MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for Monday, April 29, 2024

Luis Severino
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 17: Luis Severino #40 of the New York Mets reacts against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fifth inning at Citi Field on April 17, 2024 in New York City. The Mets won 9-1. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

Technically, our four-day winning streak ended yesterday. We didn’t lose anything but didn’t win either after a 1-1 day.

We took the Orioles through the first five innings, and they crushed Blackburn to give us the win. We did take the over in the Mexico series, and it wasn’t close to going over. I know the Rockies could be better, but I’m genuinely surprised with the lack of offense at that stadium.

That’s in the past, and I’m already looking forward to today with these three picks.

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

2024 Record: 35-37 (-3.56 U)

Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins @ 6:40 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Jake Irvin vs. Trevor Rogers

The Nationals are underdogs again. The only reason not to bet on the Nationals is because there is “no way they lose four games at home.” That’s the only reason I can find, as the Nationals should own almost every advantage today.

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Trevor Rogers will take the mound for Miami. He’s been solid this year, pitching to a 4.01 ERA and 3.78 xERA. He’s keeping the ball on the ground, but it’s been loud contact, contributing to a 44.2% Hard-Hit rate, which places him in the 23rd percentile. He’s a fine pitcher; that’s about it.

In the past two weeks, he’s facing a Nationals offense with a 127 wRC+ against lefties. Over the entire season, they’ve been far worse, putting up an 82 wRC+. They are seeing the ball well against lefties right now, which is enough for me. Nationals bats have been acceptable against him in the past, hitting .231 over 26 PA.

Jake Irvin will line up on the Nationals side. He was on a roll before a tough start against the Dodgers. He had a 3.13 ERA going into that start, but the Dodgers offense got him for six runs. He’ll have a nice matchup against the Marlins.

Marlins bats have seen him a few times, and it hasn’t gone well. Through 41 PA against the Marlins’ current roster, they are hitting .171. This Miami offense has an 82 wRC+ against righties this year and a 77 wRC+ in the last two weeks. They can’t hit anyone, and I don’t expect it to kick in today randomly.

The Nationals have the better bullpen as well. The Marlins are 2-14 (12.5%) on the ML at home over their last 16 games.

It might be weird to keep seeing the Nationals as favorites. The books have not genuinely adjusted to how bad this team is. While this game is at home, loadDepot is drawing a meager amount of fans, so it won’t even feel like the crowd is backing them in Miami. If the Marlins don’t get swept, I’ll tip my cap, but I will gladly pay to see the Marlins win a game.

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The Pick: Nationals ML (+130) Risk 1 Unit

Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets @ 7:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Jameson Taillon vs. Luis Severino

The Sunday Night Baseball system is definitely in play here, but the system has proven to be more profitable later in the season. That isn’t why I’m playing the Mets, but it’s an added element we can throw in to aid them in this one.

The Mets were horrific last night, with runners in scoring position, and they still managed to win the game on a walk-off. That’s a jolt of energy a team like the Mets needs, which carries over into today.

On the flip side, the Cubs lost a tough one last night after battling back but eventually losing. That can take the air out of their tires, especially after a long night game, and turn around quickly.

These are all tiny edges to add. Let’s talk about both these starting pitchers.

Jameson Taillon is a pitcher that I’ve never really been fond of in the betting market. Now that he’s off to a good start, this is a good spot to fade him. His stuff is down across the board over two starts, but he’s had some generous matchups.

He faced the Marlins and allowed one run in five innings. Enough said. He did face the Astros and allowed two runs in five innings, but he had baserunners in every inning; the Astros just couldn’t hit them home. That’s a continuation with the Astros, as they’ve been one of the worst teams in baseball with runners in scoring position.

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Now he faces this Mets offense that looks better over these past few weeks. The Mets rank ninth in wRC+ against right-handed pitching in the past two weeks. They are improving, as they sit 13th in baseball this season. They’ve seen Taillon before, and it hasn’t gone well, as they are only hitting .197 against him.

Lindor, Alonso, and McNeil are all hitting above .286 against him, it’s the bottom of the lineup that hasn’t seen much success. With the offense heating up, I think they can hit him for three runs in five to six innings today.

Luis Severino lines up on the other side. I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen from him. He’s now utilizing a sinker and a cutter instead of heavily relying on the four seams, and both pitches are producing ground balls at a rate that Severino has never done. His 57% ground-ball rate is among the highest in the league.

He’s racked up 22 PA against this Cubs’ current roster. It’s a small sample, but Cubs bats are hitting .190 against him. Facing a right-hander puts the Cubs in their lesser split (96 wRC+ vs. RHP, 136 wRC+ vs. LHP).

The Cubs’ offense has been lifeless over the last two weeks. They have an 85 wRC+ against right-handers, barely edging out the Cardinals and Marlins. Today, they have a tough test against Severino and a rested Mets bullpen.

This Mets bullpen is firing on all cylinders. They have a 1.93 ERA, 2.65 FIP, and a 35.2% strikeout rate, the highest over the last two weeks. While Edwin Diaz and Reed Garrett did throw 20 pitches yesterday, they had three days off before that, so they’ll be ready for this one. Quintana gave them eight innings yesterday, so they are in a great rest spot.

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The Cubs bullpen is putting up a 4.61 ERA, 4.66 FIP, and 17.6% strikeout rate in that span. Much worse, but they are rested. Overall, I’m taking the Mets bullpen.

The Mets bats are hotter, they have the better starter, the bullpen advantage, and home field. I’m taking the Mets to win today.

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

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Milwaukee Brewers @ 7:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Ryan Pepiot vs. Bryse Wilson

I went into this game wanting to back Ryan Pepiot, but then I remembered that whenever I bet on Pepiot, the Rays don’t score. I also like how the Brewers are set up today pitching wise after they were blown out twice by the Yankees, so I went with the under.

Ryan Pepiot is a stud. His 3.77 ERA is solid, but his 3.37 xERA and 3.66 SIERA are even better. His whiff rates are in the league’s upper echelon, sitting in the 88th percentile. His four-seamer, which he throws 52.8% of the time, has a 39% whiff rate, with opponents hitting .095 against it. That’s so elite.

His slider has been fantastic in every matchup, but his best pitch, the changeup, is unusually lacking to start the year. That’s why he has an enormous upside. When he finds his changeup, he will have three elite pitches. With even average command, that’s an excellent starter.

He has a tough matchup against the Brewers today, but the offense hasn’t been as good lately. They have a 105 wRC+ against righties over the past two weeks, slightly above average. Pepiot has plenty of upside to dominate, but if he goes 5-6 innings of two-run ball, we should be in a great spot.

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Bryse Wilson lines up or Milwaukee. He’s more of an opener than a starter, but he usually goes three to four innings. He’s been fine, working to a 3.50 ERA and 4.67 xERA. He’s doing a good job pitching to contact, and with that contact being softer than league average, he should do well against this Rays offense.

The Rays have a 100 wRC+ against righties over the past two weeks. It’s slightly inflated after facing White Sox pitching, but I trust my gut here. I don’t think they’ll hit much today against this Brewers bullpen.

The Brewer’s bullpen numbers are inflated after throwing bottom-barrel relievers against the Yankees in blowouts. Today, they have Bryan Hudson (1.95 xERA), Elvis Peguero (3.52 xERA), Hoby Milner (4.79 xERA), Joel Payamps (3.09 xERA), and Trevor Megill (2.50 xERA). That’s plenty of really good arms to limit damage.

The Rays bullpen has not been good, but they have every high-leverage reliever available today. Combined with Pepiot, they hold the Brewers to three or four runs.

The Brewers have been a part of four high-scoring games in a row, but I think it comes back down to earth. Combining that with a small ballpark, we get an inflated total. I’m relying on pitching on this one and taking the under.

The Pick: Under 8.5 (-110) Risk 1.1 Units

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