MLB Picks, Predictions, Odds Today for Dodgers vs. Giants, More on Wednesday, April 12

MLB Picks, Predictions, Odds Today for Dodgers vs. Giants, More on Wednesday, April 12 article feature image

Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Cobb #38 of the San Francisco Giants.=

Welcome back to the second edition of my Wednesday slate breakdown. We have a whopping nine day games on this beautiful Wednesday as the weather starts to get warmer and warmer.

The biggest storyline on this Wednesday is can Rays top prospect Taj Bradley keep Tampa Bay undefeated against Chris Sale and the Red Sox?

Be sure to check out our MLB odds page for up-to-the-minute odds changes across multiple sportsbooks, as well as our projections page, which helps you find the best value across the board.

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Padres vs. Mets, 1:10 p.m. ET

Blake Snell vs. Tylor Megill

Not sure Tylor Megill should be a favorite for the first five innings.

Blake Snell was really good last season, posting a 3.19 xERA, which was more than a run and a half lower than his nightmare of a 2021 season, in which his xERA was 4.82. Snell has not looked like himself through his first two starts this year, giving up seven runs in only eight innings of work. His control seems to be a big off, and he issued four walks against the Braves in his previous start. However, the Mets being favored suggests that either Megill is just as good of a pitcher as Snell or that New York has an offensive advantage over the Padres, which is not the case.

Megill pitched 47 and 1/3  innings last season and underperformed. His ERA was 5.13, but his xERA was 4.31. Yet that is still a full run higher than Snell.

Megill is predominantly a fastball pitcher but does have a decent slider and changeup. The Padres from a true talent perspective are right on par with the Mets and did have a positive run value against right-handed fastballs, sliders and changeups last season. Additionally, the Mets were very average against left-handed pitching last season, ranking 15th in wOBA.

I have Snell and the Padres projected at -118 for the first five innings, so I like the value on them at anything plus money.

Pick: Padres First Five Innings (+104 at BetRivers)

Yankees vs. Guardians, 1:10 p.m. ET

Clarke Schmidt vs. Peyton Battenfield

Peyton Battenfield is making his major league debut, filling in for injured Adam Civale, but he isn't some highly touted prospect in Cleveland's organization. In fact, his expected metrics in Triple-A last season were actually quite bad. He posted at 3.63 ERA, but his xFIP was up at 5.72. He had an incredibly low 6.38 K/9 rate, and his stuff does not translate well to the big leagues. He has a fastball that sits in the low 90s, his best secondary pitch is a cutter, and his other two off-speed pitches of changeup and curveball have been described by scouts as "average" at the minor league level. That's not good when you are facing one of the best right-handed hitting lineups in baseball from a season ago.

Clarke Schmidt has gotten roughed up in his first two starts, giving up seven runs in 6 and 2/3rds innings. He spent the majority of the last season in the bullpen where he posted a 3.51 xERA. He has two plus pitches in a fastball and a curveball, with his curveball being absolutely deadly.

Clarke Schmidt, Filthy 84mph Curveball. 😷

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 24, 2022

The Guardians were not good against right handed fastballs and curveballs last season, putting up a .310 xwOBA and a -18.9 run value.

One of the biggest advantages the Guardians have over a lot of teams in baseball is they are one of the best defensive teams. They don't have that advantage over the Yankees who were number one in defensive runs saved by a pretty wide margin.

I have Schmidt and the Yankees projected at -152 for the first five innings, so I like the value on them at -130 or better.

Pick: Yankees First Five Innings (-120 at PointsBet)

Brewers vs. Diamondbacks, 3:40 p.m. ET

Janson Junk vs. Drey Jameson

Brandon Woodruff was supposed to start this game, but he has been put on the 15-day IL due to shoulder soreness. That means Janson Junk will be making a spot start for Milwaukee, and for him to be priced as a road favorite is quite insane. Junk has pitched a total of 24 and 2/3 innings in the big leagues in his career with an xERA well above five. He also spent the majority of last season in Triple-A, posting a 5.31 xFIP while opposing hitters had a .263 average against him.

He'll be going up against Drey Jameson, who has drastically been overperforming his expected metrics during his MLB career. Last season he made four starts, posted a 1.48 ERA, but his xERA was 4.49. He's projected to be around a 4.3 ERA type pitcher, and last season in 114 innings in Tripe-A, he had a 4.95 xFIP and 6.95 ERA.

Jameson has mainly a three-pitch arsenal of fastball, sinker and slider, which are three pitches you cannot throw this Brewers lineup: Last season against the right-handed version of those three pitches, they had a +46.5 run value, per Baseball Savant.

I have 9.43 runs projected for this game, so I love the value on Over 8.5 at -120 or better.

Pick: Over 8.5 runs (-102 at FanDuel)

Reds vs. Braves, 7:20 p.m. ET

Hunter Greene vs. Spencer Strider

Reds ace Hunter Greene will be on the mound after a couple of average starts to begin the season. Greene has some of the best stuff in baseball. His Stuff+ rating was 129, the highest in the National League last season. He averaged 98.9 mph on his fastball in 2022, and so far this season he's thrown his fastball 115 times and averaged 99.9 mph.

105 MPH?!?!?! 🤯😳

Hunter Greene is throwing GAS ⛽️

(via @Reds)

— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 30, 2023

His problem is controlling his stuff. His BB/9 rate was 3.44 in 2022 along with a 1.72 HR/9 rate. It is entirely too early in the season, but Atlanta has been very average versus right-handed pitching and fastballs, ranking 15th in wOBA against righties and in run value against fastballs.

Spencer Strider was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball this season, posting a 2.39 xERA, 13.81 K/9 rate, and opposing hitters only had a .242 xwOBA against him.

He did all of that by basically only throwing a fastball and a slider, but both of them are insanely good. His fastball averages 98.2 mph and opposing hitters only had a .207 xBA against it this season. Then his slider produced a gaudy 52.2% whiff rate and only allowed a .164 xwOBA to opposing hitters.

Spencer Strider, Back-to-Back Wicked Sliders. 🤢

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 13, 2022

He hasn't been as sharp through two starts this season as he was last year, but Strider is still one of the best pitchers in baseball. He'll also have a good matchup against Cincinnati's offense while throwing his fastball over 60% of the time since the Reds last season had a -17.5 run value against fastballs.

I have only 3.56 runs projected for the first five innings, so I like the value on Under 4.5 at -130 (BetRivers).

Pick: First Five Innings Under 4.5 (-130)

Dodgers vs. Giants, 9:40 p.m. ET

Clayton Kershaw vs. Alex Cobb

The Dodgers lineup is not as frightening as it's been in years past because the bottom half is now well below average with guys such as Miguel Rojas, Trayce Thompson, Miguel Vargas, etc. Alex Wood and company shut them out on Tuesday night, and now it'll be Alex Cobb's turn to try and shut down their rivals.

Alex Cobb was really good last season with a 3.73 ERA, and he actually underperformed because his xERA was at 3.15 and his xFIP was at 2.89. A couple of things led to that: 1) Cobb hardly ever gives up home runs, his HR/9 rate was at 0.54 in 2022 and playing in Oracle Park, which is one of the most pitcher friendly parks in baseball also helps. 2) He increased his groundball rate to a career-high 61.5%, which was about 8% higher than 2021. The reason he was able to increase that is he improved his main two pitches of splitter and sinker, which are designed to be down in the zone and get under hitters' sweet spots. Both pitches allowed under .235 xBA in 2022, and Cobb was in the 96th percentile for barrel rate allowed.

Clayton Kershaw had another historic season last year, posting a 2.51 xERA, which was one of the best marks in the National League. However, he's been a bit shaky through his first two starts, giving up five runs on 11 hits over 12 innings. Kershaw is now 35 and has lost a ton of velocity, and his fastball is now averaging only 91.2 mph.

The Giants had success against him last season. Kershaw faced them three times and combined for 14 and 1/3rds innings pitched, 13 hits and eight runs.

So, I don't think Kershaw should be this significant of a favorite given how good Cobb's expected metrics are. I have the Dodgers projected at only -125, so I like the value on San Francisco at home at anything +141 or better.

Pick: Giants +150 (DraftKings)

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