Friday MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions: 4 Bets For The Night’s Slate (April 16)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Seager, J.P. Crawford
- A favorite. A home underdog. A Coors Field total.
- Our staff outlines their favorite moneyline and over/under picks for Friday night's MLB slate.
Find their favorite picks below, featuring two moneylines and two totals.
Editor’s note: Mets-Rockies has been postponed.
MLB Odds & Picks
Blue Jays at Royals
Mike Ianniello: The Kansas City Royals took Game 1 of this series, 7-5, and have won four of their last five games. They’re 7-4 and certainly out-playing projections and expectations coming into this season. However, I still believe that the Toronto Blue Jays are a much better team, and I like them to bounce back in Game 2.
The Jays’ young stars have looked every bit the part so far in 2021.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been on fire, batting .413 to start the year and absolutely crushed his third home run of the season in Thursday night’s contest. He currently sits sixth in baseball in batting average, wOBA and wRC+. Bo Bichette and Marcus Semien have also been great at the top of the Toronto lineup, each with four home runs on this season — and Bichette is batting .302.
Royals starter Mike Minor is a left-handed pitcher who allowed a hard-hit percentage of 40.4% last season and a 5.56 ERA. That could be trouble against the Blue Jays’ right-handed power at the top of the lineup.
Toronto will have its own South Paw on the mound, as Steven Matz gets the start. Matz has looked terrific in his two starts this season, picking up a pair of wins and allowing just two runs through 12 1/3 innings of work. He’s stuck out 13 batters and has an ERA of 1.46 and a WHIP of 0.89.
Once we get past the starting pitchers, the Toronto bullpen has been great this season, currently sitting third in the league with a 2.09 ERA while Royals bullpen is 16th with a 4.18 ERA.
I like the Blue Jays to bounce back as small favorites and would back them up to -125.
Mets at Rockies
|Jacob deGrom vs. Chi Chi Gonzalez|
Editor’s note: Mets-Rockies has been postponed.
Sean Zerillo: The total for Friday’s matchup between the Mets and Rockies opened curiously low.
Chi Chi González has been one of my favorite pitchers to fade over the past few years. The southpaw carries a career 5.27 FIP and 5.45 xFIP with a 1.16 strikeout to walk ratio — some of the worst individual pitching metrics of the modern era.
I suppose anytime that Jacob deGrom is involved in a matchup, bookmakers need to shade the totals a bit low to avoid getting bombarded with under wagers. Still, I set this line closer to 11.5, and even if the Rockies had their best starter (Germán Márquez) on the mound, I would have made the total closer to 10.7. Furthermore, I set the total for the first five innings (F5) at 6.02 runs.
While I would never recommend placing bets based on blind trends, and I instead focus on betting relative to my projected edges, the historical data does suggest that these totals are likely set a touch low for Friday night: Dating back to 2006, game totals at Coors Field listed between 7 and 9.5 runs have gone over 55.2% of the time (219-178-10) by an average margin of 1.3 runs, good for a 7.5% ROI for a consistent $100 bettor (+3,068).
Since 2009, F5 totals listed between at 5 at Coors have gone Over 56.3% of the time (81-63-18) by an average margin of 0.99 runs, good for a 5.8% ROI for a consistent $100 bettor (+$936).
I would bet the full game over up to 10 (-115), and split a wager with the F5 Over up to 5 (-120).
Tigers at Athletics
Kenny Ducey: The books continue to give Frankie Montas too much respect.
The right-hander has an alarming 44.5% hard-hit rate this year and has allowed five barrels in just 29 batted ball events, which is just a continuation of what we’ve seen from him since the beginning of 2020. He had a 4.58 xERA last season, and ranked in the bottom 38% of the league in walk rate.
Simply put, Montas is a machine when it comes to putting runners on the basepaths.
We know this Tigers team can hit, and almost all of that success has come against right-handed pitching. Detroit sits seventh in the bigs with a 104 wRC+ within the split, which makes sense when you consider some of the quality left-handed bats in the lineup like Akil Baddoo.
We also know that Jose Urena is spectacularly awful — he’s walked more than 24% of the batters he’s faced this season after posting an ugly 12.5% walk rate in 2020, and hitters have averaged over 90 mph off the bat against the righty over the last three years. He shouldn’t be too much to handle for an A’s lineup , hich has caught fire over the past week and now has Matt Olson back healthy.
I can’t believe this total isn’t nine runs.
Astros at Mariners
|Jose Urquidy vs. Yusei Kikuchi|
Matt Trebby: The Astros’ lineup had been shut down for two straight against the Tigers before losing four everyday players. (Martin Maldonado isn’t really someone we should highlight when it comes to offense, though.) Now, without its leadoff, No. 3 and cleanup hitter, Houston heads to the Pacific Northwest for a matchup with a potential breakout arm for the 2021 season.
Yusei Kikuchi was victim to some bad luck last season, as his 5.17 ERA and 3.30 FIP would indicate. He has been solid through two 2021 starts but faces a lineup that normally thrives against lefties. The Astros lead MLB in OPS against left-handed pitching this season, but now they’re without two right-handed-hitting All-Stars in Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman.
Starting for Houston is José Urquidy, who is a solid starter that the Astros will need to stabilize its rotation throughout the season. He’ll face a Mariners lineup that lines up well in the first four spots with Mitch Haniger, Ty France, Kyle Seager and Jose Marmolejos, and fades quickly after that. The return of Kyle Lewis, which sounds like it’ll happen next week, will provide a big boost.
For now, the Astros are struggling, have lost three straight and are down some significant manpower. This game is pretty much a pick’em most places, but Seattle is still +100 at DraftKings. I’d suggest getting as close a number to that as possible and play to -110.
Tanner McGrath: Considering the Astros currently pace the league in OPS and wRC+ against lefties, it’s tough for me to bet on Kikuchi tonight.
Nevertheless, I’m going to do exactly that.
Kikuchi has been dealing this year. Since the start of Spring Training, he’s riding a 20 1/3 inning stretch where he’s allowed just eight runs on 16 hits with 25 strikeouts to just eight walks.
Meanwhile, COVID protocols have ravaged Houston. The Astros will be without Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez once again, and they’re on the verge of losing their sixth straight game.
Meanwhile, the Mariners have won six of their last eight games behind an offense that ranks tenth in wRC+. Moreover, they’ve been great against righties, where their wRC+ jumps to 117 in those situations, good for third in the league.
And the Astros right-handed starter is a young, below-average fastball pitcher. He’s coming off a 2020 campaign in which he posted an xERA and a xFIP above 5.0, and currently has a 5.23 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP after two starts against an Oakland team that’s posted a .598 OPS against righties this season.
The argument against the Mariners is that their bullpen sucks. However, the Astros bullpen has been no better this season:
- Houston relievers: 50 IP, 3.60 ERA, 4.21 FIP, 4.46 xFIP, 1.22 WHIP
- Seattle relievers: 48 1/3 IP, 3.54 ERA, 4.31 FIP, 4.73 xFIP, 1.22 WHIP