MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for Tuesday, April 16, 2024

One MLB Pick for April 16th!

Jordan Hicks (12) of the San Francisco Giants throws live BP during the workout at Scottsdale Stadium.
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 20: Jordan Hicks (12) of the San Francisco Giants throws live BP during the workout at Scottsdale Stadium on February 20, 2024 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/Getty Images)

That’s five in a row! Since I started trusting my gut, we are 5-0. Seeing the results after a mindset change feels good, but we have much more work to do.

The Giants mounted a comeback for us yesterday. I spoke about the Marlins’ bullpen woes (which continue today) and how the Giants would never be out of it. The Marlins got a phenomenal performance from Edward Cabrera but still lost. The Marlins look broken, and I will keep taking advantage if they give me a reasonable price.

I am keeping my foot on the pedal today. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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

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2024 Record: 22-25 (-4.57 U)

San Francisco Giants vs. Miami Marlins @ 6:40 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Jordan Hicks vs. Ryan Weathers

Miami doesn’t have an advantage on the field today, but the sportsbooks still respect them. They did make the playoffs last year, so the books can’t just drop them into White Sox territory. It’s also the Giants who are off to a bad start, but they are still the better team on every side of the ball and have the better starting pitcher today.

I did a deep dive on Jordan Hicks on episode 648 of the Just Baseball Show. I talked about how smoothly he’s transitioned to the rotation. His pitch mix reminds me of a right-handed Framber Valdez. It’s not an exact comp, but we have a hard-sinker thrower with a fantastic breaking ball, and everything induces ground balls. He can remain in the rotation if his command doesn’t change.

His strikeout rate is the only “problem,” but there is a reason it’s lower than most would expect. When I watch Jordan Hicks, his pitch count is always low because hitters are aggressive against him. He fills the zone with strikes, so they want to stay caught up and deal with his offspeed pitches, garnering 40% whiff rates. He can eat innings due to this, which puts the Giants in a good spot late in the game.

The Marlins offense has an 86 wRC+ against righties this season, placing them 21st in the league. That’s not good, but it gets even worse when you see they have the highest ground-ball rate as an offense in the league. They are facing one of the better ground-ball pitchers in the game. As long as those ground balls hit the glove instead of the hole, Hicks should cruise.

Behind Hicks is a bullpen that’s in an average rest spot. We probably won’t see Camilo Doval again, but Ryan Walker, the Rogers brothers, and Landen Roupp have all thrown 13 or fewer pitches in the last three days. I have confidence in all of them to get the job done after Hicks exists after 5-6 innings.

Ryan Weathers will get the ball for Miami. I think he’s a fine pitcher, a five starter for most teams. While his 2.57 ERA so far is impressive, his xERA is over six, and it’s due to his low strikeout rate and high walk rate. He does a good job keeping the ball on the ground, but he can’t eat innings due to his below average command that elevates his pitch count.

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He’s facing a Giants offense that’s been a top-ten unit against lefties so far. The Giants rank eighth in baseball in wRC+ at 120. They are fifth in OPS (.785) and second in batting average (.294). They can deploy many right-handed platoon hitters. Slater, Flores, Soler, Chapman, Murphy, Estrada, Ahmed, and Fitzgerald. That’s eight righties that Weathers most likely sees.

Weathers dominates lefties, but righties are hitting .297 with a .391 wOBA against him this year. You may not have heard a lot of those names on the Giants, but they can all hit lefties.

The Marlins bullpen is an obvious disaster. They still aren’t in a good rest spot in this game, either. Tanner Scott, Andrew Nardi, George Soriano, Bryan Hoeing, and Anthony Bender have thrown 25+ pitches or more in the last three days. We will either see the bottom of the Marlins bullpen or an unrested top unit. Even if the Marlins somehow get a lead, I am confident the Giants can mount another comeback.

Without Jake Burger, this Marlins offense lacks thump. Tim Anderson hit fourth yesterday. I know it was against a lefty, but still. I have the Marlins as the 29th-ranked team right now, but they are still being priced with respect. They could stick it to me today; I’ll pay to find out.

The Pick: Giants ML (-135) Risk 1.35 Units

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