Weekend MLB Picks

Another beautiful April weekend of baseball is here, which means it is time to take a look at our Weekend MLB picks for Friday, April 23 to Sunday, April 25. BetRivers.com is proud to provide a wide variety of MLB game odds, teasers, props, player markets, team markets, and futures odds. Longtime Poker broadcaster and sports bettor David Tuchman is here to preview the notable games and make his MLB Weekend picks, with analysis on Nationals vs. Mets, Angels vs. Astros, Royals vs. Tigers, Athletics vs. Orioles, and Brewers vs. Cubs.

After a disappointing opening weekend, we rebounded nicely. I’m not going to lie – I’m feeling a little cocky.  Teams are starting to show some distinct patterns and I’d like to say we’ve got this season figured out. I’d “like” to say that, but I know better. We’ve been down this road before and we know how humbling betting on sports can be. That said, I’m feeling good – so much so that we picked five games to bet on this weekend. 

Here are our weekend MLB picks. Looking for the latest MLB odds? Here you go.

WEEKEND MLB PICKS: FRIDAY, APRIL 23

WASHINGTON NATIONALS (7-9) at NEW YORK METS (7-7), 7:10 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Mets -315 ML, Nationals +260 ML
SPREAD: Mets -2 (-104), Nationals +2 (-114)
OVER/UNDER: 7 runs (-115/-104)
Click here for the full list of Nationals-Mets Friday odds.

Friday freebie. Nothing wrong with picking the low-hanging fruit. The Nationals best hitter, Juan Soto, is on the 10-day DL with a shoulder strain. SS Trea Turner is hitting .300 with 4 bombs and 8 RBI – he’s second on the team behind Starlin Castro, who’s got 11 RBI and hitting a respectable .281. However, without Soto, this lineup is about as tough as melted butter. Their outfielders are hitting .219, .200 and .204, respectively. (Stevenson, Schwarber, and Robles) Their 1B is hitting .161. This presents a problem for Washington since they’re facing arguably the best pitcher on the planet –  Jacob DeGrom.

Now, on the flip side, if you’re a Mets fan, or just know baseball, I can hear you already. “The Mets don’t hit for DeGrom!” This is true. Historically – and even in 2021 – the Mets simply do not hit when DeGrom pitches. But the Nats are rolling with Erick Fedde in this game. Who is this Fedde guy you ask? On the season, he’s pitched to a tune of 5.56 ERA, 1.68 WHIP and opponents have hit .289 against him. For his career – small sample size – Fedde has a 5.19 career ERA v. these Mets. Jeff McNeil in particular is hitting .800 against him. 

The Pick: The Mets -315 ML to win the game or if you’re feeling it, go with Mets -2 (+102). 

LOS ANGELES ANGELS (9-8) at HOUSTON ASTROS (8-10), 8:10 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Astros -141 ML, Angels +120 ML
SPREAD: Astros -1 (+102), Angels -1 (-121)
OVER/UNDER: 8 runs (-106/-113)
Click here for the full list of Angels-Astros Friday odds.

The Angels will beat the Astros in Houston on Friday night. I just think at this point Jake Odorizzi is predictably hittable, as he rolls into this game with a 10.57 ERA. The Astros don’t really have another healthy option at this point and are hoping Odorizzi turns it around. He actually pitched better his last time out, striking out 7 across just 4.1 innings against the Mariners. But against the Angels? I’m dubious. Mike Trout is hitting .385; Jared Walsh, .333 and Shohei Ohtain, 309. Even Justin Upton has 3 HR and 10 RBI. Candidly, Andrew Heaney, the Angels starter isn’t much better, as he enters the game with a 5.65 ERA, so I expect a slug-fest. The Astros can still hit, though Jose Altuve is still out with Covid-19.  Alex Bregman is back, and Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel, Michael Brantley and Yordan Alvarez are still swinging big bats. Brantley is hitting .327 on the year, while Gurriel is hitting .339. 

However, in a battle of bullpens, the Angels look to have the early-season edge, as they have a bullpen ERA of 1.52 (if you exclude Jamie Barria, who’s not with the team, and gave up 7 runs in 2 IP earlier). The Astros, meanwhile, have a ‘pen ERA of 5.07. All of this and I’m happy to bet on the road team.

The Pick(s): Angels +123 ML, OVER 8 (-105).

WEEKEND MLB PICKS: SATURDAY, APRIL 24

KANSAS CITY ROYALS (10-7) at DETROIT TIGERS (7-12), 1:10 p.m. ET
PROBABLE PITCHERS: Ervin Santana (KC) vs. Matthew Boyd (DET)

Don’t look now, but the Royals are in first place in the AL Central. Shocking, I know. Meanwhile, the Tigers are tied for last at 6-10. So, I’m picking the Royals in this one right?  Nope. We’re going all-in with Detroit. This is a bold move, our upset special, since Detroit is admittedly not very good. However, there are some things I do like about the Tigers, despite only winning  6 of their first 16. First, Jeimer Candelario is hitting .295. Catcher, Wilson Ramos has 6 HR (he’s only got 12 hits on the year) and rookie OF Akil Baddoo is hitting .263 with 4 HR, 11 RBI, and a .959 OPS. Another highlight for the Tigers is the performance so far of rookie SP Casey Mize and Veteran lefty, Matthew Boyd. Mize is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA and 13 K over 16 IP. Boyd, meanwhile, is 2-1 with a minuscule 2.03 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. 

Betting against the Royals is a bit scary as they’ve been hitting and pitching. Salvy Perez, Carlos Santana and Whit Merrifield have combined for 11 HR on the year, while Merrifield (.306) and Nicky Lopez (.304) are hitting over .300. SP Danny Duffy and Jakob Junis have been unhittable, combining for a 3-1 record and an ERA of 0.90.  So what gives?  For me it all comes down to an old baseball axiom. You’re only as good as tomorrow’s starting pitcher.  Matthew Boyd for the Tigers goes in this one, while the Royals will drag out the corpse of Ervin Santana. The 38-year old veteran has a 5.40 ERA on the year. I’m going with the Tigers and the Saturday upset.

The Pick: Detroit Tigers

OAKLAND ATHLETICS (12-7) at BALTIMORE ORIOLES (8-10), 7:05 p.m. ET
PROBABLE PITCHERS: Chris Bassitt (OAK), TBD (BAL)

Want another upset special? Okay, one more. You talked me into it.  The first-place Athletics (12-7) take on the third-place Orioles (8-9) this weekend and the A’s should win 2 out of 3. But the one game the Orioles will win is Saturday.  The Orioles were forgettable in 2019, but they did find a promising young SP, John Means, who went 12-11 with a 3.60 ERA for a terrible Orioles team. 2020 was a disaster for Means, as he went 2-4 with a 4.53 ERA over just 10 games. But this year, he appears to be headed for a breakout season. Through 4 games so far, he’s rolling with a 1.52 ERA, 23 K in 23 IP, 0.93 WHIP and 280 ERA+.  He’s been phenomenal. The Orioles have decent hitting. Maikel Franco and Trey Mancini have combined for 6 HR and 27 RBI. Cedric Mullins is hitting .333. Honestly, the A’s are significantly better than the Orioles – there’s no doubt about that, but their SP this game, Chris Bassitt, has been struggling of late. I still lean towards this being a close game which is concerning, but the Orioles have found an interesting closer. Yes, interesting is the right word. Cesar Valdez is a 37-year old career minor leaguer (20 total MLB games since 2010) who has three speeds to his pitches: “slow, slower and my-god-I-think-he’s-dead. How he gets guys out, I have no idea. But he’s 2-0 with 4 saves and a 0.96 ERA. Disney is buying the rights to this story as we speak. 

The Pick: Baltimore Orioles

WEEKEND MLB PICKS: SUNDAY, APRIL 25

MILWAUKEE BREWERS (11-7) at CHICAGO CUBS (9-9), 2:20 p.m. ET
PROBABLE PITCHERS: Brandon Woodruff (MIL), Jake Arrieta (CHC)

In an early NL-Central battle, the 11-7 Brewers take on the 7-9 Cubs. The Brew-crew hasn’t been lighting it up on the basepaths this year, hitting just a paltry .210 as a team. C Omar Narvaez has led the offense with .396, 3 HR and 10 RBI. All-star OF Christian Yelich is currently on the 10-day DL. Surprisingly, they’ve been doing it with pitching. Their top 4 SP are a combined 6-2, with ERAs of 0.37, 1.96, 2.00, and 2.65. Ridiculous, right?  Top closer Josh Hader is 2-0 with 3 saves. He hasn’t been scored on yet and has 11 K in 5 IP. 

The Cubs are decidedly mediocre and while their starter on Sunday, Jake Arrieta, has been by far their best SP, at 3-1 with a 2.86 ERA,  Brewers SP, Brandon Woodruff, 1-0, 1.96 ERA is better. Woodruff, you’ll remember, was our pre-season long shot to win the Cy Young. I don’t expect a lot of runs in this one so depending on what the total comes in at, we could be firing the UNDER too.

The Pick: Milwaukee Brewers