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MLB Picks, Predictions and Best Bets: Mon, 4/18

MLB Picks, Predictions and Best Bets: Mon, 4/18

Our 2022 MLB sports betting campaign rolls on after the long holiday weekend. 

We have a lighter schedule today, with a number of games already cancelled due to weather. You can’t rain-out betting value though, so let’s see what matchups we might be able to exploit.

As always, we’ll dive deep into a game we’re targeting, while also sharing our full list of today’s best bets in a “Quick Pick” format.

Philadelphia at Colorado

Coors Field is a hitter’s paradise. Today’s Park Factors don’t suggest that the weather will provide any additional bumps to bats, but it should be one of the most neutral environments on the entire slate.

april 18 coors field weather

Two of today’s games already have been postponed, another is likely to be cancelled, plus the 20-degree real-feel temps at Wrigley Field (accompanied by 20-mph wind gusts) is too volatile for me to comfortably invest much time in. So to Denver we go – where we have a “normal” hitting environment, plus a pitching matchup we should be able to exploit.

Philadelphia ace Aaron Nola (1-1, 6.75 ERA) has scuffled in his first two starts of the season, but his peripheral stats (3.50 xERA, 3.48 xFIP, 2.71 SIERA) suggest happier days are ahead. His bloated 42.9% HR/FB calls out one of the main culprits for his early-season woes. A trip to Coors Field is hardly a cure for homer-itis, but Nola’s 59.1% GB% (48.8% career GB%) indicates he still can keep the ball on the ground – and in the park.

Nola also doesn’t seem to be fazed by pitching at Coors Field. In three career starts, the 28-year-old is 2-0 with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. It’s a small sample size, but in this situation, it’s enough to assume that Nola adapts to Coors just fine.

Rockies RHP Chad Kuhl has had a categorically average (and strangely consistent) five-year career in the Majors. Across 444.0 IPs, he has a 4.42 ERA, 4.60 FIP, 8.11 K/9 and 2.01 K/BB. He throws his sinker almost half of the time, although his batted ball profile (career 41.7% GB% and 1.20 HR/9) is, well, average. Outside of 2017, Kuhl’s WAR has been between -0.1 and 0.9 each season. He is the archetype of a replacement level player.

If it’s not clear, I’m not rubbishing Kuhl. He’s an MLB player yet. But he’s about to be carved up by this Phillies lineup. 

In just 10 games this season, the Phillies have 4.6 runs created above average against sinkers – second best in all of baseball. Unlike Nola, Kuhl also has been dreadful in his limited experience at Coors Field. He only has made two career starts at his new home park, but has been tuned up to a 6.10 ERA and 1.74 WHIP in 10.1 IPs.

The Phillies might not run rampant, but shouldn’t have problems plating runs. Based off my projections, I’m backing the following best bets.

Philadelphia at Colorado Best Bets:

1.5 units

  • PHI 5-inning total over 3 (-131)

1 unit

  • PHI (-150)

0.5 units

  • Bryce Harper over 1.5 total bases (-130)
  • Nick Castellanos over 1.5 total bases (-140)
  • J.T. Realmuto over 1.5 total bases (-130)

Quick Picks

1 unit

  • TB-CHC under 8 (-120)
  • MIL -1.5 (+110)
  • SD -1.5 (+115)
  • OAK -1.5 (+115)
  • LAD -1.5 (-110)

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