MLB Picks, Odds, Predictions for Giants vs Yankees, Mets vs Marlins on Saturday, April 1
New York Yankees/Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Rizzo and Gleyber Torres.
- Saturday's MLB slate gets going this afternoon with 15 games spread throughout.
- Blue Jays-Cardinals has caught the eyes of three of our analysts, and we also have picks on Mets-Marlins and Giants-Yankees.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of our best bets from today's MLB slate.
The first Saturday of the MLB season is a busy one. Twelve of the 15 games take place this afternoon, and our analysts are all over them.
Three of our analysts have picks on the game between the Blue Jays and Cardinals, while we have a pick a piece on Giants vs. Yankees and Mets vs. Marlins.
Here are our best bets from the Major League Baseball slate on Saturday, April 1st.
Saturday’s MLB Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our MLB betting staff is targeting from today’s slate of games. Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our MLB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.|
Blue Jays vs. Cardinals
By D.J. James
Opening Day was a massacre for the pitching staffs of the St. Louis Cardinals and Toronto Blue Jays, but expect the same thing on Saturday. For one, winds of over 20 mph will be blowing out to right as storms sweep across the Midwest.
But it’s not just the weather. Both of these teams were great against right-handed pitching last season and should continue here against Jack Flaherty and Kevin Gausman.
Flaherty has had at least a 4.80 xFIP since 2020, so while he was obviously injured for a large portion of that, he has not faired well when on the mound. In 2021, he ranked in the 25th percentile in Average Exit Velocity and the 27th percentile in Hard Hit Rate. Gausman is the better hurler, but ranked in the 35th and 45th percentiles, respectively, in 2022.
These were two of the best offenses in baseball a season ago. The Cards ranked fifth with a 114 wRC+ and tied for eighth with a 8.7% walk rate, while the Blue Jays ranked second at 117 wRC+ and 14th with a walk rate of 8.1%.
Jordan Walker and Willson Contreras are the new additions that should help St. Louis, while Toronto retooked a bit with Brendon Belt and Kevin Kiermaier, while losing Teoscar Hernandez.
The over should be a clear play with two powerful offenses, paired with pitchers that yield hard contact. Play it to 8.5.
Pick: Over 7.5 (+105)
Blue Jays vs. Cardinals
By Doug Ziefel
Team success stems greatly from the men on the mound, and there is a stark mismatch between the two starters in this matchup.
Kevin Gausman will get the ball for the Blue Jays this afternoon, and the argument could be made that he is the ace of this staff. The 32-year-old right-hander put together a solid first season north of the border but was even better than his numbers tell you as he led the majors in FIP.
Opposing him will be Jack Flaherty. Flaherty once was pegged to be the next great Cardinals ace, but the last few years have been riddled with injuries.
Unfortunately for him, he has yet to look like his old self as he was knocked around in spring training. In five starts this spring, he had a 6.41 ERA, and opposing batters hit .329 off him.
Now in his first start of the regular season, he has to face a Blue Jays lineup that looks to be in mid-season form. Toronto’s lineup is formidable, as it led the majors in hard-hit rate and average exit velocity last season, and has a chance to pick up where it left off in this matchup.
Expect Gausman to contain the potent St. Louis order while receiving plenty of run support as the Blue Jays will move to 2-0 on the year. Play to -145.
Pick: Blue Jays -115
Blue Jays vs. Cardinals
By Nick Shlain
The Toronto Blue Jays outlasted the St. Louis Cardinals 10-9 on Opening Day in a back-and-forth game that saw the Cardinals blow a save in the ninth inning as the Blue Jays scored two runs to take the lead.
The Blue Jays had 19 hits in that contest and the Cardinals had 15 of their own. We might not see that same kind of offensive output again Saturday, but the Blue Jays are one of my favorite bets of the day Saturday.
Toronto should have the pitching advantage in this one with right-hander Kevin Gausman on the mound. Gausman had a 3.35 ERA last season, but his underlying metrics were even better as he had a 2.38 FIP and 2.75 xFIP. Gausman also had a 2.30 ERA on the road in 2022 and this game is in St. Louis.
The Cardinals will start Jack Flaherty in this one. Flaherty hasn’t pitched even 100 innings in a season since 2019, when he had a 2.75 ERA in 196 1/3 innings. In the last three seasons, his xERAs have been 4.94, 4.89 and 5.03. That isn’t likely going to cut it against this Blue Jays lineup.
Toronto already had a lineup loaded with right-handed hitters like Bo Bichette, George Springer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., but the addition of left-handed hitters Daulton Varsho, Brandon Belt and Kevin Kiermaier should really help the Blue Jays this season.
Those left-handed hitters should make their impact known against right-handers like Flaherty, who has a slight platoon split for his career, allowing a .288 wOBA to left-handed hitters compared to .275 wOBA allowed to right-handed hitters in his career.
The Blue Jays already showed their ability to come back against the Cardinals’ high-leverage arms in the bullpen on Opening Day so they should still have an edge against St. Louis even after the starters leave the game.
Pick: Blue Jays -115
Giants vs. Yankees
By Jim Turvey
Did you know that Alex Cobb had a better FIP than Sandy Alcantara last season?
Now, this is not to say that Cobb is the better pitcher, but only to show that Cobb is vastly underrated both by typical baseball fans, but also a betting market that hasn’t quite caught up to his mid-career revival.
Facing off against Cobb is Clarke Schmidt, another player who I think is a bit undervalued in the betting marketplace right now. The plan for the Yankees certainly wasn’t to have him as their No. 2 in the rotation, but with injuries as they are, there’s a reason they’re turning to the 27-year-old.
He posted a 3.12 ERA last season mostly out of the pen, but did get some starts. The advanced metrics like him as well, with an above average Stuff Plus and Location Plus number in Eno Sarris’ model.
This number is 4.5 for now, and I really like this even down to under 4 -110.
Pick: F5 Under 4.5
Mets vs. Marlins
By Kenny Ducey
Call me a hater, but I’ll believe it when I see it with Tylor Megill. The right-hander has a 10.1% barrel rate through 137 big-league innings to go along with a 4.73 ERA. Yeah, his ratios aren’t bad; he strikes out guys slightly more than the average pitcher and walks fewer than average. The fact remains that when opponents put the bat to the ball, bad things have always seemed to happen.
On the other side of the coin, an actual pitching prospect will get the ball for the Marlins. Edward Cabrera is a gifted righty who has spent the last three years inside the Top 100 prospects in baseball thanks to a filthy changeup and a fastball that sits at 96 mph. Like Megill, he’s only gotten a taste of the bigs with 98 innings in two years at this level, but unlike his counterpart he’s proven that he is good enough to pitch to major-league hitters.
The Mets look a bit sluggish on offense to start the season, and despite preferring to hit righties I don’t love their chances in this game. Regression to the mean should hit Megill hard after the Marlins registered 10 hits in a narrow 2-1 win on Friday night; Miami was smoking the ball all night long and was very unfortunate to scratch across just the two runs.
The Marlins’ offense is swinging the bats much better than they’re getting credit for through two games, so with that I see a decent edge here in taking the better starting pitcher.
Pick: Marlins +107
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