Apr 16, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Corbin Carroll (7) celebrates a two-run home run in the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Gallery Sports’ Betting Picks for April 20, 2023
After a 3-0 Wednesday to get back on track, Dalton Brown will look to improve on his 34-25 season record with three more plays on Thursday’s smaller MLB slate.
5:40 p.m. CT: Colorado Rockies at Philadelphia Phillies
The Pick: OVER 9 (-115) at BetMGM
The Colorado Rockies will travel to Philadelphia for a four-game weekend series with the Phillies after being swept by the Pirates at home. Colorado is sending struggling righty Ryan Feltner to the mound for the series opener, and those struggles are likely to continue against a Phillies lineup ranking fifth in baseball to this point in wRC+ versus right-handed pitching. Feltner’s 8.78 ERA speaks for itself, but most alarming for the righty is his walk rate. He’s walked 11 hitters in 13.1 innings of work over three starts, almost 17% of the batters he’s faced this season. Matt Strahm will pitch for the Phillies. The lefty has been excellent so far, building off an under-the-radar 2022 that saw him pitch to a 3.34 xERA with a 3.13 xERA so far this season. He should hold down a Rockies lineup that is struggling with left-handed pitching (75 wRC+) through the game’s first four or five innings, which will likely be enough to stake Philadelphia to a lead. However, the Phillies’ bullpen has been a dumpster fire behind him, pitching to a 6.30 ERA that ranks it ahead of only Kansas City and the White Sox. The Phillies have played three games over the last two days in Chicago, adding to the stress of a struggling unit. Colorado’s bullpen was lit up like a bonfire all week by the Pirates at home, so it likely won’t be sharp either. Expect Philly to lead early but runs to come at increasing volume as the 77-degree night goes along at Citizens Bank Park.
8:40 p.m. CT: San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks
The Pick: Diamondbacks +1.5 (-130) at BetMGM
The Arizona Diamondbacks have been one of the hot topics in baseball with how hot they’ve been to start 2023. If you’ve been following this column, you already know I backed them to win more than 75.5 games and to make the playoffs at +480. I think they’re a team legitimately on the rise, and I love the spot they’re in Thursday night catching a cold San Diego team that the market is still giving a lot of respect to. Ryne Nelson will pitch for Arizona on Thursday against Michael Wacha for San Diego, and I think the Diamondbacks have the better of the two arms. Nelson’s 3.20 xERA backs up his solid early results as much as Wacha’s 6.19 xERA confirms his shaky results, and we are catching the much hotter of the two teams with a run and a half in their home park. I think the Snakes win outright, but will gladly accept the room to breathe.
8:45 p.m. CT: New York Mets at San Francisco Giants
The Pick: Mets moneyline (-126) at FanDuel
I’ve cashed bets repeatedly with Kodai Senga on the bump for New York this season, and I’m going back to the well in a spot that should see the Mets favored by a larger margin than they are. The Giants are the home team for Thursday night’s series opener by the Bay, but New York is coming from Los Angeles, while San Francisco played Wednesday all the way in Miami. The Mets are in the midst of a red-hot road trip that’s seen them to 5-1 against Oakland and L.A., while San Francisco is limping home after going 1-4 on the road against lowly Detroit and Miami. Sean Manaea is pitching for San Francisco, and the lefty has been on the struggle bus so far. His 7.42 xERA is absurd when you consider that he’s toured the AL Central so far this season (starts versus the White Sox, Royals, and Tigers), and is especially concerning with the Mets facing him next. Manaea’s decline started last season with the Padres, and he doesn’t seem to have solved what ailed him. San Francisco’s bullpen has been a mess as well, allowing a 5.82 ERA that ranks it 28th in MLB. Take the better team with the better starter, the hotter lineup, and the significantly better bullpen as a cheap moneyline favorite Thursday night.