MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for April 8, 2024

One Pick for April 8 MLB Action!

Kyle Freeland
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 15: Kyle Freeland #21 of the Colorado Rockies looks on during stretching at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 15, 2024 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Kyle Cooper/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images)

One pick, one winner yesterday. It went down to the wire, as MacKenzie Gore finished with six strikeouts, hitting our under 6.5 prop bet.

Trea Turner had one of the best matchups in the entire game from a historical standpoint, yet he struck out three times, and it still went under. Felt good to be on the right side of one.

Today, we are back with only one play. Nothing else on the board speaks to me, but I like something at Coors Field today.

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

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2024 Record: 15-19 (-4.06 U)

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies @ 8:40 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Zac Gallen vs. Kyle Freeland

I am invested in Zac Gallen in the futures market. Before the season began, I bet the under on his 194.5 strikeouts line because I predicted he would see a drop in strikeouts after throwing the most innings among starters since 2019. We’ve seen the strikeout stuff drop off early in the season, as he’s only posted nine strikeouts in eleven innings.

However, he has posted a 0.82 ERA to this point. While I did fade Gallen over the season, I still think he’s a solid pitcher, just not the bonafide ace the market prices him at.

Due to this, I see value on the over in Colorado today. I rarely have to convince anyone to take an over at Coors Field, but it is Zac Gallen, so let’s get into it.

Among the three qualified Diamondbacks starters (Gallen, Kelly, Pfaadt), Gallen has the lowest Stuff+. Kelly and Pfaadt both have 98 and 99, respectively, while Gallen has a 87 Stuff+. Stuff+ grades the physical characteristics of every pitch offering, with 100 being league average. Gallen is 13% below league average this year, tied with pitchers like Steven Matz and Jose Quintana. You can be effective while not having electric stuff, but a matchup in Coors Field doesn’t feel like the spot where he dominates.

He’s been excellent in Coors Field in his career to his credit. Through 37 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.43 ERA. However, in 2023, he posted a 106 Stuff+, the eleventh-best baseball mark. He will allow more contact with reduced staff and a drop-off in strikeouts. We are betting that the contact results in hits, and hopefully, some balls go over the fence.

We have pitching stats that grade contact quality. Gallen’s current ERA is 0.82, but his xERA is 4.78 because he’s allowing a 46.4% Hard-Hit rate (22nd percentile). His SIERA is 4.47, and his xFIP is 4.35. Regression is coming; it’s just a matter of when. I’m betting we’ll see some today.

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The Diamondbacks have hit the over in four of their past five road games. A trend with a small sample only means a little if there is context. The Diamondbacks bullpen has been shelled, but the offense has been fantastic. Even if Gallen gives his team a solid start, I don’t believe Arizona’s bullpen needs to follow suit.

This is especially true against a Rockies offense with a whole home series to adjust to the altitude. The Rockies’ offense could be better, but they are doing fine to start the year. They have the 13th- best OPS in baseball against righties. wRC+ dings them due to the run environment, but they are at home, so we need runs.

I didn’t focus much on Kyle Freeland because he’s been awful. His stuff is way down across the board, and the Diamondbacks have a rich history against him. Over 157 PA, the Diamondbacks’ current roster is hitting .356 with a .406 xwOBA. He’s facing an Arizona offense with a 138 wRC+ against lefties to start the year, the fourth best in the league. The bullpen behind Freeland has a 7.28 ERA this year. The Diamondbacks have no reason not to score.

Last season, these two teams played six games at Coors Field. The over is 4-2, averaging 13.33 runs per game.

I’m not laying the juice on -120, but the over is the play. Gallen is truly a wild card. The Rockies can win this game if Gallen struggles and the over has a high chance of hitting. Gallen could pitch well, and we still hit the over from the bullpens or heavy lifting from Arizona’s offense. I still respect Gallen, so I’m sticking with one unit at 10.5. Bet this to 11 at -105 on BetMGM.

Projection: 11.4 runs

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The Pick: Over 10.5 (-120) Risk 1 Unit