MLB Expert Picks for Saturday’s Games – Pirates vs Cardinals, Marlins vs Giants, and more (4/9)
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MLB Expert Picks for Saturday’s Games – Pirates vs Cardinals, Marlins vs Giants, and more (4/9)

Marty
04-08-2022

MLB Expert Picks for Saturday’s Games – Pirates vs Cardinals, Marlins vs Giants, and more (4/9)

Friday’s games did not disappoint. We saw Detroit Tiger’s make a late run to surprise Chicago White Sox and get their opening day win. We also saw the Yankees and Red Sox battling back and forth totaling five homeruns and having Josh Donaldson with the game winning single in the 11th inning.

 Today we have our first 15 game slate! Saturdays are made for baseball all day!

 

Pittsburg Pirates vs St. Louis Cardinals

Cardinals had an ideal Opening Day by shutting out the Pirates 9-0 and sending three long bombs. Pittsburg looks to bounce back but shutting down the Cardinals high powered offense is a tough task.

Pittsburg will be throwing RHP Mitch Keller. Keller struggled in 2021 finishing with a 6.17 ERA and a disappointing 5-11 record. Keller’s 4.38 BB/9 was a clear indication of control issues. His two main pitches are fastball and slider. St. Louis was a top ten team against sliders. Last year St. Louis bats were bottom ten in BB%. They will need to show patience if they really want to capitalize on Keller.

St. Louis is starting RHP Miles Mikolas. Last year Mikolas had 1.21 WHIP along with a measley 16.7% strikeout rate. However, he did show a 50% ground ball rate. His ground ball rate is courtesy of his slider, his second most thrown pitch. Last year Pittsburg was the 6th worst team against sliders.

Prediction

I fully expect another onslaught for the Cardinals. I think Mitch Keller is not enough to cool off the Cardinals hot bats. Keller is going to need to go some distance because last season Pirates relievers had 6th worst xFIP.

Vegas has priced Cardinals moneyline at -181. I’m not drinking that much juice. I see Cardinals -1.5 at +100 which I like a lot more. I also think the Cardinals alternate spread of -2.5 is in play as well. If you do choose -2.5, I would correlate it with Cardinals team total over 4.5.

Bet: Cardinals -1.5 +100 via Caesars Sportsbook ; Cardinals team total over 4.5 -110 via BetMGM

 

Miami Marlins vs San Francisco Giants

We saw a great game yesterday where the Marlins came back from a 3-0 deficit, took the lead going into the bottom of 9th, but gave it back to the Giants in extra innings.

Miami’s expected starter is RHP Pablo Lopez. Last year Lopez had an impressive season with his 3.07 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. What is even more impressive was his dominance against San Francisco. He only saw them twice last season but he sustained a 0.75 ERA, 1 ER, 16 k’s, and a .178 OBA. What gave San Francisco troubles? It was Lopez’s ability to get ahead in the count throwing 62.4% first pitch strike. Another factor was his 37.4% outside the zone swing percentage.

The Giants will be throwing LHP Carlos Rodon. Last year Miami struggled against LHP’s with a record of 18-31. In a minimum 60 innings pitched Rodon had the 4th best k%. He also had a top ten LOB%. His slider is his second most thrown pitch and last season it generated a 40% whiff rate. Miami was a bottom ten team last year against the slider. I am fully expecting to see fireworks from Rodon in his debut with the Giants.

Prediction

I think we will see a similar pitching performance as yesterday’s game. Once again Vegas set this game total at 7.5 indicating pitching will be a huge component in the game.

San Francisco has the edge when it comes to starting pitching as well as bullpen. I am interested in Rodon’s K prop of 6.5 -120. I think he shows San Francisco why he is worth the $44M they signed him for.

Bet: Under 7.5 -115 via Fanduel Sportsbook ; Rodon over 6.5 k’s -120

 

Texas Rangers vs Toronto Blue Jays

While writing this article, I was watching the Blue Jays opener and one word to sum up how the game went, fireworks. Jose Berrios did not even make through one inning before being getting pulled after giving up one homerun and four earned runs. The Blue Jays quickly fell behind 7-0 as the 4th inning approached but Toronto would not go down without a fight. Toronto bats could not stay dormant for along and they put runs up every inning after going down 7-0. Toronto had a huge comeback and a victorious 10-8 opening day.

The Rangers are starting RHP Dane Dunning. Dunning saw the Blue Jays once last year but showed some success holding a 1.80 ERA, 6 k’s, and .167 OBA. Dunning issues came on the road. He had a 3.09 ERA at home and a 6.39 ERA on the road.

Toronto will be handing the ball to newly signed Kevin Gausman. Gausman impressed everyone last year with his 2.81 ERA, 227 k’s, and 1.04 WHIP ultimately earning him a five year $110M contract with the Blue Jays. Gausman has good control and can generate strikeouts, but he does give up hard contact. His sinking fastball keeps the ball on the ground and generates a 46% whiff rate along with a .174 wOBA.  

Prediction  

Last year we would see hot and cold streaks from Toronto’s bats. I think this was just because the team is young and getting more accustomed to major league pitching. The more tenure this team becomes the more trouble they are going to be for other teams.

I like attacking teams’ totals that have good matchups against starting pitching and go against mediocre bullpens. That is exactly what we have here. I am seeing Toronto’s team total at 4.5-5 on the books. I would advise taking Toronto team total over 5 since you would be getting a better price. I also like the game total over 9 -115. Texas’ offense isn’t quite like Toronto’s but they still have players that can generate runs.

Bet: Toronto team total over 5 -120 via PointsBet Sportsbook ; game total over 9 -105 via Fanduel Sportsbook

 

 

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Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @party_marty13


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