MLB Picks on Tuesday, April 18 | Odds, Predictions Today
Getty Images. Pictured: Jorge Soler, Bobby Witt Jr., and Drey Jameson.
- There's a whopping 17 games on the MLB docket today, including a pair of doubleheaders that got started this afternoon.
- There's plenty of value to be found, as you might expect, and our lead MLB analyst is all over it.
- Continue reading for Sean Zerillo's full betting card for the MLB slate on Tuesday, April 18th.
Welcome to Opening Pitch, my column that you’ll find daily throughout the 2023 MLB season.
My goal for Opening Pitch is to highlight my top daily projection edges for MLB moneylines and totals, share my favorite bets and provide some betting notes and analysis, mainly as I react to opening and overnight lines while using my baseball betting model.
I will look to release a new version of Opening Pitch daily between midnight and 3 a.m. ET; after I enter my overnight bets in the Action Network App and update the MLB projections. Hopefully, you will use it as your morning betting guide to get ahead of the baseball markets.
You can find my projections for every MLB game in the Action App (on both the PRO Projections tab and the game pages) and our Projections Hub (which you can bookmark).
You can also shop for the best lines on our odds page.
Expert Picks for Tuesday, April 18
San Francisco Giants vs. Miami Marlins
Alex Wood vs. Edward Cabrera
First Pitch: 6:40 p.m. ET
As a reminder, Edward Cabrera has struggled mainly in six career starts against the New YorkMets (21 2/3 IP, 17 H, 16 R, 4 HR, 21 BB, 19 K, 6.65 ERA, 1.75 WHIP), but he has been far more effective in his other 18 major league starts (88 IP, 60 H, 34 R, 45 BB, 94 K, 3.27 ERA, 1.19 WHIP).
Cabrera is his own worst enemy. When he has command over his arsenal, he shows ace potential. But there are one or two innings every start where he can’t locate anything, and whether he can escape that jam or not determines how Cabrera’s night went. Maybe he will work the kinks out and eventually become more consistent, but his current form can sometimes be frustrating.
While I project Alex Wood as the superior pitcher to Cabrera by about a quarter to a third of a run — and give the Giants a similar bullpen advantage over the Marlins — Miami projects to have some hidden advantages in baserunning and defense — with an edge over the Giants at every position in those areas except for one corner outfield spot despite how the two teams have performed this season (Giants 18th, Marlins 24th in Defensive Runs Saved).
I projected the Marlins closer to -115 in either half rather than plus money where they opened in both markets. Bet Miami to -107 for the first five innings (F5) and -110 for the full game.
Baltimore Orioles vs. Washington Nationals
Dean Kremer vs. Josiah Gray
First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET
Like most ballparks, Nationals Park can favor hitters or pitchers depending upon the day; but the wind seems to have a slightly more polarizing impact in Washington, D.C.; not on the level with Wrigley Field, for instance, but definitely to a more significant degree than your average stadium.
While I typically wouldn’t look to bet an Under in a matchup between back-end starters (4.25 xERA or expected ERA for Gray; 4.46 for Kremer in 2022), winds blowing in from left field at 8-10 mph throughout the game could knock down a couple of extras base hits. Temperatures should cool into the high 50s by the late innings.
For context, that’s a drop of nearly 20 degrees and a 25 mph reversal in the wind direction — compared to the Over we bet on Sunday involving Patrick Corbin.
I projected the total at 8.35. Bet Under 9 to -114.
You can also bet the Nationals down to +125.
Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Yankees
Jose Suarez vs. Clarke Schmidt
First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET
I was high on Clarke Schmidt coming into this season after a solid minor league track record, 2022 debut (3.51 xERA in 57 2/3 innings), and 2023 spring training. Schmidt was disappointed in three starts (8.99 xERA, 5.19 xFIP), but we have only bet on him in one of those.
The model suggests that we are getting a discount to bet on a pitcher I like after a rocky start to his season, a similar spot that Hayden Wesneski — who I also like — was in on Monday for the Cubs at the same price tag (albeit on the road, but against a lesser team).
The angle is more about the Yankees‘ bullpen advantage, however — which is fresh after an off day — while the Angels are coming off of a relatively grueling four-game series in Boston, where they blew multiple leads and had to sit through a lengthy rain delay on Monday.
I projected the Giancarlo-Stanton-less Yankees as -143 favorites for Tuesday, and you can bet the Bombers to -134 at home in the Bronx.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Chicago White Sox, Game 2
Bailey Falter vs. Lucas Giolito
First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
Unless I see a considerable edge, typically I wouldn’t say I like to bet the Under in the second game of a doubleheader until the first game ends. However, I have far less of an issue betting the Over for Game 2 early. Star players typically sit in the early contest (if at all), while the critical relievers on both sides may get used in Game 1, ultimately moving the total for Game 2 in the direction we want anyway.
In the nightcap, we get the White Sox in their superior split against Bailey Falter, and the opportunity to fade Lucas Giolito — who has pitched closer to the level of a No. 4 starter (4.23 xERA in 2022; 3.74 in 2023) than a frontline arm since his velocity dipped at the end of the 2021 season (3.27 xERA). Giolito has seen his fastball increase slightly this year, and the differential between those seasons (3.74) is where I’d expect him to fall, making him a mid-rotation arm.
Assuming normal bullpen usage in Game 1, I projected the total for Game 2 at 9.01; bet Over 8.5 to -110. We’ll probably add an F5 Over in the morning, too.
Texas Rangers vs. Kansas City Royals
Nathan Eovaldi vs. Brad Keller
First Pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET
Brad Keller has always looked like he should be better than he is, with the size of an ace (6-foot-5, 255 lbs) and the ability to sit at 95 mph in his starts. Still, the 27-year-old may have finally unlocked a new level this season after adding a curveball to the mix (25% usage rate) and modifying his slider to a sweeper at Driveline Baseball.
Keller used the Curveball 26 times in his last start against the Rangers and generated an impressive five whiffs and seven called strikes (46% CSW% or Called Strike plus Whiff Rate):
I am typically higher on Nathan Eovaldi than the betting market is. And in what I project as a potential pitchers’ duel, I would have loved to have bet the Under.
Still, the wind is blowing out, and conditions are ripe for an Over at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday. After adjusting for the wind and weather, I align with the total (projected 9.01). This Action Labs system typically tips me off when the weather in Kansas City is extreme:
However, 300 games is still a relatively limited sample, and the ROI (4.3%) pales compared to the Wind In Under system, which I have regularly discussed this year, which has an 8.8% ROI over more than 1,500 bets.
Seeing in the system trigger should never be enough for you to bet the Over blindly. Still, if you are on the fence about an Under, it should be enough for you to pass and assume that the market has adjusted appropriately.
That said, I think the Royals should be favored in both halves. Bet Kansas City to +105 in either or both halves of this matchup.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Drey Jameson vs. Jordan Montgomery
First Pitch: 7:45 p.m. ET
Drey Jameson helped to cash our biggest bet of the season last Wednesday against Janson Junk and the Brewers, and I’m happy to back him again against a Cardinals team which has struggled out of the gate and fallen five games off of the pace in the NL Central.
The Cardinals have made an aggressive mid-summer run in the past couple of seasons behind long hot streaks to catch up to the Brewers, and it looks like they may have to do it a third time with both teams starting 2023 in a similar fashion as the past two seasons.
Arizona has much of what the Cardinals don’t — young, quality starting pitching. Brandon Pfaadt might be on his way to the majors very soon.
Compared to Pfaadt, a preseason top-25 prospect, Jameson is a relative no-name, but I am extremely high on his potential.
Drey Jameson, 99mph Fastball and 86mph Slider, Overlay (slow) pic.twitter.com/burZpOi86F
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 12, 2023
Jameson is a highly explosive athlete; he must figure out a third pitch to become a true starter. A nasty fastball/slider combination is enough to turn over a lineup once. Either his curveball or changeup must emerge as a true third offering. The Diamondbacks had planned to use Jameson in a fireman role — to keep a game tight behind Madison Bumgarner or Zach Davies, but injuries forced their hand.
In this matchup, I project the fair line closer to +130; you can bet the Snakes down to +140 in either half.
Additionally, I see value on the Under with two effective starters, two quality defensive teams, and winds blowing in from right field. I set the total at 7.7; bet Under 8.5 to -120 or Under 8 to -102.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Colorado Rockies
Vince Velasquez vs. Jose Urena
First Pitch: 8:40 p.m. ET
I’m always delighted to bet an Over at Coors Field between pitchers I love to fade, and Jose Urena has been near the top of my fade list for nearly his entire career (4.87 ERA, 4.84 xFIP); Urena is a replacement level pitcher, and Coors is a bad place for him to be.
It seemed like we might get a Vince Velasquez renaissance this spring, but a 5.3 xERA and 6.25 xFIP through three starts with a consistent pitch mix and velocity readings as past seasons (5.3 xERA in 2021; 4.65 in 2022) likely puts that possibility away forever.
The weather (72 degrees at first pitch, winds 16 mph to right field) should be particularly kind to hitters on Tuesday.
We have bet and won money on both of these putrid starters this season as sizable underdogs. On Tuesday, we get to bet against both in the same game.
I projected the F5 total at 7.34 and the full game total at 13.36. You can bet the F5 Over up to 7 (-120) and the full game Over to 13 (-104).
Zerillo’s Bets for Tuesday, April 18
For additional bet notifications, follow me in the Action Network App.
- Arizona Diamondbacks F5 (+140, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +140)
- Arizona Diamondbacks (+152, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +140)
- Arizona Diamondbacks / St. Louis Cardinals, Under 8.5 (-115, 0.5u) at MGM (bet to -120 or 8, -102)
- Baltimore Orioles / Washington Nationals, Under 9.5 (-120, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to 9, -114)
- Chicago White Sox Game 2 F5 (-125, 1u) at BetMGM (bet to -160)
- Chicago White Sox Game 2 (-125, Flat Risk 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to -130)
- Chicago White Sox / Philadelphia Phillies, Game 2, Over 8.5 (-105, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -110)
- Detroit Tigers Game 1 F5 (+105, 0.5u) at BetMGM (bet to +100)
- Kansas City Royals F5 (+110, 0.5u) at BetRivers (bet to +105)
- Kansas City Royals (+110, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +105)
- Miami Marlins F5 (+100, 0.5u) at BetRivers (bet to -107)
- Miami Marlins (+100, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to -110)
- Milwaukee Brewers (+142, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +135)
- New York Yankees (-130, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to -134)
- Oakland Athletics (+160, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +155)
- Pittsburgh Pirates / ColoradoRockies, F5 Over 6.5 (-130, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -160 or 7, -120)
- Pittsburgh Pirates / Colorado Rockies, Over 12.5 (-105, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to 13, -104)
- Philadelphia Phillies Game 1 F5 (-118, 0.5u) at FanDuel (Bet to -118)
- Washington Nationals (+130, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +125)
How would you rate this article?
This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.