MLB Predictions Today | Odds, Picks for Rockies vs Mariners, More on Friday, April 14
Pictured: Jurickson Profar. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Ladies and gentlemen, the weekend.
It’s Friday night and the MLB slate is littered with appealing matchups. All 15 games take place under the lights and there’s value across the board. Our analysts have a pair of picks on Rays vs. Blue Jays, and one each on White Sox vs. Orioles, Cubs vs. Dodgers and Rockies vs. Mariners.
Here are our best bets from the MLB slate on Friday, April 14th.
Today’s MLB Best Bets for Friday, April 14
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.|
Rays vs. Blue Jays
By D.J. James
Drew Rasmussen looks to continue the Tampa Bay Rays’ historic stretch through the beginning of the season. He has been a giant part of it with a combined 15 strikeouts and zero earned runs over 13 innings.
His opponent will be José Berríos and the Toronto Blue Jays. Berríos is once again allowing a ton of hard contact. He ranks in the 14th percentile in Hard Hit Rate and the 20th percentile in Average Exit Velocity. He has been above average in strikeout and walk rates, but he has been tagged for at least four earned runs over 9 2/3 innings.
Both the Rays and Blue Jays rank in the top of the league in wRC+ off of righties. The Rays come into this game at 170, while the Blue Jays are at 133. There is a noteworthy separation between what Tampa Bay has been able to do, compared to the other good hitting teams of MLB, like the Blue Jays. The Rays have a better walk and strikeout rate, too.
Out of the bullpen, Toronto does shockingly have an edge. However, it is not gigantic, and the Rays’ bullpen will probably positively regress as the season moves on. The Blue Jays have a team xFIP of 4.29 against Tampa Bay’s of 4.77.
Even still, there is such a discrepancy for Rasmussen against Berríos, so the edge in this game easily goes to the Rays. Take them to continue their win streak to -140.
Pick: Rays -124
Rays vs. Blue Jays
By Nick Shlain
The Tampa Bay Rays are still undefeated at 13-0 after beating the Boston Red Sox Thursday afternoon. Tampa Bay entered the day with 92 runs scored, the most in all of baseball by 13 runs, in their first 12 games and then put up nine runs against Boston including seven runs in a single inning.
The Rays are getting offense from practically everywhere. Three of their infielders (Brandon Lowe, Wander Franco and Yandy Diaz) have at least four home runs. Four other players (Isaac Paredes, Randy Arozarena, Harold Ramirez and Luke Raley) each have three home runs.
One of my favorite bets of the day Friday is Tampa Bay to go over 4.5 runs at -114 on FanDuel Sportsbook.
The Rays are back on the road for this matchup, but they’re going to play the Blue Jays in Toronto, where the fences were moved in over the offseason.
Tampa Bay will also be going against Blue Jays starter Jose Berrios, who hasn’t gotten off to the best start this year. Berrios has an 11.17 ERA after two starts. Berrios has only allowed one home run so far, but he’s allowed a whopping 15 hits. That likely isn’t going to get it done against the best hitting team in the majors to this point.
I like the Rays to go over once again.
Pick: Rays Team Total Over 4.5 (-114)
White Sox vs. Orioles
Baltimore starter Tyler Wells is consistently undervalued by the market because he doesn’t put up elite strikeout numbers and relies on inducing weak contact, usually in the form of pop-ups. Wells has always graded above average by Stuff+ metrics and projects considerably better than White Sox starter Mike Clevinger. Clevinger posted a 4.77 xERA in 2021 and a 4.65 xERA in 2022 and he’s shown nothing in 2023 through two starts to suggest he’s any better than that.
Wells is more of a 3.50 ERA pitcher and has the stuff to back it up. When you add in that the White Sox are in their worse offensive split and the Orioles are in their better offensive split, this game shouldn’t be -110 both ways. The White Sox are a below average offense against right handed pitching and are also playing without Tim Anderson and Eloy Jimenez in the heart of the order.
I’d bet Baltimore at -125 or better on Friday night in both the first five innings and the full game because the Orioles have the much better starting pitcher and the better offense.
Pick: Orioles F5 and Full-Game ML (-125 or Better)
Cubs vs. Dodgers
By Kenny Ducey
Over the past few seasons, the Dodgers have taken on countless starting pitchers who were down on their luck only to fix them and turn them into elite arms. Is Noah Syndergaard next in line? Well, the jury is very much still out.
The smart money is surely on Syndergaard turning his career around in L.A. because, after all, if you can fix Andrew Heaney then you can fix just about anyone. The process may be a long one, however, given the early results. Syndergaard has yet to walk a batter this season, but his strikeout prowess has still yet to come back and as a result his diminished velocity has really come back to hurt him.
Hitters are .286 off of Syndergaard, and there’s no reason to expect anything will be different on Friday night against Chicago. The Cubs have been a competent offense to this point with a 101 wRC+ and have really only been held back by their lack of power. That surely won’t be a problem against Syndergaard, who has been giving up base hits in bunches. In fact, this plays right into their hands.
Then, there’s the Dodgers offense against a lefty. While they’re top-10 in wRC+ to southpaws in the early going, L.A. is hitting .195 against them – the second-worst mark in the league. Justin Steele has walked batters a bit too much for me to get overly excited about him in this spot, but the fact that he’s yet to allow a barrel this season and has really not allowed very many over the course of his career is promising.
It feels like the Dodgers won’t find those two big homers that have made their numbers versus lefties look OK.
Pick: Cubs +142
Rockies vs. Mariners
Editor’s note: Marco Gonzales was scratched late Friday and replaced as the starting pitcher by Tommy Milone. For information on how scratched pitchers impact your bets, click here.
Austin Gomber drastic underperformed the last two seasons since he became a full-time starter in Colorado’s rotation. In 2021, he had a 4.53 ERA, but his xERA was more than a half run lower at 4.09. In 2022, he had a 5.56 ERA, but his xERA was a full run lower at 4.59.
His main problem has been that he’s a flyball pitcher and being a flyball pitcher at Coors Field is generally not a good combination. His HR/9 rate has been above 1.4 for the past two seasons.
The good news for him is this game is going to be played at T-Mobile Park, which is one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the league. It’s also going to be cold if Seattle decides not to close the roof with game time temperatures will be 47 degrees.
Gomber will be taking on one of the biggest overperforming starting pitchers in MLB in Marco Gonzales, who for the past four seasons has overperformed his expected ERA. Gonzales is averaging just 88 mph on his fastball and 86 mph on his cutter and both pitches allowed an xwOBA above .370 last season. He had one of the worst K/9 rates for qualified starting pitchers at 5.06 and his very reliant on getting groundballs with his changeup, which is his best pitch.
The Rockies were seventh in MLB against left-handed pitching with a .334 wOBA, but most importantly, per Baseball Savant, against left-handed fastballs and changeups that were both below 90 mph, the Rockies had a .304 xBA, .351 xwOBA, and a +21.7 run value. So they obliterate soft-tossing lefties.
I have Gomber and the Rockies projected as a slight favorite for the first five innings, so I love the value on them at +135.
Pick: Rockies F5 +135
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