Aug 31, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Freddy Peralta (51) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Gallery Sports’ Betting Picks for April 3, 2023
After a second straight 3-0 day moved Dalton Brown to 10-2 on MLB picks this season, he is back with another three picks on the diamond for Monday.
1:10 p.m. CT: New York Mets at Milwaukee Brewers
The Pick: Brewers First 5 Innings moneyline (-130) at BetMGM
New York and Milwaukee will begin a series Monday afternoon at American Family Field after both teams won their opening series on the road. Monday is the Brewers’ home opener, and I’m backing the Brew Crew and starting pitcher Freddy Peralta to hand their bullpen a lead in front of a boisterous home crowd. Freddy Peralta has quietly blossomed into one of the National League’s most effective starting pitchers when he’s healthy, and he’s due for a jolt of positive regression after last season. In 2022, Peralta finished the season with a 3.58 ERA but an xERA of 2.70 and landed in the top 10% of pitchers in four of the five contact profile categories Baseball Savant tracks. Not only is Peralta difficult to square up, but he forces swings and misses at a 78th-percentile clip. It also helps that New York hasn’t seen the righty since 2021. Carlos Carrasco takes the mound for the Mets after a decidedly pedestrian 2022 campaign. Carrasco, now 36, has posted xERA’s above 4.00 in three of the last four seasons and had a below-average contact profile last season. His road splits aren’t encouraging either, as Carrasco’s ERA ballooned upward by more than a full run when pitching away from Citi Field. Milwaukee knocked him out after just four innings and three runs allowed last season when they saw him in September, and I think Monday night will look about the same.
5:40 p.m. CT: Minnesota Twins at Miami Marlins
The Pick: Twins moneyline (-125) at Caesars
I targeted the Mets twice in Miami over the weekend in spots where I felt like the betting market was overvaluing the Marlins, and I’ll gladly target the Twins on Monday night for the same reason. Minnesota is off to a hot start, having swept Kansas City on the road over the weekend, while Miami scored a total of eight runs over four games versus New York. This pitching matchup is slanted toward Minnesota, too. Twins starter Tyler Mahle posted above-average statcast figures across the board between Cincinnati and Minnesota last season, and will likely prove effective against Miami’s punchless offense. Marlins starter Johnny Cueto, now entering his age-37 season, is in line for negative regression (3.35 ERA vs. 4.02 xERA in ’22) and is facing a Twins lineup that saw him four times during last season alone. Cueto ranked in the bottom 10% of pitchers at both forcing swings-and-misses and in strikeout rate in 2022, each of which were career-lows for him. I fear he is on his last legs. Minnesota hits righties better than Miami (6th vs. 23rd in wRC+ last season), and has the better bullpen, too. Give me the Twins as a short favorite to hand the Marlins their fourth loss in five games.
6:45 p.m. CT: Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals
The Pick: Cardinals First 5 Innings +0.5 (-125) at PointsBet
Atlanta travels to St. Louis to begin a series at Busch Stadium on Monday night, and I welcome the opportunity to bet the Cardinals as underdogs in this spot. Braves starter Charlie Morton’s contact profile took a hard turn for the worse last season, making him more reliant on strikeouts to stay relevant than ever before. Formerly known as “Ground Chuck,” Morton allowed a higher barrel rate than 85% of pitchers and a higher hard-hit rate than 83% of pitchers in 2022. Now 39, Charlie Morton is due to regress toward his age any minute now, and a Cardinals team that posted the third-lowest strikeout rate in the league against righties last season could really press the issue on Monday. St. Louis is also red-hot offensively, having just scored 22 runs in three games against Toronto. I do not know what to expect from Cardinals starter Jake Woodford, but his 2.23 ERA in relief last season, coupled with an excellent spring training (2.30 ERA, including five scoreless frames in his previous outing), is more than enough for me to take the half-run over the first five innings with St. Louis.