Gallery Sports’ Betting Picks for April 1, 2023

Aug 23, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Nick Lodolo (40) throws a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Gallery Sports’ Betting Picks for April 1, 2023

Robbie Ray and the Dodgers’ offense each let us down on a 1-2 Friday, but Gallery Sports’ Betting Picks are 4-2 so far this MLB season. With a full slate at his disposal for Saturday, Dalton Brown is back with three more plays on the diamond.

1:10 p.m. CT: Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros

The Pick: Astros team total OVER 4 runs (-112) at FanDuel

Lucas Giolito does not enjoy pitching against the Houston Astros. In two starts against Houston last season, the righty lasted a total of eight innings while allowing 15 earned runs on 15 hits. Overall, Giolito was below average across the board in 2022, grading beneath the MLB median in almost every analytical category Baseball Savant measures. Lucas Giolito also notoriously struggles early in the season – his 5.70 career ERA in April is easily his worst of any month. The Astros’ offensive machine began to kick into gear in Friday night’s win, and I’m anticipating runs early and often for Houston on Saturday.

3:10 p.m. CT: Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds

The Pick: Reds First 5 Innings -0.5 (-110) at FanDuel

Pirates-Reds is far from the most intriguing series taking place this weekend in Major League Baseball, but there is value to be had nonetheless. Promising young lefty Nick Lodolo takes the mound for Cincinnati after a rookie season that had its ups and downs. A closer look reveals clear progress, though – Lodolo posted an ERA of 2.92 after the All-Star Break, an improvement after struggling to a 5.81 mark in the season’s first half. Nick Lodolo was also clearly more comfortable pitching at Great American Ballpark last season – at home, he posted a 2.85 ERA compared to 5.11 elsewhere. Seeking a breakout year in 2023, the young southpaw starts his campaign with a soft landing against Pittsburgh. The Pirates ranked 29th in MLB with a microscopic wRC+ of 81 against left-handed pitching last season. On the other side, Pittsburgh sends 43-year-old fossil Rich Hill to the mound against a Reds team that is significantly more comfortable against lefties than they are against righties. Hill struggled all season last year with Boston, and I’m not expecting that a move to Pittsburgh will suddenly revitalize his career.

8:10 p.m. CT: Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers

The Pick: Dodgers -1.5 (-110) at PointsBet

I’m sure I sound like a broken record, but there is once again value on the Dodgers laying a run and a half on Saturday night. Los Angeles was the most profitable team in baseball against the runline last season, cashing 59% of the time (98 wins, 68 losses). Madison Bumgarner is taking the mound for Arizona for his first start this season after a horrendous 2022. Last season, Bumgarner finished in the bottom 10% of pitchers in almost every category except for walk rate, per Baseball Savant. His expected ERA (xERA) of 5.53 was worse than 97% of qualified pitchers last season. Clayton Kershaw makes his season debut on the mound for Los Angeles after a fully healthy spring training. Kershaw was excellent once again when healthy in 2022, posting a 2.51 xERA (95th percentile). The veteran southpaw has a long history of dominating the Diamondbacks, posting a 2.70 ERA against Arizona over 41 starts. Last season wasn’t much different – Kershaw saw Arizona twice, totaling 13 innings and allowing just one run. Arizona was 28th-best against lefties last year with a wRC+ of 83, while L.A. ranked eighth (113). The Dodgers should roll behind their three-time Cy Young Award-winning starter.

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