Apr 17, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried (54) throws a pitch against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Gallery Sports’ Betting Picks for April 28, 2023
After a frustrating Thursday on the diamond, Dalton Brown is back with three more MLB picks for Friday’s slate, hoping to improve on a 43-39 overall record.
5:40 p.m. CT: Chicago Cubs at Miami Marlins
The Pick: Cubs moneyline (-116) at FanDuel
The Chicago Cubs will open up a three-game series with the Miami Marlins Friday night at LoanDepot Park, and all signs point toward the Northsiders as the better side in a game lined this close to a pick’em. Marcus Stroman pitches for Chicago, a right-handed pitcher who has thoroughly dominated his competition outside of one inning that saw the Dodgers club three home runs last Sunday. Miami is unlikely to pose a similar threat offensively, ranking 28th in MLB in wRC+ vs. right-handed pitching and playing in a much more pitcher-friendly ballpark. Stroman ought to cruise in a relative sense and will be followed into the game by baseball’s sixth-ranked bullpen in xFIP. Jesus Luzardo pitches for Miami, and while I’m a believer in the lefty’s ability long-term, he’s struggled of late. Over Luzardo’s last three starts, he’s surrendered 10 earned runs on 22 hits, three of which were home runs. Chicago’s lineup is built to mash left-handed pitching, as evidenced by its excellent wRC+ of 124 against them – and after Luzardo exits, Chicago will take its swings against Miami’s 28th-ranked bullpen in xFIP. The Cubs have too many advantages Friday night to ignore.
6:07 p.m. CT: Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays
The Pick: Blue Jays moneyline (-105) at WynnBet
The Mariners and Blue Jays will play the first in a three-game series north of the border on Friday night, and I’m backing Toronto and Alek Manoah despite the righty’s early season struggles. Manoah’s numbers look terrible, and his Baseball Savant page doesn’t provide any solace. Still, I’m trusting his body of work over multiple seasons, and think he clicked back into his usual self in his dominant start at New York last Saturday. Manoah pitched seven scoreless innings in that game, allowing just two hits and a walk while going toe-to-toe with Gerrit Cole. If Manoah pitches to his career numbers and not his small-sample 2023 numbers, this line is way off – especially when taking into consideration how much better Toronto is than Seattle against right-handed pitching (5th vs. 18th in wRC+). Luis Castillo has been great for the Mariners, but his xERA is almost twice his actual ERA (2.72 vs. 1.52), and he hasn’t faced a lineup with the bite of Toronto’s yet this season. The Blue Jays are hot, winning five of their last six games and six of their last seven series, while Seattle limps into Toronto from Philadelphia after losing three of their last four.
6:10 p.m. CT: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets
The Pick: Braves First 5 Innings moneyline (-135) at BetMGM
Divisional foes will collide for the first time Friday night when the Braves meet the Mets at Citi Field in Queens, and I’m backing visiting Atlanta to open the season series on a high note. Max Fried takes the mound for Atlanta in the midst of a streak of 11.2 scoreless innings against formidable offenses in San Diego and Houston and will take on a Mets team he picked up three wins against in five starts last season while never allowing more than two earned runs. Fried’s contact profile is top 5% across the board at Baseball Savant, and his microscopic 1.79 xERA shows that his early success has hardly been a fluke. The Mets will counter with a lefty of their own in David Peterson, who has his work cut out for him against Atlanta’s lefty-mashing lineup. The Braves rank third in baseball with a 144 wRC+ against southpaws, and Peterson has been one of baseball’s least effective lefties so far this season. Peterson allowed seven runs to the Giants in his last start and has surrendered at least five earned runs in three of his last four outings. Atlanta has a sizable pitching advantage to start the game, so it would be a surprise to see them anywhere but ahead heading into the sixth frame.