MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for Saturday, April 20, 2024

Four MLB Picks for April 20th, 2024!

Zach Eflin
ST PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 4: Zach Eflin #24 of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Tropicana Field on July 4, 2023 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

Today is going to be fun. Not only is it 4/20 (Happy Holidays), but it’s also 4/20/24, a palindrome. In the spirit of such days, let’s enjoy ourselves.

I found three pitchers that can rack up the strikeouts today, similar to Rodriguez yesterday. I’m taking their alt-lines on BetMGM instead of laying the juice at the normal number. I also have one game pick that I think will smack with ease.

Let’s sweep the board with these four picks.

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

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2024 Record: 23-28 (-7.67 U)

Oakland A’s vs. Cleveland Guardians @ 6:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Alex Wood vs. Logan Allen

After watching Alex Wood’s start against the Nationals, I circled his name and added him to the fade watch team. I wasn’t going to do it no matter what, but I’m jumping in if it was even a decent matchup for the other team. That’s precisely what I did when I saw he was facing the Guardians.

Going into this year, I considered Alex Wood a decent starter. He’s a pitcher who can fill the zone and get his ground balls. Not someone who will dominate, but a player who can keep their team in the game. After watching him, he doesn’t look like his old self, and he faces a team that destroyed him. He’s not getting ground-balls and his command is the worst of his career so far.

Not only did Wood allow six runs against the Guardians in his first start, but the Guardians have been crushing lefties. They have been the third-best offense by wRC+ (131) against left-handed pitching. It hasn’t been lucky either; they rank sixth in the hard-hit rate. They are squaring up lefties well and see a pitcher allowing the hardest contact of his career to this point.

Logan Allen lines up on the other side. He also faced the A’s in his first start of the season, allowing three runs in five innings. He’s also coming off back-to-back rough starts, allowing nine runs in 9.2 innings. BetMGM thinks he pitches well today, as he is one of four pitchers today to have a 1.5 ER line. He’s five cents more expensive than Cole Ragans.

I agree with their assessment. The A’s have a tough time against left-handers. They are in the bottom ten regarding hard-hit rate, wRC+, OPS, and batting average against them this year. While Allen allowed them three runs last time, it was off two home runs by JD Davis and one sac fly. JD Davis is on the IL with a groin injury.

Allen’s only issue with the A’s is on the IL, and the Guardians bats are not only hot but crushing lefties, and they have a history with Alex Wood. The Guardians should grab the lead early.

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The Pick: Guardians First 5 Innings -0.5 (-110) Risk 1.1 Units

Player Props

Zach Eflin Over 5.5 Strikeouts (+165) Risk 0.5 Units

The Yankees offense is exceptionally patient. They lead baseball in pitches per plate appearance, and it’s been incredible to watch. However, Eflin has some of the best command of the game, so he’ll be in the zone all day. That can lead to strikeouts for this Yankees team, as Eflin has done in the past.

He’s faced the Yankees on three separate occasions. In those three starts, he racked up 25 strikeouts. He had nine strikeouts against them in his first start last year, then had a start with five, then finished with an 11 strikeout performance.

The Yankees have done an excellent job of not striking out this year, and Eflin has yet to be over this number in six straight starts dating back to last year. However, he has had five strikeouts in four consecutive starts, so he’s always around this number. He’s an innings eater, and with how bad the Rays bullpen has been, I have a feeling they push him farther than his 17.5 pitching outs line.

As you can see, seven of the Yankees hitters have a below-average strikeout rate against Eflin. Every hitter the Yankees should put out today has struck out against Eflin. At that big of a price, I have to jump on it.

Reese Olson Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+140) Risk 0.5 Units

My eyes were drawn to the total in this game first. It’s lower than yesterday’s total, even though Friday’s game ended up going over. It was a heavy bet under due to the wind blowing in, and many people got burned. It’s low for a reason, and it will be the Reese Olson show.

Reese Olson is not a heavy strikeout pitcher, but there is something about facing the Twins. In three starts against them last year, Olson struck out 20 batters. He’s rocking an absurd 40% strikeout rate against this Minnesota Twins current roster. The Twins strike out at the second-highest rate in the league against righties, so most starters get them to strike out anyway. However, Olson’s lack of strikeout against other teams provides value on this line.

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While Olson hasn’t racked up strikeouts so far this year, he has two offspeed pitches that rack up whiffs at an incredibly high rate. His changeup has an absurd 57.6% whiff rate, and his slider is 42.9%. When a pitcher has two pitches with that high of a whiff rate going against a swing-happy bad offense, my eyes lock-in. You can go with his normal 5.5 line, but I think he ends with 7+ today.

Gavin Stone Over 5.5 Strikeouts (+170) Risk 0.5 Units

I know. Yamamoto lost us the first five innings bet yesterday. However, I did notice that the Mets were striking out a lot, and while Gavin Stone is the lesser-known name in the Dodgers rotation, he can rack up six strikeouts today.

He has three starts this season and already has one start with six strikeouts. He hasn’t pitched well from a run prevention standpoint but is still averaging five strikeouts per game.

The Mets have done a very good job of limiting strikeouts against righties, but strikeouts often follow when you’re facing a pitcher for the first time, especially when the Mets can only have a little data on Stone. This is similar to Yamamoto yesterday or Rodriguez against the Padres. I like to take pitchers facing an offense for the first time, or a pitcher that has a history of striking out a division rival.

It’s a good idea for the Mets to stack lefties against Stone, as he’s had trouble limiting runs against that side of the plate. However, when the Mets decide to do that, they tap into his strikeout potential. His strikeout rate is 6% higher against lefties than righties. He can still strike out righties, and the Mets’ righties all have a below-average strikeout rate.

The last few righties have successfully struck out the Mets, especially when they haven’t seen them before. Yamamoto had nine strikeouts, and Jared Jones had seven. Stone is not at that caliber, but it’s also a +170 line to hit six strikeouts. Well worth it for me.

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