MLB Predictions Today | Odds, Picks for Pirates vs Cardinals, Brewers vs Padres, More on Thursday, April 13
Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images. Pictured: Juan Soto and Nelson Cruz.
It’s a relatively quiet Thursday in Major League Baseball, with just seven games scattered across the day.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t value to be found, however. Our analysts have bets to recommend on Twins vs. Yankees, Pirates vs. Cardinals and Brewers vs. Padres.
Here are our best bets from the MLB slate on Thursday, April 13th.
MLB Best Bets Today, Thursday, April 13
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.|
Twins vs. Yankees
By Nick Shlain
The New York Yankees are off to a pretty good start this year. New York isn’t undefeated like Tampa Bay, but the Yankees are 8-4 and have won their first four series of the year for the fifth time in the history of the franchise.
On Thursday New York will return home to face a familiar opponent that they’ve had lots of success against in the past in the Minnesota Twins. One of my favorite bets on the slate Thursday is the Yankees on the moneyline at -143 at BetRivers.
The Twins have one of their better starters in Joe Ryan on the mound, but Minnesota’s lineup could be in bad shape in this one. Offseason addition Joey Gallo is on the injured list with an intercostal strain and Byron Buxton left Wednesday’s game early after going down in a heap following an incident on the bases. It’s unclear whether or not Buxton will be available for Thursday’s contest, but I’m certainly betting against it.
Without Buxton or Gallo, this lineup is at a clear disadvantage against the Yankees, who are mostly at full strength despite some injuries in the bullpen and minor injuries to Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu.
The Yankees will also have Jhony Brito on the mound and the impressive rookie has allowed just one earned run and struck out eight batters in his first 10 major league innings.
With the way Brito has looked so far, I’m inclined to believe he won’t slip up against a Twins lineup at less than full strength. Back the Yankees here.
Pick: Yankees -143
Pirates vs. Cardinals
By D.J. James
The St. Louis Cardinals are in the fortunate spot to be facing one of the league’s worst starting pitchers: Vince Velasquez. Velasquez will start for the Pittsburgh Pirates in Thursday’s game against Jordan Montgomery for the Cards. Montgomery is very solid and able to force opponents to hit consistent grounders.
Meanwhile, Velasquez has a 9.82 ERA against a 6.26 xERA. He is allowing fewer hard hit balls than he had in prior seasons, but this will likely level out as the season progresses. He is only striking out 10.8% of hitters, while walking 13.5%.
The Cardinals have not had a strong start to their 2023 campaign. They do, however, hit righties fairly well and did so in 2022. This will, again, positively regress over the coming months. At the moment, though, St. Louis carries a stellar 113 wRC+ off of right-handers with a sub-20% strikeout rate and a 10.4% walk rate. The Cardinals have a team .776 OPS accompanying these already strong numbers. This is a horrid matchup for Velasquez and the Cardinals could easily overcome their team total in the earlier innings.
The kicker is that outside of David Bednar, the Pirates bullpen is pretty weak. He is the only reliever who holds a sub 3.00 xFIP. The rest of the relief corps is questionable and will probably yield a few runs in the latter innings.
Since Velasquez walks so many hitters, the Cardinals will see the weaker middle relief options for the Bucs. Take the Cardinals team total over 4.5 (-105), and play it to 5 (-120).
Pick: Cardinals Team Total Over 4.5 (-105)
Brewers vs. Padres
BallParkPal’s park factors project a -18% run factor at Petco Park Thursday night, as we’re getting chilly, mid-50s degree temps in usually sunny San Diego. In other words, a very pitcher-friendly environment in a normally hitter-friendly one.
Our own Sean Zerillo shoved this weather report into his model, and his model spat out a 7.82-run projected total.
That’s a whole lot of value on under 9 (-110), and I’m willing to make that bet.
However, I like the under for reasons past the weather and mathematics.
We’re still unsure who’s starting for the Brewers, but I expect a Bryse Wilson-led bullpen day, and that’s a good thing!
Wilson’s pitching well to start the season, as he’s tossed six scoreless innings over three appearances, including a three-inning, one-hit save against the Mets. His Statcast metrics look good (89th percentile in xSLG allowed), and his Stuff+ is up 15 points year-over-year (albeit in a small sample size).
Once Wilson is done dealing, he’ll pass the ball to a mostly rested Brewers bullpen, as Devin Williams, Matt Bush and Peter Strzelecki haven’t pitched since Sunday. The unit is due for regression, but it’s worth mentioning that Milwaukee leads MLB in reliever ERA (1.37 across 161 batters).
And it’s not like the Brewers have a tough job on Thursday, as San Diego’s lineup has been tremendously mediocre to begin the year (100 wRC+, 16th in OPS).
It’s tougher to get excited about Nick Martinez, who has been horrific to start the season and is staring down a scorching-hot Brewers offense (and because of that, I am leaning toward Brewers ML here).
However, the Padres’ bullpen is also rested, as Josh Hader, Luis Garcia and Steven Wilson all got the day off on Wednesday. They should be able to keep the scoring down in the back-half of the game.
Put it all together, and I think we’ll get a relatively low-scoring game late Thursday night, at least compared to what the market is saying. I’ll bet under 9 (-110) at feel good about it down to 8.5 (-105).
Pick: Under 9 (-105)
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