MLB Picks, Odds, Predictions Today for Blue Jays vs Royals, Rockies vs Dodgers, More on Tuesday, April 4
Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images. Pictured: Mookie Betts
- There are 14 games on Tuesday's MLB slate, including 13 this evening.
- Our MLB analysts are all over the slate with a plethora of bets for your betting pleasure.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of our best bets from the MLB slate on Tuesday, April 4.
Tuesday’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.|
Tuesday in MLB brings us 14 games, with every team in action save for the White Sox and Giants.
Things get underway this afternoon with Diamondbacks vs. Padres, and the rest of the games take place under the lights.
There’s plenty of betting value to be found on the slate, and our analysts are all over it, with picks on five different games and six picks in total.
Here are our best bets from the MLB slate on Tuesday, April 4th.
Diamondbacks vs. Padres
By Kenny Ducey
The Diamondbacks only have two wins this season, and they coincide with the two games in which they’ve faced a right-handed starter. I don’t think this is much of a coincidence when you consider the number of left-handed bats which are so vital to this club, like Josh Rojas, Corbin Carroll and Alek Thomas.
Regardless, the righty they get on Tuesday is a regression candidate for me. Yu Darvish has seen his strikeout rate decline in each of the last three seasons, only to see his barrel and hard-hit rates increase in each of those years. While he’s allowed 50 home runs in the last two seasons, his ability to limit walks has kept him from too many disastrous starts.
The Diamondbacks aren’t exactly a great team, but they’re not exactly going up there to take pitches. Their walk rate this season is a comical 1.2% through five games, and their strikeout rate is below the league average. They are swinging the bats and making contact, and against a guy who’s allowing more and more contact (quality contact, at that) as he enters his late-30s, things could get interesting.
On the other hand, I am not ready to write off the talented Zac Gallen after a tough Opening Day start against the Dodgers, a start in which he still struck out seven hitters in 4 2/3 innings. San Diego’s offense has a tame 97 wRC+ right now in five games and should represent a great bounce-back spot for the righty.
Pick: Diamondbacks +130
Cubs vs. Reds
By D.J. James
Hayden Wesnecki held a 2.18 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in 2022 while posting a ground ball rate of 47.1%, and he subsequently won the Cubs’ fifth starter job with a strong spring training.
Luis Cessa had subpar peripherals, with an Average Exit Velocity that ranked in the 18th percentile and a Hard Hit Rate that ranked in the 14th percentile. However, in 2021, he had a 2.50 ERA and 3.81 xERA in 2021, so he should positively regress back to that form.
Neither of these teams hit right-handed pitching well last year. In the second half, the Cubs had a 91 wRC+ against righties, while the Reds were at 72 wRC+
Both bullpens were questionable. Chicago had a 3.84 xFIP out of the bullpen, while Cincy had a 4.35, which ranked in the bottom five of bullpens in 2022. That said, Alexis Díaz is an ace reliever, so Cincinnati should be in good shape long-term, at least at the back-end of the bullpen. Buck Farmer was also a decent addition to the staff in 2021.
Overall, the market is underrating the pitching in this game. Cessa and Wesnecki have potential and should show some positive signs in this game.
Pick: Under 9 (+105)
Cubs vs. Reds
By Jim Turvey
Wesneski Season is upon us! Hayden Wesneski was a September call-up for the Cubs last season and rather quietly put together an excellent start to his career.
The then-24-year-old got into six games, four of them starts, and posted a 2.18 ERA over 33 innings. Of course, with a sample that small, it’s not going to turn any heads, but the far more noticeable matter was his advanced metrics. His xERA of 2.18 shows he earned every bit of that run prevention, while his 3.20 FIP and 3.64 xFIP were both very solid.
He’s also a Pitching Plus darling, ranking alongside names like Justin Steele and Graham Ashcraft by Eno Sarris’ ERA projections.
Luis Cessa, on the other hand, has a projected ERA around 5.00 by most projection systems, and it makes sense given what we’ve seen production wise in his career. The Reds starter on Tuesday has a career 5.10 ERA and 4.92 FIP. There’s nothing in his profile to suggest a delayed breakout or really anything of interest on his profile.
I like this bet to Cubs -145, and I even like a look at the full game moneyline for the Cubs given how the Reds used their bullpen Monday vs. how the Cubs did.
Pick: Cubs F5 -127
Rays vs. Nationals
By Nick Shlain
The Washington Nationals might be in some trouble Tuesday. After taking just one of three games against the Atlanta Braves at home in their first series, Washington dropped game one of their second series against the Tampa Bay Rays, 6-2.
Tampa Bay improved to 4-0 with the victory coming after they swept the lowly Detroit Tigers at home in their opening series.
The Rays have shown thus far that they know how to beat down weaker opponents and I don’t see that stopping Tuesday. One of my favorite bets of the day Tuesday is Tampa Bay on the moneyline at -165 at DraftKings.
The Rays’ offense did fine on Monday scoring six runs, but today they’ll get to face Washington starter Chad Kuhl, who had a 5.56 xFIP last season with Colorado. His strikeout percentage was only 17% and his walk percentage was 9%.
Kuhl allows lots of power to hitters from both sides of the plate as well. In 2022, he allowed a .202 ISO to right-handed batters and a .229 ISO to left-handed batters. Most of the hitters in the Rays projected lineup are left-handed and Kuhl’s walk percentage against just left-handed hitters last year was 12%.
Josh Fleming will take the mound for the Rays in this one. He had a 4.08 xFIP last year giving the Rays a clear starting pitching advantage. The Rays also have a better lineup and bullpen than the Nationals.
Even at these odds (-165), Tampa Bay is a value here.
Pick: Rays -165
Blue Jays vs. Royals
It might be time to admit there’s something wrong in Toronto. The top half of the rotation (Alek Manoah, Kevin Gausman) is overvalued, and the bottom half (Jose Berrios, Yusei Kikuchi) is a disaster.
One of those disaster artists is taking the mound today. I have no interest in backing Yusei Kikuchi after a 2022 season with a 5.63 xERA and -0.7 fWAR.
Meanwhile, we can be cautiously optimistic about the Royals. There’s young talent up and down the lineup, and Salvador Perez is playing like an All-Star again in his age-33 season (.364/.417/.545 through the season’s first three games).
It’s tough to back Royals starter Kris Bubic, but he profiles similarly to Kikuchi. And while the Blue Jays have advantages in the bullpen and on defense, those advantages are fairly minimal (the Jays are slightly above-average in both areas while the Royals are slightly below-average).
Throw in the home-field advantage and reasonable plus-money price, and I’m ready to take a stab with the Royals.
I’ll take Kansas City at +145 or better.
Pick: Royals +145
Rockies vs. Dodgers
Mookie Betts has seen German Màrquez plenty of times and has performed very well against the righty.
Betts has crushed the slider and the sinker so far this season. His one HR has been off of a slider from right-hander Drey Jameson of the Diamondbacks. Màrquez’s arsenal includes a four-seamer, sinker, slider and curveball. Over the last five years, we have seen that Màrquez has started to favor the sinker and slider over the four-seamer. This is advantageous for Betts, who had a batting average of .313 against a sinker and .271 against the slider in 2022.
Betts has fared well against Màrquez, batting .300 and going yard one time in 20 ABs. While the 5% HR rate may not be something that interests you, I would take a look at Betts’ average exit velocity and launch angle against Màrquez. Betts is making great contact, nearly averaging 90 mph in exit velocity. He is also getting the ball in the air, with a 21.6 degree average launch angle.
If you want more nerdy stats, Betts is boasting a 13.6% strikeout rate against Màrquez, and he doesn’t whiff very often. A slight NNE wind for LA tonight also helps Betts’ quest to touch them all.
Pick: Mookie Betts Over 0.5 Home Runs (+500)
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