MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: 4 Best Bets From Thursday’s Slate, Including Orioles vs. Yankees, Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals (April 28)
Norm Hall/Getty Images. Pictured: Ketel Marte
Thursday’s MLB slate is a day-game bonanza. There are 13 games on the schedule and 11 of them will likely wrap up before the sun goes down.
The NFL Draft’s first round is tonight and there’s still NBA postseason action ongoing, but the afternoon is for betting on baseball, and we’ve got you covered with a trio of day games featuring value, as well as a solid nightcap in St. Louis.
Here are our four best bets from Thursday’s Major League Baseball slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
San Diego Padres vs. Cincinnati Reds
DJ James: Tyler Mahle has been throwing the ball well and getting brutal results. He has a 6.88 ERA on the season and a 2.97 xERA. This screams bad luck. Looking at his peripherals, he is only allowing opponents a hard hit percentage of 31.4%, which is lower than last season. His walk rate has had a brief uptick, but this should stabilize as the season moves on.
Nick Martinez is in the opposite boat. His xERA is 7.01 versus a 4.29 ERA. His peripherals are not encouraging, either. That said, he does have a ~19% strikeout clip, and the Padres have struck out the sixth-most in baseball. He has also only had one poor outing on the season, so he can get lucky once more against the Padres. All he will need to do is limit the walks.
Neither of these teams fare well against righties. They also hit grounders 46% of the time or more, which does not imply future success. Mahle should dominate this Padres team. This Reds team cannot hit at all this season.
Given how both teams have moderately stable bullpen arms, the play here is the under to -7.5 (-110). The Padres at 6-12 to the under this season, after all.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Doug Ziefel: Freddy Peralta got back on track in his last start against a formidable Phillies lineup. He punched out six over five innings of work while allowing just one run on three hits.
He’ll face a Pittsburgh lineup that is hitting just .231 with .292 wOBA and is seventh in the league in strikeout rate. Peralta’s expected numbers are inflated due to his first two starts, but he should carry over his success from his last start and even build on it against the scuffling Pirates.
Opposing him in this matchup will be Jose Quintana, who could be in for a quick trip to the showers as the Brewers lineup is made to attack lefties. Their lineup features guys like Andrew McCutchen, Hunter Renfroe and Mike Brosseau, who have each mashed lefties in their careers. However, they won’t be the only righties in the lineup as they’ll look to take advantage of Quintana’s struggles against opposite-handed hitters.
For his career, Quintana has allowed righties to hit .263 and slug to a rate of .416, which are 19 and 45 points higher than what he’s permitted left-handers to do.
Peralta should receive plenty of run support as he holds the Pittsburgh bats at bay, which will make this play sweat-free. Bet to (-115)
Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees
Jules Posner: I’m not sure if the New York Yankees are rolling right now, or if they’re just playing the Baltimore Orioles at home. Either way, the Yankees are rolling right now and playing the Baltimore Orioles at home.
Over the past week, the Yankees’ offense has really gotten hot. Seven of their nine regulars have posted a wRC+ over 100 this past week and surprisingly, Giancarlo Stanton is not one of them.
Additionally, they are the second-best offense at home in terms of team wRC+, but they also are the third best offense at home vs LHP in wRC+.
Bruce Zimmermann is on the hill for the Orioles and although he is off to a nice start this season, he has a 6.12 road ERA over his career to go with a 5.01 career road FIP. Hitters also tend to get the ball airborne against Zimmermann at a higher clip on the road as well. Heading into the bandbox in the Bronx, this could be a recipe for some early scoring for the Yankees.
Jameson Taillon is on the mound for the Yankees and he seems pretty comfortable pitching in the Bronx. In 2021, Taillon posted a 3.26 ERA, but he also had a 4.42 FIP at home, which is cause for concern.
However, the Orioles are 23rd in team wRC+ and BB% on the road vs RHP so far this season, going against a pitcher who has not allowed a walk at home yet. Therefore, the Orioles will have to hit their way on Thursday afternoon, which is something they are not prone to do.
Both bullpens are pretty solid, so look for the Yankees to put up some offense early and hold that lead. The RL looks like the play here. It’s -110 right now and should probably stick around there until game time. This can be taken to -120 however.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Collin Whitchurch: Tonight’s matchup between the Diamondbacks and Cardinals features two starting pitchers who struggle to throw strikes against a pair of offenses not afraid to take a walk.
Humberto Castellanos was surprisingly efficient last time out against the Mets. He walked just one and struck out five in five innings, most notably putting together a CSW% of around 32%, which is 6% higher than his career average.
Expect a return to mediocrity against a Cardinals team that ranks around league-average in taking walks. Castellanos’s career in Arizona — whether it be in relief or as a starter — has been defined by a low ceiling. He doesn’t miss a ton of bats and he gives out his fair share of free passes. He also doesn’t give up a lot of soft contact nor keep the ball on the ground, which is something of which St. Louis should be able to take advantage.
Dakota Hudson similarly hasn’t had a lot of success finding the strike zone thus far in 2022. While he went 6 2/3 shutout innings last time out against Cincinnati, it came with four walks. He’s working in the zone at a lower rate than the league average, inducing swings and misses below the league average, and facing an Arizona that, despite its lack of success, takes walks at the fifth-best rate in the majors.
All of this is to say that both offenses should have myriad opportunities with runners on this evening, and that’s a recipe for an over. I’ll take over 7.5 at +100 and bet it to 8 and -110.
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