MLB Expert Picks for Thursday’s Games – Orioles vs Athletics, Blue Jays vs Red Sox and more (4/21)
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MLB Expert Picks for Thursday’s Games – Orioles vs Athletics, Blue Jays vs Red Sox and more (4/21)

Marty
04-21-2022

MLB Expert Picks for Thursday’s Games – Orioles vs Athletics, Blue Jays vs Red Sox and more (4/21)

Last night we saw Miguel Cabrera get three hits now leaving him just one hit away from the 3,000-hit club. We saw the Angels put on six runs in the first inning and no one scoring after that. Along with the Angel’s shutout came a dominating performance by Ohtani. Ohtani only allowed one hit while striking out twelve.

Today’s slate provides us mostly day games. I know it is early in the season, but I noticed only five teams have over 50% over record. I do not know if its because it is early in season and batters are still getting in their grooves, or if the weather all around the league is just making scoring more difficult. I know it is not exciting, but for right now unders are showing more success.

 

Baltimore Orioles vs Oakland Athletics: Why the Under Seems Like a Lock

I do not think I’ll be saying this all season, but right now I do not think either team is off to a bad start. Baltimore bats are showing quieter only having a .585 OPS as opposed to Oakland’s .634. Both are bottom ten in the league. On the bright side, both team’s bullpens are top ten ERA in the league, and this is where I think the under comes into play.

Baltimore will be throwing Tyler Wells. Wells had a rough first start against Tampa Bay only throwing 1.2 innings and allowing four runs. However, his last outing against the Yankees showed more promise. Wells currently has a 18% k rate along with a 14.8% base on ball rate. He tends to throw more ground balls which comes from his change-up and slider. Both are generating below a .210 wOBA. This could be a problem for Oakland considering they are bottom ten in league against both those pitches.

Oakland will be starting Paul Blackburn. From last season to this season, Blackburn has raised his k rate from 13.6% to a 26.3%. He also has decreased his bb% from a 6% to a 2%. Blackburn is a ground ball pitcher. He has started throwing his change-up more from last year. Baltimore is bottom ten in the league against change-ups this season.

Prediction

All but one of Baltimore’s games have gone under. The one also was a push so Baltimore is showing a 100% under rate. Oakland is showing 61.5% unders. With both bullpens starting off with strong numbers I cannot seem to go against the under.

It appears Vegas is catching on as well setting game total at just 7.5. Until proven wrong I’ll ride the under.

Bet: game total under 7.5 (-110) via WynnBET Sportsbook

 

Toronto Blue Jays vs Boston Red Sox: Can We Expect Quiet Offenses?

In the only two games played against one another this season we have seen a combined 30 hits and just 10 runs. While the game total is at 9 I believe both starting pitchers could have a good day.

Toronto will start Kevin Gausman. Gausman actually has fair BvP against Boston. Gausman currently has a 31% k rate along with an unsustainable 0% base on ball rate. That is right he has yet to walk a batter this year. It would give me more comfort if I saw his average exit velocity drop from its current 92mph. Gausman currently shows a 64% contact percentage, however, the balls that do get hit are hit hard 48% of the time. What works so well for Gausman is that split fastball that is generating a .208 wOBA and 47% whiff rate this season.

Boston is throwing Tanner Houck. Houck had a rough first game against the Yankees allowing six hits and three earned runs. Then he bounced back in his next game against Minnesota going 5.2 innings with just two hits and zero earned runs. Houck’s k rate has dropped from a 29.5% to a 18.4%. Along with this, Houck’s base on ball rate has gone from an 8.5% to a 15.8%. Lucky for him Toronto has fourth worst bb%. A positive note for Houck is that he is throwing his fastball harder going from 93mph to pushing 96mph.

Prediction   

If the game total was 8, I would be much more hesitant, but it is 9. Now with these types of offenses they can go off any minute of any game, but I am leaning towards strong starts from both starters. Add above average bullpens and you have a recipe for an under.

Bet: game total under 9 (-110) via WynnBET Sportsbook

 

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