MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for April 3, 2023

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 2: TJ Friedl #29 of the Cincinnati Reds bats against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on October 2, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Excellent day yesterday! We went up 2.5 units after a 4-2 day. All of our totals hit, and Cal came through once again. Shocker!

Today’s board is priced well, so I only see value on two game picks and two squares on PrizePicks. Let’s have another great day!

Listen to today’s picks!

Just so we all know, I’m using BetMGM lines only this year. Here’s a link to get started with a risk-free $1000 bet. You can also use code “JB200” if you’re betting MLB. Wager $10 on any MLB game and receive $200 instantly.

All prop entries will be on PrizePicks: Here’s a link to get a 100% deposit match.

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2023 Straight Plays Record: 9-4 (+5.78 U) – 69% Win Rate

2023 PrizePicks Entries: 0-2 (-1 U) – 0% Win Rate

I will track both records separately so you can track how I’m doing on game picks and PrizePick entries!

Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds @ 6:40 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Drew Smyly vs. Connor Overton

The Reds are my favorite “bad team” because they really aren’t that bad. While they didn’t have the stiffest competition this past weekend, taking two of three from the Pirates is just the start. They have solid pitching at the top, and when they face a left-hander at home, they are at their best.

They faced Drew Smyly four times last season, and he pitched to a 2.63 ERA over 13.2 innings. That sounds great, but the location of where he pitched is essential here. Three of those starts were in Chicago or the Field of Dreams game. At home, Smyly recorded a 2.42 ERA compared to a 4.23 ERA on the road. In his lone road start against the Reds, he allowed three earned runs in 5.2 innings.

The Reds are very particular. You get them at home, against a lefty, and their offense tends to show up. They put together a .713 OPS as a team last year against lefties and a .718 OPS at home. On the road, that OPS dropped to .635, and against right-handers, it was .662. They ranked 17th in baseball last year by wRC+ in this spot, right behind the Braves and in front of the Phillies. There are many righties in the Reds lineup, and all of them are healthy.

The Cubs will face Connor Overton, who isn’t well known, but he can get the job done today. Seven of the nine Cubs’ hitters are right-handed, outside Cody Bellinger and Ian Happ. Bellinger can’t hit anything right now, so he doesn’t worry me. Dansby Swanson is on fire to start the year, so he’s someone to watch, but I don’t think it’ll be enough to overcome this Reds lineup against Smyly and a Cubs bullpen without their best weapon, Adbert Alzolay.

The Reds didn’t have to travel and get to stay home; it bodes well. Chicago didn’t have a far trip, but it’s about piling small edges on top of each other to create a more prominent edge. The model agrees, and the betting public appears to be favoring the Cubs, even though the line opened at Reds +110 and has moved down to +105. I’d play the Reds as long as they are the underdog.

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SIM Value: Reds Win 60.6% (-154)

The Pick: Cincinnati Reds ML (+105) 1 U to win 1.05 U

Colorado Rockies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers @ 10:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Ryan Feltner vs. Michael Grove

I feel bad for the hitters in Los Angeles today. According to ballparkpal, Dodger Stadium projects as the second lowest run-scoring environment of the day, with 10-15 MPH winds blowing in from right field. Temperatures should also be in the low to mid-50s, so it won’t be a fun place to hit. Also, a 42% drop in projected home runs is enormous.

Is Ryan Feltner good? Not particularly, but the Dodgers offense hasn’t shown up yet, and Feltner has had success against a superior Dodgers lineup. He’s thrown twice against them, tossing 9.1 innings while only allowing two earned runs. Through 28 PA against the Dodgers’ current roster, Feltner is rocking a .204 xBA, .342 xwOBA, and a .374 xSLG. Not elite, but not bad either.

The Dodgers’ offense has averaged five runs per game over their first four, but half came in one game against Madison Bumgarner. Besides that, this lineup has not looked great out of the gate, and I don’t think they suddenly show up today in bad weather conditions.

CJ Cron is on fire, but the rest of the Rockies’ offense looks bleak. The Rockies have scored 16 runs in four games, and Cron has 7 RBIs. Cron struggled against the Dodgers last season, putting up a .514 OPS. They know how to pitch against him and should stay far away today.

Michael Grove will get the start today, and the Rockies seem like a perfect opponent. Lefties hurt Grove, but righties tend to have issues. The Rockies lineup is almost entirely right-handed, so we should see a solid performance from him today. We don’t have much data on Grove, but his 3.10 xERA implies his short stint in the majors last year was unlucky.

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Following Grove will be an elite Dodgers bullpen that’s well-rested going into this game. The Rockies also didn’t use anyone yesterday besides Brent Suter, so they’ll be ready to go. Both the model and I agree this game should go way under.

SIM Value: 6.5 (-106)

The Pick: Rockies vs. Dodgers Under 9 (-115) 1.15 U to Win 1 U (Play to 8.5)

PrizePicks Entry (.25 U to Win .5 U)

Trea Turner Under 8.5 Fantasy Score

This is my way of implementing the fade of the Sunday Night Baseball trend. Turner has not shown a willingness to steal bases yet, and he’ll have trouble against a left-handed starter in Nestor Cortes. I expect the Phillies’ bats to come out flat, and that starts at the top of the lineup. While Turner is better against lefties, facing Cortes Jr for the first time in a career can present problems. He does an excellent job of throwing off hitters’ timing while throwing a cutter and sweeper, the two worst pitches for Turner to hit by run value. Even if he walks, I don’t believe this Phillies offense is driving him in. He’s +130 to go over 1.5 bases, so an 8.5 fantasy score asks a lot.

Jose Siri Over 0.5 Bases

Siri has registered a hit in every game, with many ways to get on base. He’s hitting the ball hard, averaging 92.3 MPH exit velocities in his first three games while already hitting a ball at 110 MPH. He’s swift and can beat out most infield hits. He’s only had four ABs against right-handed pitching this year, and he’s 2-4 with a double. He’s always been reverse splits guy. He’ll face Trevor Williams today, who doesn’t pose much of a threat, and then we’ll get a less-than-rested Nationals bullpen. I think he sneaks one through. He’s between -130 to -145 to get a hit on books, so I like the value here.