Saturday MLB Odds & Picks: Our Best Bets, Including Cubs vs. Pirates, Athletics vs. Astros, & Angels vs. Blue Jays (April 10)
Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images. Pictured: Mike Trout and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
- With a full slate of MLB games for Saturday, our staff found five betting angles.
- Three bets are for the evening slate, including Cubs-Pirates and Angels-Blue Jays.
- Continue reading for our staff's best bets for Saturday.
Our staff has found betting angles on four games, including five bets, from team totals to first five innings to straight moneylines. Here are our best bets for Saturday.
MLB Odds & Picks
Seattle Mariners vs. Minnesota Twins
Mike Ianiello: Michael Pineda was terrific in his first starts for the Twins, allowing just one run on four hits and striking out five through five innings. After struggling at times with the Yankees, Pineda has bounced back since joining the Twins, posting a 3.38 ERA in five starts last season, and a 2.22 FIP.
Yuesei Kikuchi also looked great in his first start for Seattle this year, with the exception of a pair of home runs, Kikuchi tied his career high with 10 strikeouts against the Giants and walked just one better through six innings. If Kikuchi can keep up that kind of swing-and-miss stuff, he should have success against a Minnesota team with a 29% strikeout rate.
While this Twins lineup is obviously capable of putting up a crooked number at any point, I will hold my breath that Kikuchi can keep them at bay through five, and Pineda will continue his success against a weak Seattle lineup.
Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros
Kenny Ducey: It’s rare that two pitchers I absolutely hate match up and the total is just over eight, but that’s what we’ve got today between the Astros and A’s.
I touched on why I believed in the A’s lineup in yesterday’s best bets, and they delivered six runs in a big win. The A’s have done a pretty decent job of making contact this season and rank eighth in hard-hit rate, and are more formidable at the plate than you’d think for a team that’s started 2-7. They also had to deal with an injury to Ramon Laureano, who was one of their only successful hitters before going down. And, of course, we know the Astros can certainly hit — they’ve absolutely exploded at the plate to start 2021.
So, you’ve got two pretty capable offenses and a pitching matchup I think will be ripe for scoring. Frankie Montas has been absolutely dreadful since the start of 2020, with a 6.47 ERA in 12 starts, and was absolutely shelled by this Astros team in last year’s ALDS, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk. José Urquidy, meanwhile, is coming off a year where he was in the bottom 25% of the league in xwOBA and average exit velocity. He’s never had swing-and-miss stuff, with a whiff rate in the 14th percentile last year and a strikeout rate of just 14.7%. He lacks velocity and pitches to contact.
Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Tanner McGrath: Last Sunday, I played under 8 runs in this same exact pitching matchup between the Cubs and the Pirates. It won because the Cubs’ Zach Davies and the Pirates’ Mitch Keller allowed a combined three runs through the first six innings.
I could easily take the under in this matchup again, citing the two clubs’ offensive struggles and the same pitching matchup. However, I’m leaning more toward Cubs first five innings. For two main reasons:
First, the Pirates offense is still terrible. With Ke’Bryan Hayes hurt, there’s no spark in the lineup. The Pirates have scored a combined 14 runs in their last six games and have lost all six.
Davies held Pittsburgh scoreless through five innings last Sunday, and I think he does it again. The Pirates finished dead last against RHPs in OPS last season and currently boast a .616 OPS against RHPs through seven games this season.
Second, while the Cubs have posted very mediocre numbers so far, they’ve also had some bad luck. The Cubs have the lowest BABIP in the league by a mile at .168. The second-lowest BABIP is .216.
The Cubs are above average in both hard-hit percentage and GB/FB rate, so I’d expect some positive regression eventually. The lineup gets to face Keller again after picking up three runs against him last Sunday, so I think this is a good spot for the Chicago bats to heat up.
Additionally, I’d rather avoid bullpen drama and play just the starting pitching battle, so I bet Cubs first five -0.5 at -115 on BetMGM. I would be cautious betting it past -120.
Los Angeles Angels vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Jeff Hicks: The Angels have scored five or more runs in six of eight games to start the season. L.A. has also scored one run every four at-bats against southpaws.
Los Angeles Angels vs. Toronto Blue Jays
DJ James: José Quintana takes on Steven Matz in this matchup of southpaws. Quintana has looked questionable since returning in 2021 after an extremely odd thumb injury from washing the dishes last season. He has not yet shown his success for the last couple of years, so the Astros got to him early in his first appearance this season.
On the other hand, Matz looked phenomenal in his outing against the Texas Rangers, yielding only three baserunners. The Angels’ lineup is obviously far more talented than the rebuilding Rangers, but if Quintana can only register three to four innings, the Halos’ bullpen has plenty of question marks in middle relief. Herein lies the betting angle. Matz and Quintana could overall be virtually a wash, but I am willing to take a healthy Matz over a Quintana who has not quite looked like himself lately.
The Blue Jays’ lineup is injury-riddled with Teoscar Hernández and George Springer on the injured list, but Randal Grichuk has slashed .333/.407/.500 thus far in 27 plate appearances to fill their shoes while they get healthy. Play the Jays up to -130 since this line seems a bit slanted to the Angels with the expectation of a bounce-back start for Quintana. I do not expect that to happen.