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MLB betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Sunday 4/24

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com) 

April 24, 2022 11:52 AM
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Sunday means plenty of early baseball, but also means a new edition of The Run Line tonight from 8-10 p.m. ET with pinch-hit host Holden Kushner and myself talking all things MLB. It should be a lot of fun and I hope you get the chance to tune in. You can listen live HERE or subscribers can watch the live videostream HERE.

There isn’t a lot of time for pleasantries with these early Sunday starts, so let’s get to it. Don’t forget that if you want access to the full article, one way is to become a VSiN Summer Special subscriber for just $59 and get an all-access pass through July 31.

Yesterday’s Recap

Giants/Nationals: Those steaming down Nationals prices seem to be validated. The Nats have dropped four in a row and have been outscored 27-8 over those games. Interestingly, we had seen money come in against the Giants this morning, which we’ve come to find out is because of positive COVID tests for San Francisco.

Pirates/Cubs: As my good friend Kiev O’Neil from The Oddsbreakers tweeted at me, “Remember this one for your Pythagorean W/L next season”. A 21-0 victory sure will skew a run differential, as the Cubs are now + 20 in that department. With an enormous lead, Kyle Hendricks cruised through seven innings of shutout ball and only allowed two hits. My boy Zach Thompson is off to a rough start. The Cubs were 15-of-25 with RISP and vaulted to third in batting average with RISP. Fun day at the yard for them, but a win of this magnitude will create a few outliers.

Brewers/Phillies: Zack Wheeler’s velocity was just fine yesterday, but he still only had nine whiffs in 45 swings against the Brewers. He struck out five, but allowed four runs on seven hits. Even though the velo returned, something still isn’t right with him. The Phillies, by the way, fell to 6-9, despite being second in BA with RISP. The team ranks sixth in overall wOBA and has still struggled to win ballgames. The pitching and defense remain poor. Maybe they turn it around, but I felt like the Phillies were overvalued coming into the season and it has played out as expected. I just wish I had gone against them a little more.

Cardinals/Reds: Gave it the ol’ college try on the Reds yesterday, who lost by more than one run for the 11th time in 13 losses. They only hit four balls hard against Dakota Hudson and none against the Cardinals bullpen. They’ve scored 39 runs in 15 games and have lost 11 in a row. What a debacle. I won’t make that mistake again.

Tyler Mahle only gave up three hard-hit balls, as control was his problem in yesterday’s start. I still believe the angle is right with the Cardinals against righties with above average stuff, but the Reds offense was nowhere to be found.

Marlins/Braves: It was a wild game down in Atlanta, as the Marlins took home a 9-7 decision, despite going just 4-for-18 with RISP. There are a lot of takeaways here. Miami’s Elieser Hernandez allowed three home runs and gave up five runs on seven hits. He’s going to likely end up with some dramatic home/road splits when all is said and done. Atlanta’s Ian Anderson got through five, but allowed nine baserunners. It was the Braves bullpen that badly faltered, but Anderson wasn’t sharp. I still really like him, but the markets have isolated him as a guy to bet against. If you want to back the Braves on his day, I’d wait the line out a little. Jazz Chisholm Jr. finally led off, as Don Mattingly came to the realization that having your best hitters bat more often is a good thing. That ups the projection of this offense a little bit.

Mets/Diamondbacks: Cooper Hummel should be playing every day for Arizona, but also, guys like Ketel Marte, David Peralta, Christian Walker and Carson Kelly are all collectively swinging the bats poorly right now. Marte is a great player and the others have had their moments, but the Diamondbacks winning three out of the last four is not a fluke. This is a sign of positive regression towards the mean.

When we had the D-Backs on Wednesday for the 1st 5 against Washington, they came in batting .156/.277/.265 with a .257 wOBA and a 63 wRC +. Over the last four days, they’re batting .271/.327/.471 with a .350 wOBA. Neither side is sustainable, but they’d been so (pardon the pun) snakebitten that improvement was inevitable. That’s what I mean about looking for outliers.

Dodgers/Padres: Another strong start from Yu Darvish, whose huge spin rate decreases led to some pretty awful numbers from the start of July through the end of the regular season last year. Darvish struck out seven and only allowed one hit over six innings to the Dodgers. He only had eight whiffs, but the Dodgers also only swung 33 times in those six innings. The Dodgers have the second-lowest Swing% and lowest O-Swing% (chase rate) in baseball, so they’re being extremely patient at the plate. Sometimes, it’s to their detriment, like it was against Darvish, who typically minimizes hard contact and limits hits well.

Guardians/Yankees: Ugly ending aside, this game featured another quality start for Nestor Cortes and another disappointing Emmanuel Clase appearance. The Guardians bullpen is bad enough, but Clase needs to be good and he hasn’t been. Every game feels like a grind offensively for the Yankees. I will say that they have been one of the unluckiest teams on high-velocity contact, ranking 29th in SLG on batted balls of 95 + mph and 28th in BA. Given that their Hard Hit% is tops in the league, the tide has to turn at some point.

Rangers/Athletics: Frankie Montas was excellent again, but so was Martin Perez and the Rangers came away with a 2-0 victory over the A’s, whose offense has gone in the tank. Once again, an observation I wish I would have taken advantage of to a higher degree, but the prices also have to align with the thoughts and theories. Montas is really throwing the ball well. He’ll give this limited offense a chance every night and when he’s in a dog role, I’ll be a lot more interested than I will be in a favorite role.

Blue Jays/Astros: I’ve mentioned it a few times now, but the Blue Jays are a team significantly impacted by the run-scoring environment and the baseball. They had 17 hard-hit balls yesterday against the Astros and managed just three runs. They’re actually batting .506 with a .949 SLG on their high-velocity contact and rank second in HH%. They’re still hitting far too many ground balls and rank in the bottom 10 in average launch angle. But, as I mentioned yesterday, they’re still winning games. I think now might be a good time to invest in their futures because the summer should yield better offensive results and they’re already off to a good start.

Red Sox/Rays: Kevin Kiermaier hit his first career walk-off homer, but that wasn’t the story for me. It was Garrett Whitlock’s four dominant innings with seven strikeouts and just one hard-hit ball in his first start for the Red Sox. He only needed 48 pitchers to get through four innings. It was only one data point, but moving him to the rotation seems like a brilliant idea. I’ll be watching his prices closely.

Orioles/Angels: I got caught up in the day and didn’t make my Orioles bet, which is unfortunate because they pulled out a one-run squeaker. I would not take Baltimore today, as Dillon Tate and Jorge Lopez have now pitched three of the last four days and Joey Krehbiel has thrown 40 pitches in the last three days. Handicapping bullpen usage is vital.

Rockies/Tigers: I should have mentioned it yesterday and didn’t think of it until this morning, but the Rockies in Game 2 would have been almost a no-brainer after Game 1. There was the big Miggy ceremony and the blowout win in Game 1, so Game 2 was bound to be a letdown and it was. The Rockies did only win 3-2 and had plenty of issues of their own, but Austin Gomber was great and the Tigers were lifeless until they gave Alex Colome a real scare in the ninth. The Rockies only had 10 hits over two games. The Coors Field Road Effect is very real.

Sunday Resources

Weather: With the weather warming up, it will be very interesting to see how the ball travels. The humidor was expected to suppress power early in the year, but add power as it warmed up, so we could see big shift in power and carry in the not too distant future.

Stiff winds will be blowing in on an 80-degree day in Detroit, with breezes also blowing in at Yankee Stadium and in Cincinnati. Another day with winds blowing out at Wrigley Field has pushed that total up. We’ll also see helping winds out to LF in Minnesota, but it will be in the upper 40s there.

Injuries: Check out our Injury Report right here at VSiN. Also, my friend @MLBDream on Twitter put together a great MLB beat writer list to follow.

Eloy Jimenez of the White Sox was carted off yesterday, as their injury woes continue. The initial guess is 6-8 weeks for him. News also broke this morning the Giants OF Mike Yastrzemski tested positive for COVID-19, so he’ll be out a few days.

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