MLB Predictions Today | Odds, Picks, Expert Projections for Wednesday, April 19
Getty Images. Pictured: Willson Contrearas, Andrew McCutchen and Joe Ryan.
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 Wednesday, April 19
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Cincinnati Reds
Drew Rasmussen vs. Levi Stoudt
First Pitch: 12:35 p.m. ET
The Reds will promote and start the 25-year-old Stoudt — who they acquired in the Luis Castillo trade — on Wednesday afternoon. Stoudt projects as a replacement-level arm (FIP range 4.75 to 5.14), and his fastball/slider combination may be better suited to the bullpen in the long term.
This is a rare matchup where I project value on the favorite for the first five innings (F5) and value on the underdog for the full game. Typically in these spots, I back the favorite pregame and look to jump in live on the underdog in the late innings since the perceived bullpen advantage for Tampa Bay is likely smaller than the market suggests, especially compared to the difference in starting pitcher quality.
I projected Rasmussen and the Rays as -191 (65.6% implied) F5 or first-half favorites. You can bet Tampa Bay’s F5 moneyline up to -175 (63.6%) or include them in a parlay to -183.
Alternatively, I see an edge on Cincinnati’s full-game moneyline (projected +169, listed +195) and would typically play their price at +185 or better pregame.
If the game is close in the middle innings, search for a live entry on the Reds.
Cleveland Guardians vs. Detroit Tigers
Cal Quantrill vs. Spencer Turnbull
First Pitch: 1:10 p.m. ET
After getting swept in Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Guardians should have better splits on both sides of Wednesday’s matchup.
As I have continually pointed out in the early season, the Tigers are roughly a league-average offense against lefties, but potentially remain historically bad — as they were last season — against righties. Meanwhile, the Guardians’ offense should continue to perform as a top-10 team against righties; but should rank closer to average against lefties.
I don’t project a significant difference between the starting pitchers — Quantrill and Turnbull — in terms of quality. However, the splits advantage is enough to get my projection to -142. Bet the Guardians in the first half, up to -133. And wait for a similar price to play their full game moneyline.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Madison Bumgarner vs. Jake Woodford
First Pitch: 1:15 p.m. ET
Wednesday’s matchup against the Cardinals — the No. 1 offense against lefties (123 wRC+) since the start of the 2021 season — with winds blowing out to left field at 16-19 mph at Busch Stadium, should prove problematic for Madison Bumgarner, who posted a 5.53 expected ERA or xERA over 30 starts in 2022, and who holds an 8.56 in a limited 2023 sample, while displaying another noticeable dip in velocity.
The Diamondbacks considered placing Bumgarner on the IL — since the velocity dip is likely a sign that he is hiding an injury — and bringing up top 100 prospect Brandon Pfaadt to take his spot in the rotation.
I’m not sure why Arizona is letting Bumgarner take the ball, but hopefully, he can pad our wallets.
I projected the Cardinals’ F5 moneyline at -201; you can bet that line straight to -185 or, in a parlay, to -192.
However, I am not exceptionally high on Jake Woodford, either.
As a result, I prefer the Cardinals’ F5 team total Over 2.5 (to -160) or Over 3 (to -120). I projected the number closer to 3.5. And I would prefer that bet to an F5 Over 5.5 (-112) at a similar edge.
However, I am interested in the full game Over too. I projected the number at 10.1 and would bet Over 9.5 to -117.
The Diamondbacks don’t have an off day until next Thursday, and since they had to start Drey Jameson on Tuesday — who was typically ready to pitch behind Bumgarner — Arizona may be forced to make Bumgarner eat some innings on Wednesday if they are going to start him. That way, they don’t tax their bullpen for the remainder of the week too.
Texas Rangers vs. Kansas City Royals
Martin Perez vs. Brady Singer
First Pitch: 2:10 p.m. ET
Similar to the weather at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City will see temperatures in the 70s and winds blowing out to left field at upwards of 17 mph throughout the game, triggering the following Action Labs System:
To be clear, I don’t bet blindly based on this system, which initially triggered for Tuesday’s game too.
However, after making my wind and weather adjustments, I set this total at 9.77 and would bet an Over up to 9.5 (+100).
I would also consider betting an F5 Over 4.5 (to -120); still, I would rather get the bullpen involved; instead of two starters that I am typically higher on, relative to the betting market.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Colorado Rockies
Johan Oviedo vs. Austin Gomber
First Pitch: 3:10 p.m. ET
Oviedo had a solid 2022 season between the rotation and bullpen for the Cardinals and Pirates (3.21 ERA, 3.17 xERA) and might be in full breakout mode after matching those expected metrics across three starts, two of which were quality outings.
His last start against his former team (7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 10 K) was eye-opening. Oviedo carried elite velocity (averaging 96.6 mph on the fastball) over an extended outing while aggressively mixing in his pair of breaking balls (combined 61.2% usage rate) and occasionally showing a changeup. Early returns on Oviedo’s increased curveball usage are positive; it is likely his best offering.
I projected Pittsburgh at -147 F5 favorites; you can back Oviedo in the first half up to -135. You can place a full unit bet up to -125 and reduce your risk after that.
Chicago Cubs vs. Oakland Athletics
Justin Steele vs. Mason Miller
First Pitch: 3:37 p.m ET
With a struggling rotation, the Athletics will call up the flame-throwing Mason Miller on Wednesday after tossing fewer than 50 professional innings.
He has the frame (6-foot-5, 225 lbs) and velocity (regularly touches 100 mph) of an ace starting pitcher. Miller also has a plus slider and above-average command but is working to refine his changeup.
Mason Miller has pitched in just 11 Minor League games, but after an impressive AFL stint, a strong Spring Training and a blistering start at Triple-A, he's expected to make his big league debut tomorrow.
More from @MartinJGallegos: https://t.co/fLPGwZ3wumpic.twitter.com/FtbT87oZIX
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 18, 2023
Miller immediately projects as a mid-rotation type arm and Oakland’s best-starting pitcher. I wish he weren’t going against model favorite Justin Steele in his first outing; still, the A’s lines are overinflated right now, no matter the opponent. Bet the Athletics down to +140.
I also projected the total at 7.26 in what I project as a likely pitcher’s duel. You can bet Under 8 to -118, and we’ll target an F5 Under in the morning.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Seattle Mariners
Eric Lauer vs. Marco Gonzales
First Pitch: 4:10 p.m ET
Gonzales is one of my favorite pitchers to bet against (4.93, 4.59, 5.02 xERA in the past three seasons), and Lauer — like Madison Bumgarner — is showing a significant velocity decline and fairly obvious injury concerns:
After averaging a career-high 93.4 mph on his fastball in 2022, Lauer’s average has dropped 2.7 mph to a career-low (90.7 mph) through three starts this year.
Both teams have had to use their key relievers extensively in recent days — including Tuesday’s extra-innings contest. And both teams will look to get length out of their starting pitchers.
I projected the totals in this matchup at 4.93 (F5) and 8.93 (full game): bet the Overs in each half up to 4.5 (-116) and 8.5 (-108).
Minnesota Twins vs. Boston Red Sox
Joe Ryan vs. Corey Kluber
First Pitch: 7:10 p.m ET
The model has consistently supported Joe Ryan since his major league debut. There’s a chance he’s taking a step forward after scrapping his curveball and changeup or prior years for a splitter this season.
The splitter has been Ryan’s best pitch through three starts, generating a .152 xwOBA allowed.
Joe Ryan's new splitter in action pic.twitter.com/uyza48iGSn
— Nash Walker (@Nashwalker9) April 14, 2023
Conversely, you can add Corey Kluber to the list of pitchers in this article experiencing significant velocity decline. Through three starts, Kluber has permitted a 5.55 xERA.
I projected the Twins as -144 F5 favorites and -127 full-game favorites for Wednesday; bet those lines to -135 and -116, respectively.
Zerillo’s Bets for Wednesday, April 19
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- Atlanta Braves / San Diego Padres, Under 9 (-110, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to -114)
- Baltimore Orioles / Washington Nationals, Under 8.5 (+100, 0.5u) at Caesars (bet to +100)
- Cleveland Guardians F5 (-125, 0.5u) at BetRivers (bet to -133)
- Cleveland Guardians (-135, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to -142)
- Cleveland Guardians/Detroit Tigers, Under 8.5 (-105, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to 8, -102)
- Houston Astros / Toronto Blue Jays, Over 9 (+100, 0.5u) at Caesars (bet to -103)
- Los Angeles Angels / New York Yankees, Under 9 (+100, 0.5u) at Caesars (bet to -103)
- Milwaukee Brewers / Seattle Mariners, F5 Over 4.5 (-110, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to -116)
- Milwaukee Brewers / Seattle Mariners, Over 8.5 (-105, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to -108)
- Minnesota Twins F5 (-134, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to -135
- Minnesota Twins (-115, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to -116)
- New York Mets / Los Angeles Dodgers, F5 Over 4.5 (-105, 0.5u) at Caesars (bet to -115)
- Oakland Athletics (+155, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +140)
- Oakland Athletics / Chicago Cubs, Under 8 (-110, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to -118)
- Parlay (+142, 0.5u) at FanDuel: St. Louis Cardinals F5 (-184) & Tampa Bay Rays F5 (-176), parlay to -192 and -183
- Pittsburgh Pirates F5 (-110, 1u) at BetRivers (bet to -135; reduce risk at -125)
- St. Louis Cardinals F5 Team Total Over 2.5 (-150, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to -160 or 3, -120)
- St. Louis Cardinals / Arizona Diamondbacks, Over 9.5 (-110, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to -117)
- TexasRangers / Kansas City Royals, Over 9.5 (+105, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to 9.5, +100)
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