MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: 3 Best Bets For Saturday (April 23)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Trent Grisham and Jurickson Profar
- There's plenty of betting value on today's MLB slate, starting this afternoon and rolling on through the evening.
- Our analysts have identified three games they like tonight, including Dodgers-Padres.
- Continue reading for our best bets and picks from tonight in Major League Baseball.
Major League Baseball on Saturday means games spread out throughout the day, starting in the early evening through a late-night west coast swing.
Our analysts have identified three games from the slate that present value, starting with a late afternoon affair between the Rangers and Athletics and concluding with an NL West heavyweight tilt between the Dodgers and Padres.
Here are our three best bets from Saturday’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
|8:40 p.m. ET|
Texas Rangers vs. Oakland Athletics
Jules Posner: The Oakland A’s have been an excellent value all season.
After taking one on the chin from the visiting Texas Rangers on Friday night, the A’s turn to ace Frankie Montas to get them back in the win column.
Montas loves pitching at home. He’s a full run better in ERA and FIP at the O.Co Coliseum over his career and was dominant in his first home start against the Baltimore Orioles.
Obviously, the Rangers are a more potent offense and offer more of a challenge than the Orioles, as they are 12th in team wRC+ and fourth in runs scored. They’re also fourth in runs scored and ninth in team wRC+ on the road.
But the Rangers seem to lack the pitching to compliment their offense. As a staff, they have the worst team FIP and second worst team ERA in MLB.
Additionally, they are turning to Martin Perez, who’s been roughed up a little in his first two turns through the rotation, and the A’s offense has been pretty potent in its own right so far.
One edge for the Rangers is that Perez is a fly ball pitcher and O.Co is a spacious venue, but the Rangers’ bullpen is the worst unit in MLB. Therefore, even if the Rangers keep it close, or have the lead, there is a lower probability that they can hold that lead.
The A’s have been surprisingly solid to start the season. With their ace on the mound and one of their big bats potentially returning from the COVID-19 IL in Stephen Piscotty, the A’s ML looks like a great play today.
New York Mets vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Collin Whitchurch: Humberto Castellanos fired four scoreless innings against the Mets just last week in Queens. He’s unlikely to replicate that feat.
Castellanos walked three in that game and was the recipient of quite a bit of luck. And during his career, he’s thus far been quite overmatched when used as a starting pitcher. Last year in his starts, opposing hitters put up a collective .852 OPS against him, compared to just .644 when he pitched in relief.
Castellanos doesn’t miss bats and when contact is made, it’s often hard. As a classic sinkerballer, his main job is to get the opposition to hit the ball on the ground, but he doesn’t do that at an overwhelmingly high rate (40.6% GB rate for his career).
The Mets are going with what is essentially a bullpen game, with veteran Trevor Williams toeing the rubber first. Even with the pitching uncertainty here, I’m still keen on the Mets given that I think their offense will have quite a bit of success against Castellanos.
I like the Mets First Five Innings at -140, but wouldn’t pay any more juice than that. You can also target their team total in a couple of ways — which I like, but is somewhat dangerous given the suppressed offenses we’ve seen across the league so far.
Over 4.5 is juiced in the -140 to -150 range, but if you can tolerate a potential push, you can find Over 5 at -110. Over 5.5 is plus money, but that’s a step too far.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres
|8:40 p.m. ET|
Sean Zerillo: My concern with Yu Darvish coming into the season was the home run ball. After allowing 1.52 HR/9 last season (career 1.15), he seemed like a tremendous bounce-back candidate, but his flyball rate (45.3%) had never been higher — representing nearly a 15% increase year over year.
I anticipated a modification to his pitch mix and haven’t been disappointed — Darvish can manipulate a baseball however he chooses; he can seemingly alter his pitch mix depending upon his mood.
Through three starts, Darvish has dialed up his four-seam fastball usage to 36% — the highest mark since 2019 — tripled his splitter usage (to 12.7%), and put away both his slider (down from a career-high 53.3% to 38.4%) and curveball (8.9% to 5.3%). This is still a relatively small sample, but it’s encouraging to see the experiment.
His flyball rate (43.9%) is still much higher than I’d like it to be — but he lived closer to 40% earlier in his career; and the seemingly suppressed nature of the baseball flight, and overall run-scoring, will aid his home run ails (1.26 HR/9).
From a projection standpoint, I’m still much higher on Darvish (3.62 Model weighted ERA) than I am on Tyler Anderson (4.24 xERA in 2022) — whose preseason projections (FIP range 4.29 to 4.83) would make the Padres an ever steeper favorite here.
Using the most optimistic projection for Anderson, I still make the Padres a slight favorite (projected -108 First Five Innings, -107 Full Game) on Saturday, and I would bet their moneyline in either half at any plus money number.
Although I split my wager between the two halves, I prefer the F5 moneyline, even though I have a comparable projection for these bullpens.
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