MLB Predictions Wednesday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (April 24)

MLB Predictions Wednesday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (April 24) article feature image

Credit: Getty Imgaes. Pictured: Nick Lodolo (left) and Jordan Romano (right).

Welcome to Opening Pitch, our daily column that you'll find throughout the 2024 MLB season.

The goal for Opening Pitch is to highlight top daily projection edges for MLB moneylines and totals, share favorite bets and provide some betting notes and analysis.

As a reminder, you can find all of my bets in the Action Network App and get live alerts every time I log a new bet.

You can also find expert projections for every MLB game in the Action App (on both the PRO Projections tab and the game pages) and our Projections Hub.

You can also shop for the best lines on our MLB Odds page.

Here are my favorite bets for Wednesday, April 24.

MLB Predictions Tuesday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (April 24)

Phillies vs. Reds

Wednesday, April 24
6:40 p.m. ET
Bally Sports Ohio | NBCSP
Phillies Odds
-120o / -102u
Reds Odds
-120o / -102u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Spencer Turnbull vs. Nick Lodolo

I have bet on Spencer Turnbull in each of his four starts this season — it's safe to say I am about as high as you could be on the veteran right now.

Turnbull has posted a 109 Stuff+ rating in his second year back from Tommy John surgery after adding a nasty sweeper (117 Stuff+, 35% usage rate) to his arsenal.

Projections (projected FIP range of 4.20 to 4.77) are missing the mark on Turnbull based on previous performance levels. He's a different pitcher in 2024, and I'd place his true talent somewhere between his 2.97 xERA (expected ERA) and his 3.50 botERA — perhaps closer to his 3.38 xFIP.

Turnbull has been lucky to carry a 1.23 ERA (.167 BABIP, 5.6% HR/FB rate, 84.3% strand rate) and may move to the bullpen when Taijuan Walker returns from injury this week. Still, he looks to be in career-best form.

That said, I have always been high on Reds starter Nick Lodolo (projected FIP range of 3.73 to 4.19), who only made seven starts last season after suffering a stress fracture in his leg.

Lodolo had a late start to 2024 with a calf injury in the spring, but his career numbers (22.1% K-BB%, 3.46 xFIP) are impressive, and pitching models (99 Stuff+, 103 Location+) see a slight improvement over last season (97 Stuff+ and 101 Location+).

Since the start of the 2022 season, when Lodolo debuted in Cincinnati, 171 starters have tossed at least 120 innings. Among that group, Lodolo ranks eighth in strikeout rate, ninth in SIERA, 11th in K-BB% and 30th in xFIP.

On Wednesday, he won't face Bryce Harper, who remains on the paternity list. I give Cincinnati the offensive advantage in this matchup while Philadelphia has the superior defense and bullpen.

I projected Lodolo and the Reds as -137 favorites (57.8% implied) for this matchup's first five innings (F5). Bet their F5 moneyline to -126 (55.8% implied) at a 2% edge compared to my projection.

Additionally, play the Reds' full-game moneyline to -111, compared to my projected line of -121.

Lastly, bet the under to 8.5 (-106) after it opened at 9. I set the total at 8.08 runs in this contest.

Bet: Reds F5 Moneyline (-126 or better) | Reds Moneyline (-111 or better) | Under 9 (8.5, -106 or better) 

Blue Jays vs. Royals

Wednesday, April 24
7:40 p.m. ET
Bally Sports KC | SN1
Blue Jays Odds
-115o / -105u
Royals Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Yariel Rodriguez vs. Alec Marsh 

The Blue Jays should have a substantial bullpen edge on Wednesday. Their key relievers are well rested after a one-run loss, while the Royals deployed their closer, James McArthur, for two innings and used their second-best reliever — John Schreiber — for the third time in five days.

If you remove McArthur and Schreiber from the game projection, the Blue Jays have the six-best relievers in Wednesday's matchup, and I'd set the season-long differential on ERA between these bullpens as high as three-quarters of a run.

Both teams have bottom-five bullpens this season, per xFIP (Toronto 4.52, 26th and Kansas City 4.88, 30th). However, the Blue Jays recently got their two best relievers —Jordan Romano and Erik Swanson— back from injury, and their reliever group has posted substantially better pitch modeling metrics.

Toronto's bullpen ranks seventh in Stuff+ (106); Kansas City ranks 30th (96).

Pitching models and projections also prefer Yariel Rodriguez (97 Stuff+, 108 Location+; projected FIP range of 3.38 to 4.29) to Alec Marsh (96 Stuff+, 98 Location+; projected FIP range of 4.47 to 4.98).

Both pitchers have a nasty slider, but Rodriguez has the harder (and better) fastball, which should generate more whiffs and strikeouts. And he has a significantly higher ceiling.

Toronto has handled him carefully — pulling Rodriguez before the fifth inning — with leads and chances to get wins in consecutive starts.

I projected the Blue Jays as -130 F5 favorites and -124 full-game favorites. Bet their moneylines to -120 and -115, respectively.

Bet: Blue Jays F5 Moneyline (-120 or better) | Blue Jays Moneyline (-115 or better)

Astros vs. Cubs

Wednesday, April 24
7:40 p.m. ET
Astros Odds
-106o / -114u
Cubs Odds
-106o / -114u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Spencer Arrighetti vs. Jameson Taillon

Conditions at Wrigley Field on Wednesday evening should be ripe for an under — temperature around 45 degrees at first pitch, with 10 mph winds blowing in from center field.

On a typical day at Wrigley, I'd set this total closer to 9.5 runs, but such brutal weather should knock the run-scoring environment down by as much as 30%, adjusting my total to 6.7 runs. Play the under to 7 (-102) or better.

The game triggered our Action Labs system for Wrigley Field unders, which has generated a 15% ROI since 2005 and a 3.8% ROI (54.1% win rate) since 2019.

Additionally, this game triggered another Action Labs system for wind and weather, generating an 8% ROI since 2005 and a 4.4% ROI since 2019 (54.2% win rate).

The latter system also triggered for Wednesday's matchup between the Red Sox and Guardians in Cleveland (45 degrees at first pitch, with 11 mph winds blowing in from the center field), and I'd bet that under as well.

On a typical day in Cleveland, I'd set the total closer to 8.4 runs, but Wednesday's weather pushes my projection for Progressive Field closer to 7. Bet the under in Cleveland to 7.5 (-102).

Bets: Astros vs. Cubs, Under 8 (7, -102 or better) | Red Sox vs. Guardians, Under 8 (7.5, -102 or better)

Zerillo's Bets for Wednesday, April 24

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  • Boston Red Sox / Cleveland Guardians, Under 8.5 (-110, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -120 or 7.5 -102)
  • Cincinnati Reds F5 (-115, 0.5u) at BetMGM (bet to -126)
  • Cincinnati Reds (-107, 0.5u) at Superbook (bet to -111)
  • Cincinnati Reds / Philadelphia Phillies, Under 9 (-114, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to 8.5, -106)
  • Colorado Rockies (+145, 0.5u) at Draftkings (bet to +136)
  • Houston Astros / Chicago Cubs, Under 8 (-115, Risk 1u) at FanDuel (bet to 7, -102)
  • Milwaukee Brewers (+110, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to +102)
  • Milwaukee Brewers / Pittsburgh Pirates, Under 9 (-110, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -119)
  • New York Mets / San Francisco Giants, Over 7.5 (+100, 0.5u) at Caesars (bet to 8, -103)
  • New York Yankees F5 (-196, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -210)
  • Tampa Bay Rays F5 (+110, 0.25u) at Caesars (small to +100)
  • Tampa Bay Rays (-110, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to -115)
  • Toronto Blue Jays F5 (-116, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -120)
  • Toronto Blue Jays (-110, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -115)

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