Friday MLB Odds & Best Bets: Our Top 4 Picks, Including Rangers vs. Athletics, More
Cole Burston/Getty Images. Pictured: Adam Oller.
- Friday is here, and all 30 MLB teams are in action.
- With plenty of action across the slate, our staff came through with four best bets, including Cardinals vs. Reds and Rangers vs. Athletics.
- Read on for full breakdowns of all four of our best bets.
All 30 teams are in action today, which means there are plenty of opportunities across the board. Our staff selected four of those games, beginning at 6:40 p.m. ET in Cincinnati and reaching out to a 9:40 p.m. ET first pitch in Oakland.
From standard moneyline bets to first five and player prop bets, we have you covered. So, strap in and get ready to start the weekend off strong.
MLB Odds & Picks
|6:40 p.m. ET|
|7:05 p.m. ET|
|8:10 p.m. ET|
|9:40 p.m. ET|
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds
Tanner McGrath: Have you watched this guy Hunter Greene?
He has legit stuff. He has a fastball-slider-changeup mix that overwhelms hitters. His four-seam routinely hits 100 and — with a 2400 RPM spin rate — it does so with rise.
Meanwhile, he tunnels it well with his downward-moving, glove-side run slider. The latter pitch has held opponents to a .054 wOBA while forcing whiffs nearly half the time.
Hunter Greene, 87mph Slider and 101mph Fastball, Individual Pitches + Overlay. pic.twitter.com/m52XobmRKQ
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 17, 2022
It’s amazing to think Greene’s stuff is this disgusting following Tommy John surgery, but modern medicine is a miracle.
He gave up a few runs to both the Braves and the Dodgers, and those are forgivable transgressions. But it’s important to note those were both on the road and he pitched to a sub-3.00 xFIP in both outings.
I think Greene will have an easier time against St. Louis on Friday, as the Redbirds have posted just a 100 wRC+ against righties in 2022.
I’m also willing to fade Steven Matz in this spot. After some terrible starts to begin this season, he’s due for negative regression. But I’m unsure of his ceiling. Projections have him posting an ERA between 4.05 and 4.17, which means he’ll likely be a one- or two-win pitcher.
This is a Reds lineup that is slumping but still has loads of talent. Jonathan India and Joey Votto can make the needle move by themselves. And for what it’s worth, the Reds have posted a measly .243 wOBA but also a measly .282 xwOBA, so some level of positive regression is coming.
I’d rather avoid the terrible bullpen matchup with Cincinnati and instead take the Reds to finish on top after five. Anything better than even money is a buy from me.
San Francisco Giants vs. Washington Nationals
Jules Posner: After dropping 3-of-4 on the road to the Mets, the Giants head to DC to take on the Nationals.
The Nationals split a four-game series with the Diamondbacks but managed to score over three runs just once against a pretty leaky pitching staff.
The Giants are sending out Sam Long to make the spot start this evening. He could be serving as an opener but has the starter pedigree, so if he’s dealing, they may get stretched out. Following four games over three days, the Giants would love to give Long some leash in order to help their bullpen recover from a tough series in New York.
Patrick Corbin is on the mound for the Nationals, and it’s really hard to have much faith in him after his tumultuous 2021 season. So far in 2022, it does not look like he’s returned to form, but he also looks like he’s better than he was last year.
In his only home start this year, he gave up two runs over four innings against the Mets. Then, he got blown up by the Braves on the road and pitched decently against the Pirates.
Historically, Corbin is much better at home than on the road. With the exception of 2021, he’s been at least two full runs better at home than the road, and his peripherals back that up.
Unfortunately for Washington, the Nationals have been the worst home offense so far this season with a team wRC+ of 43. They’re also bottom-five against LHP with a 56 team wRC+.
The Giants have surprisingly been the worst offense against LHP so far this season, posting a 41 wRC+. However, they have the fourth-least plate appearances against LHP so far this season, and they were a top-10 offense against left-handers last season. Additionally, they finished as a top-five offense against LHP on the road.
The Giants are still the favorite in this game despite the underlying numbers and a spot starter on the mound.
After taking one on the chin in New York, look for the Giants to take it out on the Nationals. Take the ML up to the -150 range.
Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins
Charlie DiSturco: The White Sox look to end their four-game losing streak on Friday night and turn to the hard-throwing Michael Kopech.
Amid an injury-riddled season for the White Sox pitchers, Kopech has been a steady hand early on. He’s given up just one run on three hits over his two starts, holding opponents to a .180 xBA.
He has given up four walks, but that isn’t a glaring issue this early into 2022. He’s still generating plenty of swings and misses, and his fastball has been nearly unhittable. Batters have just a .100 average against his four-seam, per Baseball Savant.
The Twins, meanwhile, send 6-foot-9 Bailey Ober to the mound to combat Kopech. Take a look at Ober’s 3.27 ERA and you may think the right-hander has been great in the early going. But his advanced metrics show that he’s been incredibly fortunate not to have been hit harder.
Ober’s xERA comes in at 8.74 — which sits in the bottom 5% in all of baseball — and hitters have an xBA of .334 despite having just eight hits over 11 innings. Opponents have been making hard contact and have an expected slugging of .744, showing signs of major negative regression on the horizon for Ober.
While the White Sox bats have struggled a bit in the early going, I think this is the perfect get-right spot for them. They’ve been a bit cold and now get an opportunity against a pitcher that hitters have been seeing really well in the opening weeks of 2022.
The White Sox are undervalued here at -105 and I would back them to -115 on the road. They should be favored in this matchup and have both the edge offensively and on the mound.
Texas Rangers vs. Oakland A’s
|9:40 p.m. ET|
Doug Ziefel: Oller was acquired in the Chris Bassitt trade and has since been thrust into a role with the big club.
However, his first two career starts haven’t been anything spectacular. In his debut, he was hit hard by Tampa and then showed some promise as he contained the Blue Jays over three innings in his next start. Although, he’ll enter this start with a 13.50 ERA in just 4.2 innings of work.
Oller is a sinker-slider pitcher who relies on producing ground balls and weak contact overall to be successful. His repertoire helps our angle, as getting swings and misses are not part of the plan. Oller has punched out three men in both of his starts thus far, but he’ll now be tasked with a Rangers offense that boasts the lowest strikeout rate in the majors.
On top of that, the Rangers’ bats cannot be overlooked despite the team’s 3-9 record. They are eight in the majors in runs scored and 11th in batting average. So, it’s certainly possible that Oller has another short outing here, which will only limit his opportunity to rack up strikeouts.
Lastly, our Action Labs Props Tool has Oller projected for 3.1 strikeouts, which is the highest graded prop on the board. While the edge is not significant, everything seems in line for an under, and at plus money, you can’t pass it up.