MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for Sunday, April 28, 2024

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JULY 02: Gunnar Henderson #2 of the Baltimore Orioles and Jordan Westburg #11 chat before a game against the Minnesota Twins at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 02, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images)

Four straight winning days! We picked up 1.7 units yesterday after going 2-1 on our picks.

We took the Nationals as the underdog against the Marlins, and that game quickly got out of hand for Miami, as they lost 11-4. We took the under between the Guardians and Braves, and even though it went to the 11th inning, it still stayed under.

We did lose on Cal Raleigh under 1.5 bases. I wrote about Cecconi’s changeup, and if he spammed them, we might lose. That’s precisely what he did, and Raleigh didn’t even have a hit. We tip our cap to you, Slade Cecconi.

Today, I’m back with two picks. One is a total, and the other is a first five pick.

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

2024 Record: 34-36 (-3.56 U)

Oakland Athletics vs. Baltimore Orioles @ 1:35 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Paul Blackburn vs. Albert Suarez

This game caught my attention for a few reasons. I’ve been looking for a spot to go against Blackburn, and I like what I’ve seen from Albert Suarez. I had to buy in with the Orioles seemingly always showing up on Sundays to close out a series.

It sounds crazy, but I don’t want to mess with the Oakland bullpen. They have a good back-end ready to go, so I’d instead take the Orioles to get the lead early at a much better price.

Paul Blackburn is a good pitcher. He’s starting great, rocking a 2.03 ERA, 3.40 xERA, and 3.86 SIERA. His ERA projections for the year sit around 4.30, so he’s overperforming. He’ll be around a low fours ERA, which is a good pitcher.

He’s got a tough matchup with the Orioles today. The Orioles are the ninth-best offense against righties over the past two weeks. They are the fifth-best offense against righties over the entire season.

I also see Blackburn trending in the wrong direction. He started the season with 19.1 scoreless innings, which is why his ERA is so low. He then allowed three runs to the Cardinals and four to the Yankees. There is nothing concerning in the data; I don’t view him as a pitcher who will stick in the low twos of ERA after today’s start. The Orioles have the number one OPS in day games this year.

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Albert Suarez has a much easier matchup today. The A’s offense isn’t great in general, and they are in their lesser split (82 wRC+ vs. RHP, 84 wRC+ vs. LHP). They rank in the bottom ten of both but have been slightly worse against righties.

As of right now, the A’s lineup couldn’t look worse. Gelof and Davis are still on the IL, and most of the lineup is hitting under .200.

It’s a tiny sample for Suarez, but I can’t help but like what I’ve seen. His 0.00 ERA is the number that stands out, but it’s the 2.63 xERA that backs up my eyes. While his strikeout rate is only 20.9%, all four of his pitches are garnering a whiff rate of 25% or more, with three of those pitches above 33%. That’s fantastic, and his velocity is higher than ever.

He’s 34 years old, so I’m not sure how long it will last, but in the early parts of the season, I’m excited to back him in matchups that he can succeed in. I think he dominates at home, against the A’s, pitching like he is.

The Orioles are the kings of winning series. Maybe I’m falling into it backing that narrative, but I can’t see the Orioles not taking care of business at home against the A’s.

This line has moved since I bet it last night. I would not bet this past -115. If you can’t find that number, I would lower my risk and bet the Orioles -1.5 on the entire game at +115 or better. The Orioles bullpen is fully rested, so while you’re dealing with the A’s backend, the Orioles is still better. I think they get a lead early and win the game by two runs or more.

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The Pick: Orioles First 5 Innings -0.5 (-105) Risk 1.05 Units

Houston Astros vs. Colorado Rockies @ 4:05 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Framber Valdez vs. Austin Gomber

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you may have seen a few comments I’ve been leading under posts. I think everyone was a day early on taking the over, even though it should have hit yesterday.

If you’re wondering why the total is so high, they are playing in Mexico at Estadio Azteca, 7,503 feet above sea level. For reference, Coors Field sits about 5,200 feet above sea level. The dimensions are also similar to Great American Ballpark, the smallest park in MLB. So, we have more elevation with a tiny ballpark.

This pitching matchup is far worse for altitude and general, which should lead to more runs. Yesterday, the game ended 12-4, even though only six runs were scored through five innings. With bullpens in a worse spot than yesterday, the hitters adjusted to the altitude, and two lesser pitchers, I’m jumping in.

Framber Valdez is making his return from an injury. What a terrible place for him to make his return. He’s facing a Rockies team that is clearly not a good offense, but over the past two weeks, they have a wRC+ above 100 against lefties.

Whoever team is facing him has big-league hitters, and I’m not sure Framber is fully healthy. He was put on the IL for elbow inflamation, threw two bullpen sessions, and is now back on the mound. The Astros are desperate for pitching right now, and it feels as if they rushed him. I cant envision him pitching well at elevation without a rehab start to get back in the groove. If he pitches well, I’ll tip my cap.

Austin Gomber faces a top-five offense by every metric against left-handed pitching. I think he’s a worse pitcher than Quantrill, and he also puts the Astros in their preferred split against left-handers (125 wRC+ vs LHP, 112 vs RHP).

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Ronel Blanco has been the Astro’s best pitcher and Valdez is returning from an injury without rehab. Quantrill is the better pitcher than Gomber, but even if you disagree, the Astros are better against lefties.

The bullpen situation is worse than yesterday. The Astros are down to only a few rested arms, and the Rockies bullpen just isn’t good.

There are some 16’s out there, but I want the 16.5 at an even line. My guess is we see 20+ runs.

The Pick: Over 16.5 (+100) Risk 1 Unit

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