MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for April 5, 2024

Five MLB Picks for Friday, April 5!

SANTO DOMINGO, DR - MARCH 10: Randy Arozarena #56 of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts after hitting a single in the first inning during the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox at Estadio Quisqueya on Sunday, March 10, 2024 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. (Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

How about that sweep? The Marlins continued floundering as the Cardinals staged a come-from-behind win to cash our ticket. We took a risky prop bet as well, and it paid off. We took Pablo Lopez to go under his strikeouts, and he did, only recording two.

We have much more work to do. Let’s end the week

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

2024 Record: 11-13 (-3.41 U)

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Colorado Rockies @ 4:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Zack Littell vs. Austin Gomber

When it’s the first game of a series with the away team traveling into Colorado on a homestand, you can often find value with the Rockies. It takes a team a little while to adjust to the altitude, and the Rockies can take advantage. However, that advantage is null and void today, with both teams traveling in yesterday.

Ad – content continues below

The Rockies played an entire spring training schedule away from their home ballpark and just finished a long road trip. While they are much more familiar with the altitude overall, I doubt it makes much of a difference in this matchup, which is lopsided.

If I’m betting on an opposing pitcher in Colorado, I must see some success there. Littell is a former San Francisco Giant. He’s pitched there on three separate occasions as a reliever. He should have a plan for working through this Rockies lineup at 5,000 feet above sea level.

His first start (1.73 xERA) looked fantastic, and his pitch mix matches Coors Field well. I almost took the under because of him and his rested Rays bullpen, but I have zero faith in Austin Gomber.

The Rays were the fourth-best team in baseball last year against left-handed pitching by wRC+. Gomber put up a 7.05 ERA in Colorado last year. He’s off to a bad start (8.01 xERA) against a Diamondbacks team in the bottom ten last year against lefties.

The Rockies bullpen is terrible beyond Gomber. The Rockies own zero advantages. Don’t overthink this one; take the Rays to stomp on Colorado. My projections have this at -135, but my brain has it higher. I also have Littel projected the same odds to record a win as Spencer Strider today and ahead of pitchers like Aaron Nola and Bobby Miller.

Projection: Rays (-1.5) (-135)

Ad – content continues below

The Pick: Rays -1.5 (-115) Risk 1.15 Units

Philadelphia Phillies vs Washington Nationals @ 6:45 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Aaron Nola vs. Patrick Corbin

You’re going to hate this one. I hate this one. You should feel uncomfortable when placing a bet; and this one makes my toes curl.

Yes, Patrick Corbin is arguably baseball’s worst pitcher. However, he has a good track record against the Phillies. Also, this Phillies offense has dragged to start the year, a common occurrence for them. As long as Corbin doesn’t crap the bed, we should be in a good spot here.

Through 171 PA against the Phillies’ current roster, he’s rocking a .290 xBA, a .382 xwOBA, and a .485 xSLG. Funny enough, this starting pitching matchup happened last year, and the game ended 6-2. Corbin threw five shutout innings in that game.

It’s an excellent time to buy low on Aaron Nola as well. He has dominated the Nationals in the past. Through 106 PA, Nola is rocking a .257 xwOBA, .336 xSLG, and a .221 xBA. Those numbers are fantastic, and coming off a bad start against the Braves, I think he dominates. His 12.45 ERA wasn’t real; his xERA was 4.85. He got crazy unlucky, so I see even more value in this.

The Phillies’ offense is in the bottom ten right now. It’s normal for them to start slow, but everyone expects them to be “due.” Maybe they are, but with lousy contact quality and a high strikeout rate from the offense to start, I don’t think they destroy Corbin.

The Phillies bullpen burned us against the Braves, but I still trust them. I have them as a top-five unit. The Nationals bullpen isn’t any good, but they are rested.

Ad – content continues below

The total is dropping for a reason. Nationals Park is heavily impacted by horizontal wind. Wrigley is experiencing a ton of wind, but Nationals Park is very close in terms of impact. The wind will knock some of those long fly balls down.

I’m trusting my projection of 7.4 runs. It has the most value of any total on the board today. Put your contrarian hat on for this one.

Projection: 7.4 Runs

The Pick: Under 8.5 (+100) Risk 1 Unit

Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels @ 9:38 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Kutter Crawford vs. Griffin Canning

These are two really solid pitchers. These are two below average offenses. Angel Stadium is experiencing some wind that should aid these two starters. That calls for an under.

Kutter Crawford hates pitching at Fenway but loves pitching on the road. He put up some drastic home/road splits last year. He already showcased his road dominance in his first start, going six innings while allowing one run against the Mariners.

In 57 innings at home, Crawford rocked a 6.00 ERA. In 72.1 innings on the road, he dropped a 2.49 ERA. He might be an auto tail on the road, similar to Tyler Mahle in 2021. We made a lot of money of Mahle, and I feel the same coming on for Crawford.

Ad – content continues below

Crawford has recorded eight innings against the Angels while allowing one run. Through 25 PA, he’s held the Angels to a .135 opponent batting average with terrible quality of contact numbers for the Angels. We have him projected for 1.8 runs while going over five innings. He probably outperforms that projection against a bottom ten Angels offense against righties.

Griffin Canning is a pitcher I like more than the market does. He got blasted against the Orioles, but now is the time to buy low. He’s dominated the Red Sox lineup even more than Kutter has, recording a 30% K rate with a .212 xwOBA. I like the Red Sox offense, but they could have looked better. They rank lower than the Angels against righties with an 84 wRC+, 16% below the league average.

While both bullpens are rested, I’d prefer to avoid the whole game. Both bullpens are around league average, and while it ends up going under the entire game, the starters are the best pitchers in this game.

I’m showing value on both pitchers strikeouts to go over. I also project the first five innings for 3.8 runs. Love getting the hook on four in what I expect to be a pitchers dual.

Projection: 3.8 Runs

The Pick: Angels vs. Red Sox First 5 Innings Under 4.5 (-110) Risk 1.1 Units

Player Props

Tommy Henry Under 15.5 Pitching Outs (-135) Risk 1.35 Units

This is my biggest prop of the year so far. Based on my projections, this line never should have been at 15.5, while decently juiced toward the under.

Ad – content continues below

Close your eyes for a second. Can you envision Tommy Henry going out for the sixth inning against the best lineup against lefties in baseball on their home opener?

Henry has a very tough task today. He’s never faced this potent Braves lineup, and he struggled on the road last year. He put up a 5.05 ERA, 5.60 FIP, and 5.52 xFIP last season in road starts. He now enters a rowdy environment at Truist Park, where fans are hungry to watch their offense explode.

The Braves were the number one offense against left-handed pitching last year by almost every metric. They put up a .870 OPS last year, while the following closest teams were at .809 and .808.

Henry is already off to a rough start. He barely made it through four innings against the Rockies while allowing hard contact. He prays on soft contact to stay competitive, and he’s often good at it, but it didn’t start well (46% Hard-Hit Rate), and now he faces this Braves lineup that hits the daylight out of the baseball.

We have him projected for 14 outs, so we are well under this projection. With an off-day for the Diamondbacks, I doubt they want to see Henry go for this third time through this lineup. Good luck seeing Acuna three times.

He has been over this number in ten of his last 16 starts. Eight were road starts, and he was over this number in four (50%), so it is a lower number for Henry for a good reason. I would play this down to -155.

Ad – content continues below

Projection: 13.5 Outs. Under 15.5 Outs (-200)

Logan Gilbert Over 17.5 Pitching Outs (-130) Risk 0.65 Units

This is a projection play coupled with some solid trends. I’m not in love with it like I am with Henry, but value is value. I have this line projected at -170 to go over 17.5 pitching outs.

Gilbert has faced the Brewers once in his career and went six innings while allowing four runs. Gilbert also showcased a pitch usage change in his first start, opting for more sliders while mixing in a cutter. I thought he looked fantastic, and it’s all backed up in the advanced stats.

He’s been over this number consistently for a reason. Kirby gets all the love for not walking anyone, but Gilbert was in the 95th percentile in the walk rate last year while sitting in the 53rd percentile in the strikeout rate. He welcomes early contact, and it’s often soft off the bat.

He also performed better by ERA/FIP standards on the road last year, which is strange considering how big his home ballpark is. While the Brewers’ offense is solid, we should get six innings from Gilbert today.

Projection: 18.5 Outs. 17.5 Outs (-170)

Ad – content continues below

All data from Outlier. Try a seven day free trial on us!