Apr 27, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates infielders and teammates celebrate after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers at PNC Park. The Pirates won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
After bouncing back with a 2-1 record on Friday, Dalton Brown is back with three more picks for Saturday’s robust MLB slate hoping to improve on a 45-40 mark overall.
12:05 p.m. CT: Pittsburgh Pirates at Washington Nationals
The Pick: Pirates moneyline (-130) at DraftKings
After a rainout Friday night, I’m backing the Pittsburgh Pirates to take Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader at Washington. The Nationals are turning to lefty Patrick Corbin, one of my favorite pitchers to fade in Major League Baseball. Corbin’s 5.88 ERA is eclipsed by his 6.66 xERA, and it’s easy to see why when glancing at his game logs. The lefty has allowed four or more runs in four of his five starts, and he allowed three runs in the other. Pittsburgh crushes southpaws (125 wRC+, fifth-best in MLB), so Corbin is likely jumping into hot water against the scorching Pirates on Saturday afternoon. Pittsburgh has won nine of its last 10 overall, including an impressive offensive display against Dodgers lefty Julio Urias on Thursday. Rich Hill pitches for the Pirates, but his landing spot is much softer against Washington’s offense. Hill has been better of late, too – over his last 17 innings of work, he’s allowed just three earned runs. Let’s hop on the Pirates’ ship and head up the Potomac River for a win.
3:05 p.m. CT: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets
The Pick: Braves First 5 Innings -0.5 (-118) at FanDuel
The Atlanta Braves will look to make it two in a row over the New York Mets on Saturday when Spencer Strider takes the hill against Mets righty Tylor Megill. Strider is a pitcher worth trusting, as evidenced by his 14-inning scoreless streak and near-perfect game in his last start. The young flamethrower sports an otherworldly 42.6% strikeout rate and a stellar 2.40 xERA to back up his performance to this point in the season. Tylor Megill, in direct contrast to Strider, is due for steep negative regression. Megill’s 3.96 ERA is overshadowed by an xERA of 6.49, and the facade has begun to fade over his last two starts (seven runs, 13 hits, and five walks over nine innings at Los Angeles and San Francisco). Atlanta’s lineup has been in much better form of late than New York’s as well, scoring 24 runs over its last three games vs. Miami before a shortened 4-0 win over New York on Friday. Atlanta should be a bigger favorite here, especially over the game’s first five innings.
3:07 p.m. CT: Cincinnati Reds at Oakland Athletics
The Pick: Reds team total OVER 4 (-133) at Caesars
The Cincinnati Reds and Oakland Athletics will continue one of the most anticipated series of the 2023 MLB season on Saturday afternoon from the Oakland Coliseum. OK, maybe 11-15 Cincinnati vs. 5-22 Oakland doesn’t fully have fans’ attention, but this team total with the Reds should. Oakland routinely allows gaudy scoring totals to its opponents – in fact, the A’s have allowed four or more runs in 20 of their last 21 games. Cincinnati’s team total should be five and a half, if not higher, based alone on the fact that it’s facing Oakland – add in the recent performance of A’s starter Kyle Muller, though, and this is as surefire as a bet gets. Muller’s 7.23 ERA is backed up by a horrendous 7.36 xERA, and he’s allowing an astronomically high xBA of .331 this season. Muller has allowed 14 earned runs in 13 innings over his last three starts, including a preposterous 27 hits allowed. When Muller exits, Oakland’s MLB-worst bullpen enters (6.17 xFIP before Friday night’s disastrous performance) and will surely help the Reds along in their quest for double-digit runs. I’d play this number up to five comfortably.