Thursday’s MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: 5 Best Bets, Including Red Sox vs. Orioles, Brewers vs. Cardinals & Athletics vs. Astros (April 8)

Thursday’s MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: 5 Best Bets, Including Red Sox vs. Orioles, Brewers vs. Cardinals & Athletics vs. Astros (April 8) article feature image
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Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: The Oakland Athletics celebrate their win on Wednesday.

  • There are nine MLB games on Thursday, with several series' between division rivals getting underway.
  • Our staff has found five best bets from this slate of games.
  • Continue reading to find out which games we're backing on Thursday.

Thursday’s MLB slate is a bit smaller than we’ve seen so far this season, with nine games on the schedule beginning as early as 1:10 p.m. ET through 8:10 p.m. ET.

Despite the smaller slate, our experts have found five bets they like, including a pair of bets on both Brewers-Cardinals and Athletics-Astros. Below, you’ll find our five best bets for Thursday.

MLB Odds & Picks

Click on a game to skip ahead
Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles
3:05 p.m. ET
Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals
4:15 p.m. ET
Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals
4:15 p.m. ET
Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros
8:10 p.m. ET
Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros
8:10 p.m. ET

Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles

Pick
First Five Innings, Over 5 (+100)
Book
bet365
Pitchers
Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Matt Harvey
First Pitch
3:05 p.m. ET

Sean Zerillo: I projected the total for the first five innings in Baltimore today at 5.71 runs, and I would bet the Over 5 up to -106 at a five-percent edge.

We also have a profitable BetLabs system matching this game which dates back to 2009, that has gone 187-108-11 (63.4%) and returned $6,824 with a 22.3% ROI for a consistent $100 bettor.

I’m not a trends or system bettor in particular — I rely on my own projections — but the return has been consistent year over year for more than a decade, and it’s certainly an interesting sample:



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Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Pick
Cardinals Team Total, Under 3.5 (-113)
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Corbin Burnes vs. Adam Wainwright
First Pitch
4:15 p.m. ET

Brad Cunningham: Corbin Burnes is one of the best young pitchers in baseball and a Cy Young darkhorse in the NL. In 2020, he put up Cy Young-type numbers with a 2.11 ERA, 2.99 xFIP, and a 13.27 K/9 rate, the latter the fourth-best rate in all of baseball.

He was electric in his first start of the season, going 6 1/3 innings, giving up only one hit and striking out 11. He’ll have a fantastic matchup against a Cardinals lineup that really struggled versus right-handed pitching with .305 wOBA and 92 wRC+. The Cardinals have also really struggled against sinkers and cutters, ranking in the bottom half of MLB vs. Burnes’ two main pitches.

The Brewers also have one of the best bullpens in baseball with Devin Williams and Josh Hader at the back end. They were the No. 1 team in baseball last season in terms of xFIP and K/9. So, runs are going to be hard to come by for St. Louis this afternoon.

I only have the 3.08 runs projected for the Cardinals, so I think there is some value on their team total Under 3.5 runs at -113 odds.


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Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Pick
Brewers -150
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Corbin Burnes vs. Adam Wainwright
First Pitch
4:15 p.m. ET

Kenny Ducey: I’m not exactly sure what it’s going to take for Corbin Burnes to get some respect around here, but I’m thinking Thursday could be a start. The sixth-place finisher in the 2020 Cy Young voting will face a Cardinals lineup that has been middling this season against righties, which comes on the back of a season where they ranked 23rd with a 92 wRC+ in the split. Aside from Dylan Carlson — who’s been red hot to start the year — there aren’t a whole lot of lefties in the order that scare you.

That makes the Brewers all the more attractive here. Burnes carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his last start, striking out 11 and allowing just nine batted balls, which came off the bat at an average of 87.3 mph. He should have an easier time navigating this Cardinals lineup, which is a tad worse against righties than the Twins.

Finally, there’s Adam Wainwright, who’s been steadily regressing for years now. If there’s any pitcher who’s going to get the Brewers out of their funk, it’s Wainwright, who lacks swing-and-miss stuff against a big swing-and-miss team. I expect Burnes to dominate and for the Brew Crew to get enough across against Waino to win comfortably. I played this at -135 on Wednesday night and would play it to -155.


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Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros

Pick
Athletics +140
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Cole Irvin vs. Cristian Javier
First Pitch
8:10 p.m. ET

Kevin Davis: The Oakland A’s have started their season with a 1-6 record, but does that mean they are only going to win 14.3% of their games? Of course not.

I like the A’s on Thursday night because the Astros’ pitching is vulnerable. Cristian Javier is one of my favorite regression candidates this season. In his rookie year, Javier had a 5-2 record with a 3.48 ERA. However, he also had a 4.86 xFIP, suggesting that he got lucky with good fielding and stadium effects.

With a bullpen decimated by injuries backing Javier up, and a strong Oakland lineup, I believe that the A’s should not be +140 moneyline underdogs against Houston. I would play them up to +130.


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Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros

Pick
Astros Team Total, Over 5.5 (+120)
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Cole Irvin vs. Cristian Javier
First Pitch
8:10 p.m. ET

Collin Whitchurch: All aboard the Astros hype train!

Everyone’s favorite garbage can-banging cheaters are off to a hot start to the 2021 season. They’re 5-1 despite playing their first six games on the road against division rivals, and have been averaging a cool 7.5 runs per game thus far.

Seems like the perfect opportunity to fade, right? Not so fast. We’re riding this out for as long as it lasts, especially with some Astros futures tickets in hand (over win total, AL West, AL pennant, World Series) and leave the fading to my cohorts (see above). Nothing can go wrong, right?

On Thursday, the Astros host the A’s in their home opener. Oakland has been as bad as Houston has been good in the early going, but while it’s true that some regression is coming in both cases, it won’t be coming tonight. At least, it won’t be coming for the Houston offense. The Astros tagged Cole Irvin for four runs in 4 1/3 innings and another five on the Athletics’ bullpen just five days ago.

Oh, that Oakland bullpen. It covered 4 2/3 innings in Wednesday’s extra-inning win over the Dodgers, with Sergio Romo, Lou Trivino and Yusmeiro Petit all throwing double-digit pitches. At least Trivino won’t be available tonight, you’d imagine. Then the A’s had to fly across half of the country to Houston to meet an Astros team coming off a day of rest.

I like the Astros on Thursday. Their moneyline price (-150) isn’t attractive enough, however, so I’m taking over 5.5 runs at +120. Play it down to +105.

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