Apr 11, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) throws to the plate in the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Gallery Sports’ Betting Picks for April 17, 2023
After treading water with a 1-1 record on Sunday, Dalton Brown is back with three more picks for Monday’s MLB slate as he looks to improve on a 30-21 season record overall.
10:10 a.m. CT: Anaheim Angels at Boston Red Sox
The Pick: Angels First 5 Innings -0.5 (-110) at BetMGM
The Angels have struggled so far during their four-game, wraparound series in Boston and are looking to avoid being swept in Monday morning’s game at Fenway Park. Luckily for Anaheim, all-everything pitcher Shohei Ohtani is heading to the mound. Ohtani has been absurdly dominant so far this season, allowing just one earned run over 19 innings of work. He has yet to allow more than two hits in any start this season. In Ohtani’s first career start at Fenway Park last season, he carved up the Red Sox lineup for 11 strikeouts over seven scoreless frames. When the Red Sox showed up at Angel Stadium, he dispatched them again with seven innings of one-run ball. Ohtani is as dominant of a force as exists in the game right now, and Monday morning sees him face off with a young arm in Brayan Bello, making his season debut, returning from an injury. Bello had his ups and downs in 2022 as a rookie, posting a slightly above-average contact profile but struggling with command. The results were middling, although his high-90s fastball figures to make him an intriguing prospect if he can iron out his command issues. Last season, his ERA in the first inning was 6.55, and his ERA during day games was 5.52. This pitching matchup is a mismatch on Monday morning, so the Angels leading after five is a bet worth making.
6:10 p.m. CT: Philadelphia Phillies at Chicago White Sox
The Pick: Phillies moneyline (-120) at WynnBet
The Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox will kick off a three-game series Monday night at Guaranteed Rate Field, and I’m betting on Philadelphia starting the series off on the right foot. Zack Wheeler heads to the mound for Philadelphia against Lance Lynn for the White Sox, a matchup that lands me squarely on the defending National League champions. Wheeler is one of baseball’s most consistent pitchers, and is due for positive regression – his 4.02 ERA is sky-high compared to his 2.90 xERA, and he’s gotten better with each outing over his first three. Lance Lynn struggled out of the gates in 2022, allowing three or more runs in seven of his first nine starts before settling down a bit as the season went along. Sure enough, the veteran righty is at it again to kick off 2023 – he’s pitched to a putrid ERA of 7.31 (backed up by a 6.92 xERA) through three starts, allowing 19 hits and seven walks through 16 rocky innings. His contact profile has been terrible. He ranks in the bottom 25% of MLB pitchers in average exit velocity allowed, hard hit rate allowed, xERA, and xSLG. Lynn usually figures things out with time, but I’ll believe it when I see it and adjust accordingly. For now, Wheeler has a clear advantage over Lynn – and after Lynn exits the game, Chicago’s league-worst bullpen so far this season (7.57 ERA) will follow him. Philadelphia should be a bigger favorite in this spot.
6:45 p.m. CT: Arizona Diamondbacks at St. Louis Cardinals
The Pick: Cardinals First 5 Innings -0.5 (-105) at BetMGM
The Arizona Diamondbacks continue their road trip with Monday night’s series opener at St. Louis, and I’m backing Jack Flaherty and the Redbirds in the first five innings. Flaherty struggled with command in his first two starts of 2023, undermining what was otherwise an elite contact profile. He walked 13 combined hitters through two starts, but still only allowed two earned runs over 10 innings because he’s been exceptionally hard to hit. In Flaherty’s third start, he finally put it all together, pitching 5.1 innings of one-run ball while walking only one batter. He’s shown in the past that he is one of the National League’s best pitchers when he’s right, and he’s looking the part more with each outing. Arizona also hasn’t seen the righty since 2019, when he pitched seven scoreless innings against a Diamondbacks team that shares very little in common with this year’s edition. He’ll be opposed by Merrill Kelly, who has yet to work out his control issues through three outings. Kelly has walked exactly four batters in each of his three starts, and his results have begun to suffer. His 2.94 ERA is nice to look at, but his xERA of 6.85 reveals that Merrill Kelly is due for some serious negative regression – and St. Louis is not the easiest place to pitch on the road. The Cardinals’ offense ranks fifth in MLB so far this season in wRC+ versus right-handed pitching, while Arizona’s ranks just 20th. Give me St. Louis to jump out to a lead through five innings.