MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for April 4, 2024

Two Picks for April 4, 2024 MLB Action!

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 06: Nolan Arenado #28 and Paul Goldschmidt #46 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate their 11-6 win over the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on September 06, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Stupid Twins. Of course, they lose through the first five, then win the whole game. The Twins and I aren’t friends.

On the flip side, how about Nathan Eovaldi going way over 5.5 strikeouts? Small losing day yesterday, let’s win it back.

I have two picks today. One is another plus money strikeout prop, and the other is a money line. Small board today, so let’s keep it to our favorites.

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

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2024 Record: 9-13 (-5.01 U)

Miami Marlins vs. St Louis Cardinals @ 4:15 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Ryan Weathers vs. Lance Lynn

What’s the reason to take the Marlins? The only reason I can think of is “they are due for a win” after an 0-7 start. This team is awful; they deserve this 0-7 start.

This is a team with players complaining about shadows in their home ballpark. This is a team whose best hitter, Luis Arraez, is hitting .185 with a .227 xBA. This is a team that, even if they have a lead, isn’t safe (three blown leads). They should be priced like the Rockies should be priced.

I’m done sitting on the sidelines. The largest bet of my life is the Miami Marlins’ under 78.5 wins. I decided to wait to play against them, and then I didn’t know when to hop in. Enough is enough; I’m jumping in.

Lance Lynn will get the ball for St Louis and say what you want about him; he shoved against the Dodgers. He attacked them and didn’t allow a run through four innings before a rain delay. He’s a veteran with great experience and an excellent track record against the Marlins current roster.

Through 114 PA, Lynn is rocking a .245 opponent average, a .224 xBA, and a .288 xwOBA. Those are elite overall numbers in a large sample. The Marlins are the third-worst lineup against right-handed pitching by wRC+ while hitting .207 against righties.

Behind Lynn, the Cardinals bullpen is ready to roll. Zero high-leverage arms have thrown over 20 pitches in the last two days. Even if Lynn struggles, which I don’t think he will, the Cardinals bullpen should limit damage in the later innings. It’s been a solid unit so far, ranking second in strikeouts and third in xFIP.

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Ryan Weathers gets the ball for Miami. He allowed three runs in four innings against the Pirates. He’s facing a Cardinals lineup in the top ten last year at home against lefties by wRC+. Following him is the 23rd-ranked bullpen by xFIP and 24th by ERA. Struggling to find where the Marlins edge comes in.

There is also a narrative I’m buying here. It’s the Cardinals’ home opener, and Busch Stadium is always packed with die-hard Cardinals fans. It’s going to be rowdy, especially with a team that can smell blood in the water with the Marlins (no pun intended). Lance Lynn decided to sign with the Cardinals in part because they were close to home. I think he delivers an excellent performance today.

The Cardinals lost their home opener last year 10-9 to the Blue Jays. They want this one, and I think they’ll get it.

Projection: Cardinals ML (-170)

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

Player Props

Pablo Lopez Under 5.5 Strikeouts (+120) Risk 0.5 Units

This is a risky bet on the surface, but solid trends back it. Lopez faced the Guardians three times last year, going at least six innings in two of those starts and never going over five strikeouts. While he is a dominant pitcher with strikeout stuff, he hasn’t been able to accomplish this against Cleveland.

In 68 PA against the Guardian’s current roster, he’s rocking a minuscule 11.8% strikeout rate. They also see him pretty well in general. In those three starts, he allowed nine runs in 17.2 IP. I’m not saying they destroy him, but Pablo definitely doesn’t have this big edge against them.

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It’s risky because Pablo is a strikeout pitcher. He’s been over this line in 15 of his last 20 starts. Of those five, two of those starts, he went under…. against the Guardians.

The Guardians are striking out at a 16.4% rate this season against righties, the fourth-lowest rate in the league. I have him projected at 5.5 strikeouts, so the line is perfect at 5.5 if it were +100 on both sides. It isn’t, and because Lopez had seven in his first start, it’s inflated by 20 cents.

Projection: 5.5 Strikeouts – Over 5.5 (+100)