MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for April 19, 2024

Two MLB Picks for Friday, April 19th!

Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 17: Shohei Ohtani #17 and Yoshinobu Yamamoto #18 of the Los Angeles Dodgers look on during the singing of the national anthem prior to the 2024 Seoul Series game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Kiwoom Heroes at Gocheok Sky Dome on Sunday, March 17, 2024 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Took a day off yesterday with only four games on the slate. We lost on the Diamondbacks after they went 1-11 with runners in scoring position. Long season, that’s baseball.

Today, I have two picks. I did bet the Brewers last night, but my gut is telling me this morning that I walked into a massive trap. I cashed out but lost 0.15 units doing that. I recorded that in our record even though it was never sent out.

Today’s card features two picks. One is a first five wager, and the other is a strikeout prop.

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

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2024 Record: 22-27 (-7.29 U)

New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodgers @ 10:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Sean Manaea vs. Yoshinobu Yamamoto

I’m still well aboard the Yamamoto train, and when he’s facing off against a very familiar arm in Sean Manaea, I have to back the Dodgers. The market is unsure about Yamamoto, but I’m not. I think he’s an elite arm and will lead us to a win.

The Dodgers have not been playing well, but a matchup against Manaea is an excellent spot to break it open. The Dodgers have seen him several times, and it’s gone well for them.

The former San Francisco Giant hates pitching at Dodger Stadium. He’s rocking a 7.50 ERA in 30 innings at Dodger Stadium. Will Smith is hitting .500 over 16 AB against him. Mookie Betts is 10-29 (.345) with seven extra base hits against him. Freddie Freeman is 5-14 (.357) with a home run against Manaea.

Manaea is off to a solid start this year, but he got destroyed when he faced good competition. He faced the Reds and Tigers, two below-average offenses against lefties. He got killed against the Royals, who rank lower than the Dodgers against lefties.

Yamamoto will be on the other side. I think he dominates today. He hasn’t pitched since April 12, which gave him plenty of rest. He’s thrown two five-inning shutouts, so the only runs he’s allowed are against the Padres.

The Mets have been feasting against lefties, ranking fifth in the league in wRC+. They rank 17th in wRC+ against righties but fall below average. Yamamoto had no problem with the Cubs or Cardinals, who sit in a similar spot against righties.

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None of the Mets bats have faced Yamamoto, and they are traveling across the country after their home series. While they have a day off, it’s still tougher for East Coast teams to travel west. It’s not much of an edge, but it’s worth mentioning.

It’s an excellent time to buy low on Yamamoto and the Dodgers and sell high on a Mets team coming off four straight wins. Manaea has a terrible history in LA, and Yamamoto is still new to the market. There is a two-run gap between these two in the xERA department, and the Dodgers have a home-field advantage with a better offense. Lets take the Dodgers to get an early lead.

The Pick: Dodgers First 5 Innings -0.5 (-130) Risk 1.3 Units

Player Props

Yariel Rodriguez Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+155) Risk 0.5 Units

I watched his first start with the Blue Jays and was very impressed. Rodriguez is nasty, his slider grades out as a plus pitch, recording a 119 Stuff+. All of his three pitches garnered a 33% whiff rate or higher in his first start. It’s obviously early, and we don’t have a ton of data, but I couldn’t pass up this price.

He’s still working his way back, but we have a nice quote from him. “I feel very strong, very comfortable, I think I can go 80, 85 pitches easy” when asked about his start today. He only threw 68 pitches in his first start, so we should see 4-5 innings today.

The Padres have a solid offense and don’t strike out much, but they haven’t faced many strikeout artists. They hadn’t faced anyone with an above-average strikeout rate until they struck out six times against Yamamoto. Even Ben Brown racked up five strikeouts against this team. They’ve had the luxury of facing a lot of soft tossers; let’s see how they do against a heavy strikeout pitcher.

Rodriguez posted a 41% strikeout rate in two starts in AAA, then struck out six in 3.2 innings in his first start. The Rockies definitely strike out more, but we have a longer pitch count and a great price. Well worth it.

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