MLB Picks Today | Odds, Expert Projections on Thursday, April 6
Pictured: Joey Meneses, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Miguel Cabrera.
- Today's MLB slate is a small one, with only six games and most taking place this afternoon.
- But that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of value to be found in the betting market.
- Continue reading for Sean Zerillo's full betting card from Thursday's MLB slate on April 6th.
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 Thursday, April 6
Boston Red Sox vs. Detroit Tigers
Chris Sale vs. Spencer Turnbull
First Pitch: 1:10 p.m. ET
As I mentioned in Monday’s column, the Tigers were historically bad against righties last season (74 wRC+, 625th out of 630 offenses since 2002) but ranked as a league-average offense against lefties (100 WRC+); and they might retain a similar gap this season. I project the Tigers for a 76 wRC+ against righties with a 104 wRC+ against lefties for 2023.
Perhaps we’ll continue to find value in betting on the Tigers against lefties and fading them against righties; after cashing a +240 underdog ticket against Framber Valdez and a -220 F5 (first five innings) ticket on Cristian Javier in the past two days.
The model likes Detroit for Thursday, setting the Tigers around +120 in either half. You can bet them down to +130 in either half at a roughly two percent edge compared to my numbers.
Moreover, I see value in the Under (projected 7.45) — with two starters I project for solid seasons (sub 3.9 ERA projections) coming off poor first starts. You can bet the Under 8 to -111 or play an F5 Under 4.5 to -135.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals
Kevin Gausman vs. Jordan Lyles
First Pitch: 2:10 p.m. ET
Typically, Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City has a slight lean for hitters — with a run-scoring environment roughly five percent higher than the league average.
However, cool temperatures and the wind patterns for Thursday forced me to lower the scoring environment by about 10 percent for this matchup. I see value in betting the Under.
I projected the total closer to 8 in contrast to the opening total of 9. I would bet the Under down to 8.5 (-108). I would also consider betting an F5 Under 4.5 to -105.
Concerning the side, I see value in Toronto’s F5 moneyline (to -220) and the full game moneyline (to -180). You can also consider betting Toronto as a parlay piece (to -187), and I paired the Jays with the White Sox (playable to -133).
Kevin Gausman projects as a high-end No. 2 starter (3.2 Model Weighted ERA), while Jordan Lyles (4.8) is a replacement-level pitcher. The Blue Jays project better against righties than lefties, and they are also a top-five defensive and baserunning team.
Lyles is one of the most profitable F5 starters over the past two decades (90-100-25, +$2,060 for a consistent $100 bettor, 9.6% ROI), but I see value laying the chalk against him here.
San Francisco Giants vs. Chicago White Sox
Alex Wood vs. Lance Lynn
First Pitch: 4:10 p.m. ET
Before his first start of the season, I expressed optimism for Lance Lynn in 2023. To reiterate, Lynn added a slider last season and, after that point, lowered his wOBA against lefties from .395 to .258 — and increased his strikeout rate by six percent.
Lynn has a pronounced platoon split for his career (nearly 50 points of wOBA), but his team gets the better of the offensive splits in the matchup. Chicago projects far better against lefties than righties, presenting a difficult matchup for Alex Wood.
The White Sox have ranked as a top-five offense against lefties (per wRC+) for the past three seasons; I project them as a below-average offense against right-handed pitching but an apparent top-three offense against lefties (projected 124 wRC+).
Primarily due to their splits advantage, I projected the White Sox around -153 for the first five innings and -139 for the full game. I bet Chicago to -140 and -127 in the two halves of the matchup. Alternatively, use the White Sox as a parlay piece up to -133.
Washington Nationals vs. Colorado Rockies
Josiah Gray vs. Kyle Freeland
First Pitch: 4:10 p.m. ET
Our first game at Coors Field for 2023, and a decent edge on the Over! I projected the total at 11.2 for Thursday. You can bet Over 10.5 to -116.
Both teams are below average defensively — with below-average bullpens — but both teams have a decent collection of bats. I view Josiah Gray and Kyle Freeland as back-end, No. 5 type starters (both projected for an ERA > 4.5). The conditions in Denver aren’t too bad — with the wind blowing out to left field — despite temperatures you’d expect for early April in Colorado.
Coors Field typically plays 30-35% above the league-average run-scoring environment. On Wednesday, it should play closer to 25% higher than an average park, and I still see an edge on the Over.
It should also be a high-variance matchup, where Gray is the superior starter — with vastly more upside — and I give the Nats an edge in every other area (baserunning, bullpen, defense) apart from the offenses.
I projected the Nationals as a slight F5 favorite and a small underdog for the full game. Bet Washington‘s F5 moneyline down to +106 and play the full-game moneyline to +110.
Zerillo’s Bets for Thursday, April 6
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- Boston Red Sox / Detroit Tigers F5 Under 4.5 (-125, 0.5u) at DraftKings
- Boston Red Sox / Detroit Tigers Under 8 (-105, 0.5u) at Caesars
- Chicago White Sox F5 (-127, 0.5u) at BetRivers
- Detroit Tigers F4 (+135, 0.5u) at BetMGM
- Detroit Tigers (+140, 0.5u) at WynnBet
- Parlay (+176): Chicago White Sox (-130) & Toronto Blue Jays (-180), at WynnBet
- Toronto Blue Jays / Kansas City Royals Under 9 (-118, 0.5u) at FanDuel
- Toronto Blue Jays (-220, 0.5u) at FanDuel
- Washington Nationals F5 (+123, 0.5u) at BetRivers
- Washington Nationals (+120, 0.5u) at WynnBet
- Washington Nationals / Colorado Rockies Over 10.5 (-110, 0.5u) at Caesars
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