Mar 30, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Logan Webb (62) pitches against the New York Yankees during the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Gallery Sports’ Betting Picks for April 16, 2023
After Saturday’s action saw Dalton Brown’s picks go 0-2, he’s back with three more MLB picks hoping to improve on his 29-20 record overall.
12:10 p.m. CT: San Francisco Giants at Detroit Tigers
The Pick: Giants First 5 Innings -0.5 (-105) at BetMGM
The San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers will finish up their three-game interleague series Sunday afternoon from Comerica Park, and I’m backing Logan Webb and the Giants to carry a lead into the game’s late innings. Webb finally catches a break on Sunday with the opportunity to face the Tigers after his first three starts saw him pitch versus the Yankees, White Sox, and Dodgers. Webb’s numbers have been pedestrian to this point, but his Baseball Savant metrics suggest positive regression is due – and against a Detroit lineup that ranked 30th in wRC+ against righties last season and ranks 28th in that same metric so far this season, that positive regression is likely to come to fruition. Tigers starter Matt Boyd, meanwhile, is due for negative regression as evidenced by his seven walks through nine innings and his 4.81 xERA. The Giants have several lefty killers in the lineup, including guys with sneaky power potential like Darin Ruf, Wilmer Flores, and Thairo Estrada. San Francisco is the better of these two lineups by a sizable margin, and sends to the mound the more effective of the two starters.
12:40 p.m. CT: Philadelphia Phillies at Cincinnati Reds
The Pick: Phillies -0.5 (-125) at BetMGM
The Phillies and Reds will battle for the seventh and final time over a 10-day span on Sunday afternoon at Great American Ball Park. Aaron Nola will take the mound for the Phillies, while Luis Cessa pitches for the Reds. Both pitchers are sporting ERAs over 7.00 entering Sunday’s game, but they are each due for regression in different directions. Aaron Nola’s xERA is merely 3.72, suggesting he’s been wildly unlucky. On the other side of the spectrum, Luis Cessa’s xERA is 11.83. Nola dominated the Reds in 2022, pitching a complete game shutout on August 25 when they met in Philadelphia. Cessa allowed two runs over four innings in relief to the Phillies last season, but we don’t need to look back that far to see what is going wrong for the Reds’ righty. Cessa ranks in the bottom 5% of pitchers so far this season in average exit velocity against, hard hit rate against, xERA, xBA, xSLG, strikeout rate, and whiff rate. It’s difficult to find a pitcher who has been less effective this season, so the opportunity to back an undervalued Aaron Nola against him is too juicy to pass up.
6:10 p.m. CT: Texas Rangers at Houston Astros
The Pick: Astros First 5 Innings -0.5 (-115) at BetMGM
When the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros finish up their three-game series on Sunday, two favorable betting angles point me toward taking Houston over the game’s first five innings. One of those factors is Astros starter Framber Valdez. Valdez has quietly been one of the best pitchers in baseball in recent seasons, and he’s been especially nasty against the Rangers. When Valdez faced Texas last season, he tallied 34.2 innings while allowing just six earned runs (1.56 ERA). For his career, Valdez is 6-3 against the Rangers with a 2.55 ERA. The second angle that lands me on Houston is what the Astros have done to left-handed pitching for years now. The Astros finished second in baseball each of the last two seasons in wRC+ against lefties, and are currently sixth in that category this season. Andrew Heaney has allowed eight runs over 7.2 innings pitched so far this season – he’s not pitching deep into games, and isn’t missing nearly enough bats to successfully navigate a lineup as difficult as Houston’s.