Gallery Sports’ Betting Picks for April 9, 2023

Apr 8, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Manuel Margot (13) is congratulated by first baseman Yandy Diaz (2) after hitting a home run against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Gallery Sports’ Betting Picks for April 9, 2023

After a big Saturday saw Dalton Brown finish 3-0 to improve to 20-9 this season, he’s back with another three picks to finish out the weekend on the baseball diamond.

12:10 p.m. CT: Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays

The Pick: Rays -1.5 (-115) at PointsBet

Tampa Bay is 8-0, having won every game by at least four runs this season. The Rays are the hottest team in baseball, and Oakland has hardly been a speed bump in their way. Sunday shouldn’t look much different with Drew Rasmussen pitching for the Rays while James Kaprielian takes the bump for the A’s. Rasmussen dominated Oakland last season, allowing just two baserunners over five strong innings. He was even more dominant in his first start of 2023, tossing six scoreless at Washington while allowing two hits and striking out seven. Rasmussen’s first home start of the new season is Sunday, after a 2022 season that saw him post a 2.24 ERA at Tropicana Field. The Rays were also much better last season against righties than the A’s, earning a wRC+ or 99 compared to Oakland’s 83. I’m backing Tampa Bay to handle business as they have over the first 11 days of the MLB season at an all-too-reasonable runline price.

1:10 p.m. CT: Houston Astros at Minnesota Twins

The Pick: OVER 8 (-105) at BetMGM

The Houston Astros will finish up their first road series of the season on Sunday afternoon in chilly Minnesota, where righties Hunter Brown and Tyler Mahle will take the mound. The Astros are excited about Hunter Brown’s potential, a talented young arm with Justin Verlander-esque mechanics – but in his current form, Brown’s mastery of the strike zone has not been consistent enough to lead to success. Minnesota boasts a much tougher offense than the unit he faced last time out in the Tigers, so Brown could struggle to keep the Twins off of the board – and after Brown exits, Houston’s suddenly-struggling bullpen provides additional run-scoring opportunities. Both of these teams were top-10 in baseball last season against right-handed pitching, and Tyler Mahle won’t exactly strike fear into the Astros either. The righty was solid in his first start of the season but pitched to an ERA of 18.00 last September and feasted on the weak-hitting Marlins last week. Both teams should score plenty in Sunday’s series finale at Target Field.

3:10 p.m. CT: Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks

The Pick: Dodgers moneyline (-126) at FanDuel

The Dodgers and Diamondbacks will meet for the eighth time in 11 days on Sunday afternoon at Chase Field, and each team will send a right-handed pitcher with very little experience to the mound. There’s value on the Dodgers at a moneyline this cheap for a few reasons – one of which is how much better Michael Grove looked in his first start of 2023 than the raw numbers suggested. Grove allowed three runs in four innings but exited the game in the 99th percentile of Baseball Savant’s xBA, xSLG, and hard hit percentage categories. His xERA after one start sits at 1.06. Ryne Nelson’s start looked similar on paper, a five-inning outing that saw him give up three runs – but Nelson allowed nine base runners and exited his start with an xERA of 5.37. The idea that the Dodgers, who even a casual fan knows are the better of these two teams, would be this small of a favorite despite what most would deem to be a small advantage in starting pitching doesn’t pass the sniff test. Take the Dodgers at a cheap number before the line moves toward them.

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