MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for Thursday, April 25, 2024

Fernando Tatis Jr. Padres
SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 17: Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a solo home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds at Petco Park on June 17, 2021 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) Photo: Getty

We went 2-2 yesterday. Our two losses were Joe Ryan over 18.5 pitching outs (+140) and Landon Knack under 4.5 strikeouts (-110). Ryan finished with 18 outs and Knack struck out two in the sixth inning to end with five strikeouts.

There were some close losses yesterday, and we still were slightly in the green. It wasn’t much, but green is better than red. Today, I have one pick on this limited slate.

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

2024 Record: 29-34 (-6.93 U)

San Diego Padres vs. Colorado Rockies @ 3:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Randy Vasquez vs. Dakota Hudson

I woke up this morning with a feeling: We’re getting a classic Coors Field runs party. I checked the weather at Coors Field; it’s hot and humid, just how we want it. It’s one of those games where base hits drop in front of outfielders, and a few balls leave the park. When I saw the pitching matchup, I had to bite.

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Randy Vasquez lines up for the Padres. From a results standpoint, he pitched well against the Blue Jays in his first start. He allowed four runs, but only one of them was earned. Over five innings, he allowed five hits, walked one, and struck out three. Now, his ERA sits at 1.80, and that’s why I see value in this.

In his first start, he allowed a crazy high hard-hit rate of 52.6%. He’s not a strikeout pitcher, and he’s not a ground-ball pitcher either. He can be effective in a pitchers’ park like Petco, but I’m interested to see how this loud contact without strikeout stuff ends up at Coors Field.

Vasquez’s projections have him around a 4.30 ERA with a 4.60 FIP. After his first start, his xERA came out to 5.90 and his SIERA was 4.65. That’s about what he is. A pitcher who will go 4-5 innings and allow a few runs on an average start. This is no average start, welcome to your first one in Coors Field.

The Rockies aren’t a great offense by any means, but they rank in the middle of the pack in OPS against right-handers at home. It’s the series’ last game, so everyone in both lineups is comfortable playing at altitude. A comfortable lineup facing a pitcher making his debut in Coors sounds like a sour recipe for Vasquez.

Dakota Hudson lines up for the Rockies. Colorado grabbed him because his ability to keep balls on the ground is essential for pitching at Coors Field. That’s the only thing he does at an above-average rate, as he doesn’t have strikeout stuff and has a walk rate of over 10%.

Hudson has a 5.06 ERA and 4.89 xERA against the Cubs, Rays, Blue Jays, and Mariners. The Mariners have the best offense he’s faced so far against righties, with a 103 wRC+. The Padres are 114, seventh best in baseball. This is an excellent offense, averaging five runs a game in this series. We aren’t waiting for the Padres bats to get hot; they are already contributing.

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The Padres have been solid this season against sinkers and sliders, Hudson’s two most-used pitches. Four hitters have a .290 xBA or higher against sinkers, and four players have posted a .350 xBA or higher against those pitches. Hudson has thrown ten innings at home and has allowed seven runs. The Padres should jump all over him.

It’s a beautiful day at Coors Field, the best of the season. It’s 76 degrees with a bit of wind blowing out. It’s supposed to be humid (51%), which is very humid, and great for the hitters. Not only is that better for the ball to travel, but it also makes gripping the baseball that much more challenging. That should affect the pitchers more than it has in previous games.

The Rockies have a bottom-ten bullpen that has gotten a lot of work these past few games. They should have some solid arms available, but I don’t trust them.

The Padres bullpen sits at 13th, and it’s solid. I’m not necessarily trying to fade them, but when we are at Coors Field, I believe one of them won’t have their best stuff. Especially with the humidity, it’ll be tough to grip the baseball.

I decided to grab 11 at a plus price instead of the standard 10.5. If this game goes over, I think it soars and won’t be close. If it lands on 11, we’ll take a push, and if it goes under, we only spend one unit instead of laying the juice.

Let’s root for runs on a limited Thursday board.

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The Pick: Over 11 Runs (+105) Risk 1 Unit