department.
This means they will need Kelly to go at least six. He has in the last two games, giving up only four earned runs. His strikeout rate is about league average, but pitching to contact will play into his hands, if he can have a prolonged start.
Kyle Nelson and Corbin Martin are the next best relief options.
Cards Don’t Hit Right-Handers Well
Mikolas, on the other hand, uses a slider and curveball as much as his four-seamer and cutter. Since he also pitches to contact, this will allow the D-Backs to put good wood on the ball.
They are not getting lucky at the moment, and that luck should at least somewhat turn around against Mikolas.
This Arizona team also does not chase. The Diamondbacks rank third in that category — just behind the Angels and Dodgers, two notably patient ball clubs.
The D-Backs also rank third in walks. This could play well for them against a pitcher who also does not walk many. They will be patient enough to wait for the correct pitches and put that high team Exit Velocity to use.
The Cards also do not hit righties well at all. In contrast, they only have Tommy Edman and Nolan Arenado above the .335 xwOBA mark when facing them this season.
They also only have two bench players over the 90 MPH Exit Velocity mark. This is not encouraging. Kelly should hold them in check.
Kelly actually is the better pitcher of these two — when considering who he is facing.
The concern is the Arizona bullpen.
The Cardinals have not profiled as a team that will have future success when hitting righties.
Kelly can go deep into the game compared to modern-day starters.
If the D-Backs can build enough of a lead when they hand it off to the bullpen, they should win. Take them on the moneyline at +155, and play it to +135. The Cardinals are overvalued in this position.
Pick: Arizona Diamondbacks +155 | Play to +135