MLB Odds & Best Bets: Our Top 3 Picks, Including A’s vs. Orioles, Rockies vs. Phillies (Monday, April 18)
Mark Blinch/Getty Images. Pictured: Cristian Pache and Seth Brown.
- Tonight's MLB slate is loaded with betting value, and we've got three bets to recommend.
- The games our analysts are eyeing include Pirates-Brewers, Phillies-Rockies and Orioles-Athletics.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of our picks from tonight's slate in Major League Baseball.
Monday’s MLB slate got started early thanks to the Patriots Day affair at Fenway between the Red Sox and Twins. But there’s still plenty more action this evening, with 10 games spread out throughout the night.
Our analysts have found value on three games: Pirates vs. Brewers, Phillies vs. Rockies and Orioles vs. Athletics. We have a moneyline underdog, a player prop and a run line to recommend.
Here are our three best bets from Monday’s Major League Baseball slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
|9:40 p.m. ET|
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Milwaukee Brewers
DJ James: Zach Thompson was solid in his first start versus the Cubs, where he allowed two earned runs in four innings of work, and his peripherals are encouraging. He allowed an average exit velocity of 86.4 mph, which is right in line with where he was last season at 87.6 mph and in the 76th percentile in the MLB.
Eric Lauer may have had a decent 2021 campaign with a 3.87 xERA, but the Orioles tagged him for three earned in 4 1/3 innings in his first appearance of the season. Lauer used his four-seamer and cutter around 62% of pitches last season. This was similar to his last start.
On fastballs with a similar profile (88-95 mph) going back to the beginning of 2021, the Pirates actually crush this type of pitch. They have seven hitters over an 89 mph average exit velocity, so look for them to take advantage when Lauer is consistently throwing his fastball and cutter mix.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Colorado Rockies
Collin Whitchurch: Aaron Nola has had a somewhat inconsistent start to the season. He’s allowed at least three runs in each of his first two starts, but lasted just 3 1/3 innings last time out against the Mets as he struggled to find the plate, walking three.
He threw exactly 76 pitches in both outings this season, and still managed five strikeouts against the Mets despite his troubles. He struck out seven in the same amount of pitches against the Athletics.
It’s going to be interesting to see how and when some of these ace-level pitchers start to get stretched out more as we get later in the month of April. Given that this is Nola’s third start of the season, it would not be surprising to see him stretched to the 90-or-so pitch mark tonight, assuming he performs to his abilities.
The Rockies have been one of the biggest surprises of the first few weeks of the MLB season, and they’re not the easiest team in the league to strikeout. They currently have the 10th-lowest K% in the majors, and that’s pretty well in line with what we saw over a full season in 2021.
Still, this total is too low for Nola, and seems to have been adjusted down a bit given his slow start to the season. If Nola had pitched like he’s expected to for most of 2022 in his first two starts of the season, this number is likely a tick higher, or more heavily juiced.
There’s plenty of value on Nola to reach six strikeouts tonight at Coors at -135, and I would bet it to -150.
Baltimore Orioles vs. Oakland Athletics
|9:40 p.m. ET|
Jules Posner: After a long and tough road trip to open their season, the Oakland Athletics are finally back home to take on the Baltimore Orioles.
The A’s end a 5-5 road trip that took them through a gauntlet of east coast contenders. However, ending a trip at .500 against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Toronto Blue Jays is no small feat.
Additionally, the A’s will have their ace, Frankie Montas, starting the home opener. He’s been solid at home over his career where he’s posted a 3.50 ERA with a 3.25 FIP at whatever the A’s stadium is called now.
He’s also taking on an offense that’s 24th in team wRC+, but has scored the second fewest runs in MLB.
The A’s also sit right at 100 in terms of team wRC+, but they have had a tough schedule to start the year and still have the most runs scored in MLB and all of that offense came on the road.
Although Oakland is an offense suppressing environment, the A’s should be fired up for some home cooking.