MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for March 30, 2024

Four MLB Picks for Saturday, March 30!

Yandy Diaz and Randy Arozarena
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 11: Randy Arozarena #56 of the Tampa Bay Rays is congratulated by Yandy Diaz #2 after hitting a solo home run against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in game one of the American League Championship Series at PETCO Park on October 11, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Terrible day yesterday. I don’t even want to talk about it. If you watched the games, you know what happened. Phillies bullpen melted, and we have a million chances in the Houston game.

No matter. Back today with four picks. Ready to rock.

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

2024 Record: 3-5 (-1.05 U)

Washington Nationals vs. Cincinnati Reds @ 4:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Patrick Corbin vs. Hunter Greene

Patrick Corbin is coming off three straight seasons with an xERA over 5.50. He’s finished with an xERA above 6.00 in his last two seasons. He finished second to last (behind Jordan Lyles) in 2023 in SIERA. If we look at ERA, he was amongst the league’s worst over the past three seasons. He posted the lowest strikeout rate in baseball last year and the lowest K-BB.

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Patrick Corbin is a World Series Champion and will be paid $23 million this season. Considering his good career and high pay, I think I can call him the worst pitcher in Major League Baseball.

He also has horrific quality contact numbers against the Reds’ current roster. The sample is not large, but it does include seven of the Reds hitters in 40 PA.

Do we want counting stats? The Reds’ opponent batting average is .429. How about some expected stats: .544 xwOBA, .798 xSLG, .435 xBA. It’s funny that the expected batting average is higher than the .429 average the Reds hitters have posted.

Hunter Greene lines up on the other side. Greene has the potential to be a frontline starter in this league, but it all hasn’t clicked for him yet. He did post a 3.82 xERA and 3.74 SIERA last season which is much better than his 4.82 ERA would indicate. He was also fantastic during the day (weird I know) last season putting up a 3.62 ERA versus a 6.80 ERA at night. The only reason I’m mentioning it is because it was such a drastic difference.

The Reds have the superior offense, superior starting pitcher, and better bullpen. They are also the home team, so if we are in a pinch, we get the last at-bats. Take the Reds to -170.

Projection: Reds ML (-200)

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The Pick: Reds ML (-160) Risk 1.6 Units

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays @ 4:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Yusei Kikuchi vs. Zack Littell

Yusei Kikuchi has a Tropicana Field problem.

He’s been decent against the Rays overall, but there is something about traveling to Tampa. Last season, he threw there twice, allowing eight earned runs over nine innings. He threw there once in 2022 and only pitched four innings of two-run ball.

Kikuchi is also coming off a really rough spring training. He only threw 7.2 innings and allowed 14 earned runs, giving him a 16.43 ERA. I’m lower on him than the market is after putting up a 3.86 ERA in 2023. He rocked a 4.30 xERA last year, and with the dreadful spring training and his issues in Tropicana, I knew I wanted to fade him early.

He’s also going up against the number one offense by wRC+ at home against lefties last year. The Rays put up a .276/.352/.475 slashline against lefties at home. This is a tough spot for the Blue Jays’ southpaw.

Zack Littell lines up on the other side. The Rays scooped him up last year because they saw something in his pitch mix that they liked. He turns around a 9.00 ERA with the Red Sox and puts up a 3.93 ERA and 3.93 FIP in 87 innings with Tampa.

He looked strong during the spring. He threw 13 innings and only allowed two earned runs while striking out 13. His numbers against the Blue Jays are also better than Kikuchi against the Rays. Littel has the better xwOBA, xSLG, and xBA against the current roster.

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The Blue Jays preferred split is against lefties with their right-handed dominant lineup. They put up a higher wRC+, OPS, and ISO against lefties last season.

The Rays have played better than the Blue Jays up to this point. If Kevin Cash had not left Efflin in for an extra inning, that score would have been much closer. Take the Rays to -130.

Projection: Rays ML (-150)

The Pick: Rays ML (-125) Risk 1.25 Units

Player Props

Luis Severino Under 5.5 Strikeouts (-120) Risk 1 U

In Severino’s last ten starts, he’s averaging 4.3 strikeouts with a median of 4.5 strikeouts. He’s facing a Brewers lineup that was league average in strikeout rate last year against right-handed pitching. On BetMGM, he’s -175 to go under 15.5 pitching outs. Out projections have him going the full five innings, but only recording 4.8 strikeouts.

He’s performed well in spring training from a run-prevention standpoint but hasn’t racked up the strikeouts. He’s recorded 12 in 14 innings. This number is a bit inflated because it is a former big-name pitcher on a new team, but I’ll gladly fade that narrative.

Projection: 4.8 Strikeouts

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Yoshinobu Yamamoto To Record A Win (+205) Risk 0.5 Units

This line feels too good to be true, which scares me. However, I decided to play it because, after Yamamoto’s terrible first start in Korea, the market underrated him. The Dodgers aren’t stupid. They only hand out a $300M contract to a guy after doing their research. I still have so much confidence in him as a pitcher, and the Cardinals have posed no threat in my eyes yet.

Lance Lynn lines up on the other side. He’s a former Dodger; they know him well. They acquired him at the deadline and helped alter his pitch mix. Considering that the Cardinals’ starting pitching development isn’t top-notch, I imagine he’s pitching with the same profile as in LA. He’s also allowed 12 earned runs in spring training in 13 innings. The Dodgers should destroy him.

I’m backing Yamamoto to bounce back and pick up the win here.

Projection: 45% chance of recording a win (+124)