MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for Friday, April 12, 2024

Three Picks For April 12 MLB Action!

Yoshinobu Yamamoto
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 14: Yoshinobu Yamamoto #18 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during workouts at Camelback Ranch on February 14, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Erick Fedde ripped our hearts out. We took him over 15.5 pitching outs on Wednesday. He goes out for the sixth inning with 79 pitches. He gets a ground ball to second base and he boots it. Fedde goes on to walk two straight batters and the White Sox took him out.

Luckily, we also bet the Brewers, and they crushed the Reds, so it was a small losing day. It should have been a sweep, so now we sweep today with three picks.

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

2024 Record: 17-22 (-5.43 U)

Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers @ 6:40 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Pablo Lopez vs. Tarik Skubal

Yesterday, I bet the Tigers’ money line. I thought both pitchers would dominate, but after a rest day, the Tigers had the bullpen advantage. The Twins had used their high-leverage guys, so I thought the Tigers would win in a low-scoring game.

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The game was postponed, so the Twins got their high-leverage guys back for this game. However, the Tigers ML price stayed the same as did the total. That shifted my focus to the under because the more I looked into it, I can’t fade Pablo Lopez against this Tigers offense.

Both of these offenses are underwhelming. Against right-handed pitching at home, the Tigers have a 59 wRC+ while hitting .182. Against righties, in general, they are still a below-average offense.

As you can see, Lopez has dominated the Tigers’ current roster. He tossed seven shutout innings in his lone start in Comerica last year. He also put up a 3.10 ERA in road games last season compared to a 4.21 ERA in home games. He’s facing a below-average offense in a better spot for him. Now that the Twins bullpen is ready, it’s hard for me to fade that, especially taking the Tigers as a favorite.

I like the Tigers because of Tarik Skubal and this bullpen. I could post Skubal’s numbers against this current roster, but he has not faced them since 2022. When he did face them in Comerica, he also threw seven shutout innings.

Skubal is arguably the best left-handed pitcher in baseball. His 2.92 ERA is elite, but his 1.70 xERA is in the 94th percentile. He’s facing a Twins offense that is off to a good start against lefties overall, but they haven’t beaten good left-handed starters. Chris Sale, Cole Ragans, and James Paxton threw 15 innings against this Twins team and allowed four runs.

These are two of the best bullpens in baseball behind them. The Twins have a 1.35 ERA (2nd), and the Tigers have a 1.47 ERA (3rd). They both had an off day, so everyone should be available. The Tigers still have the bullpen advantage, even with health on both sides.

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The wind is projected to hit this game hard, with 15 MPH winds blowing out to the left. If some players connect for home runs, I’ll tip my cap. The Tigers rank third to last in ISO, so it’s doubtful it comes from them. The Twins have power, but let’s see them do it against Skubal with some extra rest.

The Tigers have the better starter and bullpen, but the Twins have the better offense.

I got the worst number as it’s creeping up due to the heavy winds. I’m not shying away because of the wind. I’m on this under.

Projection: 6.5 Runs

The Pick: Under 7 (-115) Risk 1.15 Units

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks @ 9:40 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Steven Matz vs. Brandon Pfaadt

I was looking for the first five innings in this matchup, but it’s much more expensive than taking it through the entire game. The Diamondbacks have demolished left-handed pitching at home, and overall, they have better defense and offense. They also have a slightly better starter on the mound.

I can’t stop betting on Brandon Pfaadt. He has excellent command, a high strikeout rate, and a low Hard-Hit rate compared to last year. He’s coming off a rough start against the Braves, so now, I think, is a good time to buy low on him.

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His 3.33 xERA compared to his 5.06 ERA confirms my bias for him. He’s a better pitcher than what he’s shown thus far. The Cardinals have yet to see him, which bodes well for Pfaadt today. He also gets to face a lineup that has an 81 wRC+ against righties, good for fifth worst in the league so far.

Opposing Pfaadt is Steven Matz. Today, the left-hander has a tough matchup against this Arizona offense. Against lefties at home this year, they’ve put up an absurd 170 wRC+, 70% better than the league-average offense in that spot. Overall, they have the sixth-best wRC+ against lefties in the league while hitting .301 as a team.

They’ve faced Matz over 55 PA. As a team, they are hitting .296. Matz’s 4.63 xERA tells me he’s sustained some luck and has a game against the Marlins. I don’t believe in his 1.74 ERA. Also, Corbin Carroll and Ketel Marte are two of the best sinker hitters in the league, a pitch Matz throws 55% of the time.

The bullpens are about even. The Cardinals slightly edge out the Snakes from a peripheral standpoint, but the Diamondbacks have the better bullpen ERA. In the later innings, this is a wash.

The Diamondbacks have the better starter, offense, and defense. The bullpens are a wash, and we get the home team. While these pitchers have drastically different ERAs to start, the Diamondbacks should win this game going away.

Projection: Diamondbacks ML (-155)

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The Pick: Diamondbacks ML (-120) Risk 1.2 Units

San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers @ 10:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Michael King vs. Yoshinobu Yamamoto

I went into this game looking for a way to back Yamamoto. I still believe he’s one of the best pitchers in the world, and he’s been dominating over his past two starts. His first start was a disaster against these Padres, which is why we are seeing value in him today. However, I still like Michael King, and the Dodgers’ night games have a secret.

Shadows are often prevalent in the early goings. It’s scary to fade this Dodgers offense, and the Dodgers bullpen has yet to perform well. The Dodgers have played seven games at Dodger Stadium, and nine runs have been scored in six. However, those games’ first five under is 3-4 because the shadows make it harder to hit in the early goings.

While it’s been high scoring early, we have yet to see as good of a pitching matchup in Dodger Stadium as we do today. I’m giving him a pass while Michael King did not perform in Korea. His next two starts totaled 11 innings and two runs allowed.

I like his pitch mix in the shadows. Shoutout to Cameron Rico, a lifelong Dodger fan who clued me in on this. The Dodgers often struggle against four-seam, sinker, sweeper pitchers in the shadows. A good example is Lance Lynn, who weirdly pitched well against the Dodgers with those shadows.

From my experience, when a pitcher struggles in his first outing against a team, he normally bounces back. The batters don’t have to make adjustments because their original plan worked, so now it’s time for the pitcher to make his.

We see value in this due to the history of both starters and the fact that most Dodger games have been high-scoring. Yamamoto could shut out this offense, but I see up to two runs at the most. The same goes for King. He can be effective, throw five innings, and allow 2-3 runs with upside for less. The most likely outcome is four runs scored in five innings, but one can shut out the other offense early.

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I wouldn’t take this full game under, but I still like it. I don’t want to deal with either bullpens, and the shadows go away as the game continues. Early on, I think it’s low scoring.

Projection: 3.9 runs in five innings

The Pick: First 5 Innings Under 4.5 (-110) Risk 1.1 Units