MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Projections, for April 7, 2024

One MLB Pick for Sunday, April 7!

Bryce Harper
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Bryce Harper #3 and Bryson Stott #5 of the Philadelphia Phillies speak before playing against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park on September 26, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

We are battling. It has been rough sledding for us to start the year, as we witnessed another blown lead. I can live with losing the smaller props in the Guardians vs. Twins game, but the Diamondbacks blowing a six-run lead stung, especially when they scored eight as a +185 underdog.

Over the long season, we’ll experience cold and hot streaks. Balls will bounce our way, or they won’t. We just happened to start on a cold streak. I still feel great about the picks moving forward, so let’s end Sunday with a winner.

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

2024 Record: 14-19 (-5.06 U)

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals @ 1:35 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Christopher Sanchez vs. MacKenzie Gore

For this game, we only focus on the National’s starting pitcher, MacKenzie Gore. He’s a very talented player, one of the big pieces in the Juan Soto trade. I think the market is a little high on him, and with the wind driving the total down, I think his props are inflated.

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MacKenzie Gore flashed an elite fastball in his 2024 debut. He averaged 97 MPH with the pitch, a two MPH increase over his average last year. Stuff+ graded it at 141, the fourth best fastball in baseball so far. That’s awesome, but his secondary stuff graded out as well below average, and I’m more inclined to think he won’t replicate that performance with the fastball again. It was his first start with a lot of adrenaline, and the results weren’t there for him. My guess is he tries to reel it in a bit to improve the command of the pitch.

Gore has faced the Phillies thrice, but it hasn’t gone well. Over 13 innings, he’s allowed sixteen runs to give him a 10.54 ERA. He should be aided by the weather today to keep the ball in the park, but that doesn’t mean the strikeouts will be there.

His strikeout rate against the Phillies is also lower than his typical average. His K/9 drops and his 23.1% strikeout rate against the current roster is nearly 3% lower than last year’s 25.9%. He’s never been over this number in his career against the Phillies.

The Phillies have also been doing a better job of cutting the strikeout rate. They rank 15th in baseball (league average) in strikeout rate against lefties. The Pirates, Gore’s first matchup, are striking out at a 26.9% clip to start the year against lefties, the seventh-highest in baseball. Gore finished with six strikeouts.

In his last 20 starts, Gore has been under this line in 14 of them. Gore’s command is also an issue, which makes it challenging for him to eat innings. Gore has failed to exceed 16.5 outs in five of his last six starts (14.8 outs/game average). He’s juiced towards the under at 16.5 pitching outs again today, which I also see value on the under.

I bet the under before the lineup came out, but I’m happy with how the Phillies will attack him. Pache has a 7% lower strikeout rate against lefties than Johan Rojas in center field. Merrifield has a 14.3% K rate against lefties compared to Brandon Marsh’s 39.1% in left field. Sosa does strike out more than Stott, but overall, this is the best contact lineup the Phillies can put out against lefties.

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I have Gore’s projection at 5.3 strikeouts, so I’m under by more than a full strikeout. I project him for 16 outs, so it’s not due to workload concerns. On top of it all, Nationals Park ranks as the seventh worst ballpark to record strikeouts according to Baseball Savant’s Park Factor.

I would take this to -155, as under 6.5 strikeouts should be closer to -200. The line has moved since the lineup came out, but as I finish the article, -145 is available on BetMGM.

Projection: 5.3 Strikeouts

The Pick: MacKenzie Gore Under 6.5 Strikeouts (-135) Risk 1.35 U