MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for April 6, 2024

Steven Kwan
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 14: Steven Kwan #38 of the Cleveland Guardians runs to first during the third inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Progressive Field on May 14, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images)

Gut-wrenching losses yesterday. Overall, it was a 2-3 day good for 0.88 units in the red. The Rays never had a chance, that was the wrong side. However, the way we lost on Gilbert and the first five under reminded me that this is gambling, and sometimes it doesn’t go your way no matter the circumstances.

Here’s what I need help understanding. The manager leaves Gilbert to face a lefty that has already homered off him. He gets him out, then removes him against a righty that was 0-2 against him with a strikeout. I understand if you want to remove him, but why right there? Maybe someone can help me understand.

Kutter Crawford needed one out. He walked the ninth batter and then walked Anthony Rendon to score a run, and then the bullpen got out of it. That didn’t bother me like the Gilbert bet; that’s baseball. It just stinks.

We did hold it down on our biggest prop of the season. We also easily cashed the under in Washington. Not a bad day, just upset because it could have easily been a 4-1 day.

Ad – content continues below


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

2024 Record: 13-16 (-4.29 U)

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Atlanta Braves @ 7:20 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Brandon Pfaadt vs. Max Fried

On every bet, I give you my projection for the game and explain why I see value on the line. This is not one of those bets; I don’t know how to price this game. I could stay away, but this big line for an Arizona team made me bite.

What happened to Max Fried? He allowed three runs in less than an inning in his first start against the Phillies. He was removed after only recording two outs due to hamstring discomfort. He’s slated to go today, so maybe he’s 100%, but how do we know? I’ve been scouring the internet for news, and I can’t find much.

The Diamondbacks don’t have great numbers against Fried, but they are pretty decent. Over a 52 PA sample, the Diamondbacks have posted a .269 xBA and .309 xwOBA and are only striking out 15.9% of the time. They showed a real fight yesterday against Spencer Strider but lost it at the end of the game. They also have the lowest strikeout rate this year against lefties, so Fried must maneuver without many punch-outs.

Arizona has the second-best wRC+ in baseball this season against lefties. It’s early, but the lineup projects to be fantastic against lefties. They can deploy a dominant right-handed lineup between Marte, Gurriel Jr, Walker, Suarez, Moreno, Alexander, and Perdomo. Fried should see seven right-handed bats in this game.

Ad – content continues below

Brandon Pfaadt looked solid against the Rockies in his first start. He’s a pitcher I’ve always liked, and we won some money with him in the playoffs. He put up a 110 Pitching+ in that start, the 14th-best start this season. The Braves’ offense is fantastic, but they have yet to see Pfaadt. Pfaadt also showed a lot of maturity going into Citizens Bank Park and shoving so he wouldn’t be afraid of the moment.

Both bullpens are in a similar rest spot, and with the way Arizona is hitting, I want to back them late as well. I think they win one game this series, and I think the most likely game is this one. They face Chris Sale tomorrow, who looked great at his first start, and Ryne Nelson opposes him. I’m not a Ryne Nelson guy.

I’m taking a shot. If Fried looks excellent, this will look stupid. Atlanta can’t win every game, right? It’s just a half-unit play for me. Let’s see if the dogs are barking.

Projection: N/A

The Pick: Diamondbacks ML (+185) Risk 0.5 U

Player Props

Clarke Schmidt Under 5.5 Strikeouts (-120) Risk 1.20 Units

I watched Clarke Schmidt’s first start, and he looked pretty good, but one area surprised me. He didn’t look great against right-handed bats, which is his calling card. On paper, this feels like a good matchup for him against a predominantly right-handed lineup in the Blue Jays. I’m going to fade that narrative today.

He went to his sinker much more than in previous years. He upped the usage by 7%, which is excellent for ground balls but not for strikeouts. He only garnered an 11.3% whiff rate on the pitch, the worst mark of his pitches. It’s a great pitch to eat innings, not rack-up strikeouts.

Ad – content continues below

In Schmidt’s first start, he struck out three of eight lefties he faced but only two of the 13 right-handed batters he faced. He’s going up against a Blue Jays lineup that has not only seen him multiple times but also has many right-handed bats.

When he faces the Blue Jays, his strikeout rate drops by almost one per inning; over a 53 PA sample size, his strikeout rate is 18.9%. The Blue Jays aren’t a heavy strikeout team, but they have a 22.7% strikeout rate against righties, the 12th best in baseball.

In his last 20 starts, he’s been under this line in 14 of them. He’s been under this line in seven of his last ten starts. That was last year, so it’s not much of an edge, but it’s worth noting.

Projection: 4.7 Strikeouts

Joe Ryan Under 5.5 Strikeouts (-120) Risk 0.6 Units

This is similar to Lopez, except we are getting a different line. Pablo Lopez is at +120 compared to Ryan at -120, but it’s more likely that Ryan doesn’t get his strikeouts compared to Lopez.

Similarly to Lopez, Ryan has never exceeded this number against the Guardians. Either I’m getting duped, or the books must adjust to this Guardians offense.

Ad – content continues below

As you can see, Ryan’s strikeout rate is cut in half against the Guardians. They don’t strike out against anyone, rocking the second-lowest strikeout rate in baseball against righties at 16.5%.

Over a 98-PA sample against this Guardians team, Ryan has a 14.3% strikeout rate. I have to jump back in.

Projection: 5.1 Strikeouts

Steven Kwan Over 1.5 Hits/Runs/RBI (-135) Risk 0.675 Units

I’ve been watching almost every Guardians game, and Kwan is too hot not to tail. I’m still working through hitter projections, so don’t take this if you only follow when I have projections.

The reason I’m taking him is he’s on fire and has a solid track record against Joe Ryan. Kwan is 4-14 against Joe Ryan, the best on the Guardians among hitters with at least 10 PA.

He’s also been fantastic against the Twins, going over this line in nine of 14 matchups. His median line of H/R/RBI against the Twins is 2.5. He crushed Pablo, going 2-3 with three total bases, and then he got a hit off the bullpen as well.

Ad – content continues below

As you can see from these heat charts, Ryan likes to work up in the zone and the middle with his well-above-average fastball. Kwan lives at the top of the zone with his elite barrel control.

He’s been over this in six of eight games, and with nine innings of guaranteed ABs for the Guardians as they are the road team, I like Kwan to stay hot against a team and pitcher he’s very familiar with.

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