Today’s MLB Odds, Picks | Tuesday, April 4 Expert Projections

Today’s MLB Odds, Picks | Tuesday, April 4 Expert Projections article feature image

Pictured: Joey Gallo, Nolan Gorman and Riley Greene.

  • Looking to bet today's MLB slate? Our analyst has you covered.
  • Among today's 14-game slate is plenty of betting value on moneylines, totals and more.
  • Continue reading for Sean Zerillo's full betting card from the MLB slate on Tuesday, April 4th.

Welcome to Opening Pitch, my new 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.

Let's jump into Tuesday's MLB slate, which features 14 games.

Expert Picks for Tuesday, April 4

Minnesota Twins vs. Miami Marlins

Kenta Maeda vs. Sandy Alcantara
First Pitch: 6:40 p.m. ET

It's difficult to accurately predict Maeda's level after Tommy John surgery, a missed season, and a shaky spring (14 2/3 IP, 14 H, 8 R, 10 BB, 14 K).

Coming off a career-best 11-start run (and a second-place Cy Young finish) during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season (66 2/3 IP, 40 H, 20 R, 10 BB, 80 K), Maeda seemed headed for a big 2021 campaign, but struggled through injury before the surgery.

Three different projection systems put his ERA around 4.1 for the 2023 season — akin to a number four starter. I'm using something slightly more conservative.

I had concerns about Sandy Alcantara based on his late 2022 and WBC results before his Opening Day outing against the Mets, and one thing that stood out from that line was the command: four walks and two strikeouts. In the past two seasons, Alcantara has had just two other outings where he recorded more walks than strikeouts: on Opening Day in 2022 and a 2021 start at Coors Field.

I remain highly concerned about Alcantara's health and overall effectiveness.

And aside from the starting pitching matchup, Minnesota is superior to Miami everywhere else. If the Twins can keep the game close until they get to the bullpens, they will pay off their plus-money price tag.

Bet the Twins to +123 (45% implied) at a two percent edge compared to my projection (+113, 47% implied)

I'm also down on both starters and projected the F5 total around 3.9. You can bet the F5 Over 3.5 to -115.

Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees

Matt Strahm vs. Domingo German
First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET

With injuries to their pitching staff, the Phillies will thrust Matt Strahm into their rotation (3.4 xERA in 2022) after signing the southpaw to a two-year, $15 million deal to effectively replace Zach Eflin in their bullpen.

After their miraculous playoff run, the Phillies are staring down an 0-4 record and sport significant injuries throughout their roster. Still, they'll hope to get a gem of a performance from Strahm, who will look to use his fastball/slider combination to turn over the Yankees lineup a couple of times.

For his career, Strham has slight reverse splits, and he is effectively a right-handed pitcher, helping to neutralize the Yankees' slight platoon advantage against southpaw pitching. Strham has had a slight home run issue throughout his career (1.24 HR/9).

However, Domingo German has an even worse issue with the long ball (1.61 HR/9), and these are two potent offenses — even with the injuries to Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper.

Given the wind and weather, I downgraded Tuesday's park factor at Yankee Stadium. I projected the total at 7.96 and would bet Under 8.5 to -110.

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Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Boston Red Sox

Roansy Contreras vs. Nick Pivetta
First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET

Speaking of wind and weather affecting a total, I made a more significant downgrade to Tuesday's run-scoring environment at Fenway Park.

The game also triggered an Action Labs "Under" system for Wind and Weather.

While I am not a system bettor, I projected the F5 totals at 4.57 and the full game total at 8.36 for Tuesday.

Bet the F5 Under 5.5 to -160 or play Under 5 to -120. Additionally, you can bet Under 9.5 to -135 or Under 9 to -114.

I'm far more optimistic about both Roansy Contreras (4.43 expected ERA or xERA in 2022) and Nick Pivetta (4.65) this season than I am compared to their results for last year; I expect both pitchers to shave at least a quarter of a run off of those expected indicators.

Still, this bet is mainly about the wind and weather, with potentially some recency bias after four consecutive easy Overs at Fenway Park.

New York Mets vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Max Scherzer vs. Wade Miley
First Pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET

Offensively, the Mets were far better against righties (119 wRC+, 2nd) than lefties (109 wRC+, 12th) last season; but looking at my splits projections, I'm not sure it was anything more than the sample size. And adding a bat like Tommy Pham (career 133 wRC+ vs. lefties) to platoon with Daniel Vogelbach certainly provides a boost.

The Mets have the better offense, regardless, and when you factor in defense and baserunning together, the Brewers don't gain any ground.

Scherzer (2.9 Model Weighted ERA) remains an ace when healthy (which he currently is), and he is far better than a back-end starter like Wade Miley (4.4 Model Weighted ERA). And the bullpens for the two teams rate pretty comparably.

Yet, despite taking all of those advantages for the Mets into consideration, I still can't get them past 55.3% (-123 implied) for the full game.

You can bet the Brewers down to +134 for the full game and look to bet their F5 moneyline, too, if the number crosses +160 (projected +148).

Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Dylan Dodd vs. Steven Matz
First Pitch: 7:45 p.m. ET

Lefty splits will be vital in this matchup between southpaw starters. Matz is a borderline No. 3/4 type when healthy; and projects as a better pitcher by nearly two third of a run on an ERA than Dylan Dodd — a former third-round pick making his debut after a great spring (18 IP, 15 H, 4 BB, 20 K).

Dylan Dodd's 3 1st Inning Ks.

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 24, 2023

Of the two offenses, Atlanta is superior against righties, but no team is better against lefties than the Cardinals (131 wRC+ in 2022; 1st in MLB).

I project edges for Atlanta on defense, the base paths, and in the bullpen; however, the demonstrable advantage for the Cardinals in the offensive splits leaves me with an actionable edge on the Cardinals' F5 moneyline up to -135 (projected -145).

Detroit Tigers vs. Houston Astros

Matt Manning vs. Framber Valdez
First Pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET

On Monday, the Tigers defeated the Astros in extras for their first win of the season (sending the Astros to a 2-3 record).

I'm betting on the Tigers to make it two straight against the reigning World Series champions thanks to another favorable split against southpaw pitching.

Last season, the Tigers were historically bad against righties (74 wRC+, 625th out of 630 offenses since 2002) but ranked as a league-average offense against leagues (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.

Similarly, the Astros are better against lefties than righties, but they are facing a right-handed starter in Matt Manning on Tuesday, while the Tigers draw Framber Valdez.

Manning overachieved just a touch last season (3.43 ERA, 4.00 xERA) and projects to take a step back — with limited strikeout stuff (career 6.37 K/9) and a shift ban — in 2023. Valdez projects roughly an entire run better than Manning in terms of an ERA number, and I also provide a similar advantage to the Astros' bullpen.

That said, I had difficulty setting Houston beyond a -200 favorite (66.6% implied) in this matchup, and I would bet the Tigers to make it two in a row at +220 or better.

Consider betting their F5 line at +215 or higher or their F5 spread (+0.5 runs) above +130. 

Zerillo's Bets for April 4

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  • Baltimore Orioles (+130, 0.5u) at WynnBet
  • Colorado Rockies / Los Angeles Dodgers, Under 7.5 (-105, 0.5u) at WynnBet
  • Detroit Tigers F5 +0.5 (+140, 0.5u) at Caesars
  • Detroit Tigers (+240, 0.5u) at WynnBet
  • Kansas City Royals (+155, 0.25u) at WynnBet
  • Milwaukee Brewers (+145, 0.5u) at WynnBet
  • Minnesota Twins (+130, 0.5u) at WynnBet
  • Minnesota Twins / Miami Marlins F5 Over 3.5 (-105, 0.5u) at FanDuel
  • Philadelphia Phillies (+145, 0.25u) at WynnBet
  • Philadelphia Phillies / New York Yankees, Under 8.5 (+100, 0.5u) at WynnBet
  • Pittsburgh Pirates / Boston Red Sox, F5 Under 5.5 (-144, 0.5u) at DraftKings
  • Pittsburgh Pirates / Boston Red Sox, Under 9.5 (-125, Risk 0.5u) at FanDuel
  • St. Louis Cardinals (-130, 0.5u) at FanDuel
  • Tampa Bay Rays / Washington Nationals, Under 9 (+100, 0.5u) at WynnBet

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