MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for April 13, 2024

Three MLB Picks for Saturday, April 13th!

Bryson Stott of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates with teammates after hitting a grand slam during the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins in Game Two of the Wild Card Series at Citizens Bank Park.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 04: Bryson Stott #5 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates with teammates after hitting a grand slam during the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins in Game Two of the Wild Card Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 04, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Yesterday was painful. I’m upset with the results; we all are. I came into this season with more research than ever, and it’s completely backfired.

Yesterday we went 0-3. The Diamondbacks clawed back from a six-run deficit just to let it slip away for the 9-6 loss. Brandon Pfaadt did not have it whatsoever. That was the wrong side.

We took the first five under in the Dodgers vs. Padres game, and it wasn’t even close. Both Yamamoto and King did not have it. That was the wrong side.

I bet the Tigers ML on Tuesday, but it rained out, and I switched to the under. That’s why I’m incredibly frustrated with myself. The Tigers destroyed the Twins, and the game went over. That’s three times I’ve taken away a pick after it was rained out, and the original side won. I’m overthinking it.

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I’ve overthought everything so far. Today, these three picks are straight from the gut. I know this sport very well, and I’m trying something different. I know the lineups, I know the pitchers, I know the bullpens. I don’t need to second guess myself the more research I put in.

When I looked at the board, these picks were what I felt first. Instead of taking hours to find them, it took me 20 minutes. I did not run any projections; it’s just what hit my brain immediately. Let’s see if that strategy can turn the tide.

These picks are available on BetMGM. Code “JustBaseball” for a first bet offer up to $1500.

2024 Record: 17-25 (-8.87 U)

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Philadelphia Phillies @ 4:05 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Marco Gonzales vs. Spencer Turnbull

I did a deep dive on Spencer Turnbull on Episode 646 of the Just Baseball Show. I’ve really liked what I’ve seen, and I was looking for a way to back him moving forward. I even picked him up in fantasy baseball. I saw he was facing Marco Gonzales and clicked the Phillies ML.

Spencer Turnbull made a pitch usage change. He lowered the four-seam usage by almost ten percent and started throwing a sweeper. Overall, he’s throwing more breaking balls, and it’s working. We call it the kitchen sink approach, a way to be effective if you don’t have a good fastball.

He’s been fantastic so far with this approach. 0.00 ERA with a 2.27 xERA, 31.7% strikeout rate, and a minuscule 2.4% walk rate. He did this against the Reds and the Cardinals, offenses comparable to the Pirates.

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Marco Gonzales lines up on the other side. Marco has a 6.01 xERA this season. He has one of the highest hard-hit rates in baseball and one of the lowest strikeout rates. Whatever his numbers were to this point, I was going to take the Phillies, just put it out there.

He also does not have a good track record against these Phillies hitters. Behind him is a solid bullpen, but they used all their high-leverage arms in the past two games. It’s a good bullpen, but not one that’s scaring me off.

Seranthony Dominguez, Matt Strahm, Jeff Hoffman, and Jose Alvarado haven’t thrown since Wednesday. If the Phillies have a lead, which I think they will, we should get the best they offer.

The Phillies are the better team, with the better pitcher, at home, coming off a loss. I’m taking them.

The Pick: Phillies ML (-150) Risk 1.5 Units

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks @ 8:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Kyle Gibson vs. Ryne Nelson

I told myself that if the Diamondbacks lose, I’m betting them again the next day. If you look through my picks, I have an insane hit rate the next day. I’ve typically been a day early, so I’m not about to let those go anymore, especially after we saw some fight from Arizona.

I’m not a big Ryne Nelson guy, but I’m also not a Kyle Gibson fan either. I think they are in the same bucket. Back of the rotation starters who can keep you in a ballgame when they are feeling good.

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Nelson is off to a rough start, posting an 8.22 ERA. However, his xERA is 4.47, and his competition has been tough. He’s faced the Braves and Yankees. He’s a better pitcher than what he’s shown so far.

Kyle Gibson has also struggled to start the season. He’s been able to eat through innings, but his 6.23 ERA against the Marlins and Padres doesn’t give me confidence in him. Then I see he’s posting an 8.63 xERA, which puts him in the fourth percentile in baseball.

The Cardinals put up six runs against Pfaadt yesterday and still rank lower than Arizona against right-handed pitching. I still prefer the Diamondbacks lineup and defense to that of the Cardinals, I think they are the overall better team.

Truthfully, I don’t trust either bullpen. The Diamondbacks bullpen will at least have their better arms available today: Kevin Ginkel, Ryan Thompson, Kyle Nelson, and Bryce Jarvis. If they get a lead, we get the best Arizona has. The Cardinals, on the other hand, used all of their high-leverage arms yesterday.

I still think Arizona is better than St. Louis. It’s a toss-up from the starters; both are not off to great starts, and both pitchers are back-of-the-rotation starters. The Diamondbacks have a fresher bullpen and better offense and defense, and they are home. I think they should be the favorites, so when I saw they were underdogs, I bet them.

The Pick: Diamondbacks ML (-105) Risk 1.05 Units

Player Props

Ronel Blanco Under 5.5 Strikeouts (-120) Risk 0.6 Units

I did my scan of the sides and the totals, then a scan of the player props. This line immediately jumped out at me, so I took it.

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When the Rangers bats get hot, you don’t fade them. When the Astros bats get hot, you don’t fade them. I couldn’t decide on a winner of this game, but when I saw Blanco at 5.5 strikeouts, I immediately thought this line was too high.

Ronel Blanco threw this year’s first no hitter against the Blue Jays. Then, he turns around and throws a six inning shutout against the Rangers. He has only allowed one hit all season, but it doesn’t mean he’s a strikeout artist.

He has 11 strikeouts in 15 innings. The only time he went over this line was in his no-hitter. The Rangers just saw him a week ago, and they are striking out at the lowest rate in the league against right-handed pitchers.

Blanco has been below average with whiff and chase rates but has been elite in allowing soft contact. However, I wouldn’t expect him to pitch well against the Rangers today after they just saw him, and I certainly don’t see six strikeouts or more in his future.

This is a gut pick on Blanco, but I have more faith in my game picks than my props regarding my first reaction. If the gut props start working, we’ll increase the unit size.

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