MLB Predictions Today | Picks, Odds for White Sox vs Rays, More on Saturday, April 22

MLB Predictions Today | Picks, Odds for White Sox vs Rays, More on Saturday, April 22 article feature image

Photo by David Berding/Getty Images. Pictured: Luis Robert.

  • There are a number of afternoon games on the busy MLB Saturday slate on April 22.
  • White Sox vs. Rays features ace pitchers in Dylan Cease and Shane McClanahan, but our MLB expert has a surprising pick on the total.
  • Continue reading for more analysis and best bets.

There's a full slate of MLB action on Saturday, April 22. In fact, there's so much baseball on that we had to split up the best bets into two separate files.

The best MLB bets from the evening games will be covered in another story, so let's focus on the afternoon games here. There are seven day games on the docket and our experts have found value on a pair of totals. D.J. James has his eyes set on an under, while Collin Whitchurch is taking a bit of a contrarian approach on an over.

Continue reading to see their analysis and find the best MLB bets from Saturday's afternoon games.

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Saturday Afternoon 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.

1:05 p.m. ET
Under 8 (Play to 7.5)
4:05 p.m. ET
Over 7 (Play to 7.5)
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. Yankees

Saturday, April 22
1:05 p.m. ET
Under 8 (Play to 7.5)

By D.J. James

The Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees have both hit right-handed pitching fairly well this season, so betting an under may seem a bit counterintuitive — especially considering Alek Manoah's results thus far.

However, Gerrit Cole has been electric with a 0.95 ERA through four starts. Both bullpens have been solid enough to hold a lead and Manoah will stabilize eventually.

In 2022, Manoah finished third in the American League Cy Young voting. He held a 2.24 ERA against a 3.31 xERA while ranking in the 92nd percentile in Hard Hit Rate and the 73rd percentile in Average Exit Velocity.

Yes, he's struggled this season, but he will figure it out.

On the other side, the Blue Jays can hit righties well. They rank sixth in the MLB with a 113 wRC+, but hold a sub-9% walk rate and are only slugging .417 collectively — meaning they'll likely need to string together multiple hits to score off Cole.

That's not an easy task.

Cole has gone at least six innings in each start and has allowed a run in two of four starts.

His xERA is 2.81, so there will be some regression, but he looks sharper than ever, cutting his Average Exit Velocity down an entire point. His strikeout rate still hovers around 32%, which should help against a lineup that sometimes forgets to take a walk.

Look for the old Manoah to bounce back and for Cole to continue his dominance. Additionally, both bullpens are solid and can keep the scoring down if the starters turn this game over in good shape.

Take the under from 8 (-115), and play it to 7.5 (-120).

Pick: Under 8 | Play to 7.5

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White Sox vs. Rays

Saturday, April 22
4:05 p.m. ET
Over 7 (Play to 7.5)

By Collin Whitchurch

We're going with something of a contrarian over in a matchup of two of the best starting pitchers in the American League, but there's plenty of logic behind this game being more higher scoring than expected.

The White Sox will be in their superior split against the left-handed Shane McClanahan. The 25-year-old hasn't allowed a home run yet this season, but has struggled a bit with his command in the early going, and while the White Sox are far from the most patient offense in the league, they drew eight walks on Friday night and even if they don't take free passes, they'll still be at their best against a southpaw.

The Rays are plenty patient, and if there's one thing Dylan Cease has had trouble with throughout his career, it's the free pass. Given how Tampa has been hitting all season, it's tough to imagine they won't wear down Cease with long plate appearances and send him to the showers early, even if he's effective and missing bats.

That brings us to the most important part of this handicap: the bullpens. The White Sox bullpen has been an unmitigated disaster all season with a near-league-worst 6.68 ERA. And that's before accounting for Reynaldo Lopez's ninth inning blow-up on Friday night.

Tampa's bullpen is good, as you might expect from a team that is 17-3, but used five pitchers behind the opener Calvin Faucher on Friday, including 37 pitches from Jalen Beeks, 55 from Cooper Criswell and 28 from Kevin Kelly. The latter two aren't integral parts of the Rays' late-game options, but Beeks has been, and if Garrett Cleavinger or Colin Poche are used, they'd also be going on back-to-back days.

This total has been set as low as 7 because of the name value of McClanahan and Cease. But there's plenty of warts that point to runs being put on the board on Saturday afternoon in Tampa. Take this over up to 7.5 and -120.

Pick: Over 7 | Play to 7.5 (-120)

What is QuickSlip?

QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.

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