We got off to a fantastic start to the season yesterday, going 4-2 and netting a couple of units from our Guardians vs. Mariners picks.
We’ll look to avoid any April Fool’s Day silliness and turn yesterday’s strong day into a strong start for the 2023 MLB Season.
Below are our MLB Best Bets for today, April 1.
NOTE: You can boost your bankroll on any money line bet by claiming DraftKings Sportsbook’s “Bet $5, Win $150” offer. Click here to claim your bonus, then read on for our best bets to use it on.
MLB Expert Picks & Best Bets: Saturday, 4/1/23
Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres Predictions & Picks
RHP Jose Urena lives and dies by the fastball, throwing his four-seam and sinker a combined 60.4% for his career. Unsurprisingly, this makes Urena susceptible to extreme splits against LHBs (36.3% Hard%, 5.51 FIP career vs. left-handers) and extreme variations in results based off whether or not he’s able to strand runners on base.
The Padres have six LHBs in their lineup today. Two of the RHBs he’ll face are All-Stars Xander Bogaerts (.425 career wOBA vs. FTSI) and Manny Machado (49.1% career Hard% vs. FTSI). Needless to say, this is a horrible spot for Urena and a get-right spot for the struggling Padres offense that has stumbled out of the gates the first two games of the season.
The Rockies vs. Padres best bets we’re looking at:
- Matt Carpenter o1.5 H+R+RBIs (+115)
- Juan Soto o0.5 RBIs (+180)
- Jake Cronenworth o0.5 RBIs (+190)
- San Diego -1.5 (-115)
- Kris Bryant o1.5 TBs (+130)
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Predictions & Picks
LHP Madison Bumgarner is, frankly, washed. The 33-year-old has been replacement-level over the past 3 seasons with Arizona. His stuff has deteriorated sharply and he simply is not fooling hitters anymore.
Bumgarner has posted Hard% rates north of 37% each of the past 5 seasons (32.1% career Hard%) and the 7.7% SwStr% (10.2% career SwStr%) he posted in 2022 was the second lowest of his career. Outside of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, his 4.88 ERA (4.85 FIP, 5.53 xERA) was a career-worst.
The timeless Clayton Kershaw will oppose Bumgarner tonight. Unlike the visiting ace-of-yore, Kershaw remains one of the best LHPs in the game. While durability issues continue to haunt the 3-time Cy Young Winner, when he’s healthy, he’s elite, and we’re only wagering on one game this evening.
The one thing to be especially mindful of with Kershaw is his pitch count. The Dodgers staff ace averaged 84 pitches over his 22 starts in 2022.
Projections and expert prospectus all agree that the Dodgers rightfully are heavy favorites this evening. We’ll want to pick on Arizona tonight, but it’s prudent to not get carried away this early in the season as players continue to round into form.
Case in point: while Bumgarner’s results were mediocre at best against the Dodgers in 2022 (1-2, 4.76 ERA, 17 IP, 14 H, 5 BB, 9 K), they also aren’t gas-can level, either. Strange things sometimes happen in inter-division matchups.
The Dbacks vs. Dodgers best bets we’re looking at:
- Chris Taylor o1.5 H+R+RBI (+135)
- Los Angeles -1.5 (-125)
- Mookie Betts o1.5 TBs (-110)
Cleveland Guardians vs. Seattle Mariners Predictions & Picks
I’m leaning into Ballpark Pal’s Game Simulation on this one. Guardians RHP Aaron Civale (5-6, 4.92 ERA, 1.19 WHIP over 97 IP in 2022) has never impressed me, but he’s nonetheless a difficult pitcher to get right from a betting standpoint.
Mariners RHP Logan Gilbert (13-6, 3.20 ERA, 1.18 WHIP over 185.2 IP in 2022) is inarguably the better starter. He was a highly touted prospect entering the 2022 season and broke out in a big way for the up-start Seattle squad.
Still, Cleveland’s strength is its bullpen. If Civale is able to limit damage into the middle innings and turn over a close game to the Guardians relief corps, this might not only be low-scoring, but also highly competitive.
Oddsmakers clearly see it that way, but Ballpark Pal does not. I don’t, either. I think Seattle’s bullpen is being undervalued here. In 2022, the M’s bullpen had a 3.33 ERA, 6th-best bullpen in MLB. Can you guess who was 5th? Cleveland, whose relief corps twirled a 549 IP with a tiny 3.05 ERA.
Cleveland RPs Trevor Stephan and Enyel de Los Santos both will be unavailable after pitching each of the first 2 games of this series. Eli Morgan threw 22 pitches yesterday and might be unavailable this early in the season as well.
Sure, that’s Cleveland’s 3rd, 4th and 5th best relievers, but Civale rarely goes deep into games (5.6 IP/start for his career, 4.9 IP/start in 2022) and the bullpen most certainly will be asked to cover a handful of innings tonight. It all adds up to another advantage for the Mariners.
Based on our Game Simulations and expected game-flow, we’re looking at the following Guardians vs. Mariners best bets for today:
- Seattle (-135)
- Jose Ramirez o1.5 H+R+RBI (-115)
- Ty France o1.5 H+R+RBI (-120)
- Amed Rosario o1.5 TBs (+120)