Royals vs Orioles Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Pick (Wednesday, April 3)

Royals vs Orioles Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Pick (Wednesday, April 3) article feature image

Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Cole Ragans of the Kansas City Royals.

Royals vs Orioles Prediction

Wednesday, April 3
1:05 p.m. ET
Royals Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
+100o / -122u
Orioles Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
+100o / -122u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Two Cy Young candidates will go head-to-head in Wednesday's rubber match between the Royals and Orioles.

Kansas City's Cole Ragans offered a thorough demonstration of his electric stuff on Opening Day, striking out nine batters while allowing two earned runs in six innings of work.

Baltimore's Corbin Burnes was brilliant in his Orioles debut, punching out 11 batters and allowing only one hit against the Angels. Burnes is now priced as the betting favorite at +650, making him the betting favorite to win the AL Cy Young.

So, where does the betting value lie in this likely pitcher's duel? Let's make a Royals vs. Orioles pick after taking a look at the MLB odds for Wednesday, April 3.

Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

Kansas City Royals

Ragans is one of the most exciting young pitchers in MLB, and his Opening Day start has only added to the hype surrounding the 26-year-old lefty this season.

Ragans generated 19 whiffs and allowed only five hits against what should be a strong Twins lineup. He put up a Stuff+ rating of 112 and a Pitching+ mark of 106.

Top-5 Pitchers in Stuff+ from Opening Day (min. 50 Pitches)

5) Garrett Crochet: 105
4) Cole Ragans: 107
3) Frankie Montas: 111
2) Tarik Skubal: 114
1) Nestor Cortes: 123👇

— Pitch Profiler (@pitchprofiler) March 29, 2024

Ragans is getting some solid respect in the betting market Tuesday — we likely won't see Burnes and the Orioles priced as short as -165 versus non-playoff teams too often this season, particularly in Baltimore.

Not only does Ragans' arm talent rate out very well, but he has also found a ton of success where it counts dating back to the middle last season. From the All-Star break on, he pitched to a 2.61 ERA across 71 2/3 innings and allowed a WHIP of only 1.07. His .303 slug rate allowed last season was the third-best mark among starters to pitch over 60 innings.

The Royals ranked 19th in batting average and 25th in OPS last season. They will hope to see improved offensive seasons from the dominant Bobby Witt Jr. and Maikel Garcia, as well as productive seasons from veteran offseason additions Hunter Renfroe and Adam Frazier. Rostering a healthy Vinnie Pasquantino should also boost the lineup's upside as well.

FanGraphs projects the Royals to finish 19th in terms of offensive production this season.

The way-too-early returns on the Royals offense have been solid. They own the league's seventh-highest hard-hit rate at 41.1% and have slugged .481 while putting up a wRC+ mark of 108 across 145 PAs.

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Baltimore Orioles

Burnes was brilliant on Opening Day against a putrid Angels offense, and he'll hope to see his strikeout numbers tick back up for the rest of this 2024 season. Burnes' strikeout rates have dropped in three straight seasons and trended down to 25% in 2023.

He pitched to a K/BB ratio of just 3.03 in 2023 but covered up that flaw by allowing the league's lowest hard-hit rate among qualified starters at just 33%. He owned a K/9 of only 7.3 throughout the 2024 spring training.

If Burnes' K/BB regression continues, he will likely put up worse results. Whether or not that will happen is debatable, though. He pitched to a 118 Stuff+ on Opening Day, so this may all be nitpicking one of the game's best pitchers.

The Orioles project to finish in the league's top third in terms of offensive production, per FanGraphs. That projection is fairly volatile, as it's tough to accurately project their highly-talented trio of young batters in Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson and Jackson Holliday (once he is inevitably called up).

The Orioles own a 40.8% hard-hit rate so far and have slugged .407 while putting up a wRC+ of 134. In 2023, the Orioles' 108 wRC+ versus left-handed pitchers ranked eighth in the league.

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Royals vs Orioles

Betting Pick & Prediction

First pitch currently calls for 53-degree temperatures with winds blowing in from right field. We should see a low-event game, but scratching across a couple of runs should go a long way.

The under is a reasonable option, but I prefer to target Ragans and the Royals at +140 rather than playing a juiced under 7.5.

All signs point to Ragans being one of the best starters in baseball, and this matchup offers a chance to continue buying him. The Royals offense has also been in strong form so far, and it looks like they could be a surprisingly respectable team this season.

There's value in the Royals to win the first five at +135 and the full game at +140.

Pick: Royals F5 +135 (Play to +130) · Royals Moneyline +140 (Play to +135)

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