HomeMLBMLB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Monday April 1

    MLB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Monday April 1

    Adam Burke's top MLB best bets for today, April 1.


    MLB Best Bets Today April 1

    The first Monday of the MLB season is jam-packed with 14 games, though the two games in the Windy City are threatened by rain and some really ugly weather. All you have to do is look at the total for a Cubs home game at Wrigley Field to get an idea of what Mother Nature has in store and that total is just 7 for a miserable day on the North Side.

    I’ll be leaving in the long intro blurb probably throughout the week so you can see the cadence of the article and what you can expect.


    Top MLB Resources:

    I’ll be writing my MLB best bets today article Monday-Saturday over the course of the season, but those that have read it in the past will notice a few wrinkles.

    I will only be writing up games I have picks on. In the past, I would share information about other games and pitchers on my radar, but I’ll just be filing those things away in my own mind in hopes of finding bets down the line.

    Also, I will be incorporating more props into my MLB article this season, rather than just sides, totals, and run lines. Pitcher strikeout props, outs props, and other things that are widely available in the legal U.S. markets will be included.

    The VSiN Daily Baseball Bets podcast is gone (RIP), but I will be co-hosting the Double Play Baseball Podcast for DraftKings with Dustin Swedelson. That will be less of a betting podcast and more of a general baseball podcast, but we will sprinkle in a little bit of handicapping content.

    The season-long tracking sheet can be found here. Typically, this article will come out around 8-9 a.m. PT, but I’ll try to get it out quicker on days with a lot of day games.

    Lines will be from DraftKings Sportsbook and accurate at time of publish. In the interest of transparency and a lack of confusion, I will cite lines from the “Game” tab, which, unfortunately, means “Action” regardless of who starts. When possible, always select the “Listed Pitcher” odds where both pitchers must start, especially if there is no significant price difference. The game I handicapped and the game you handicapped is with the two listed, probable pitchers. In the era of openers and late scratches, pitching changes will happen and odds will change. Protect yourself the best you can.

    Finally, SHOP AROUND. Have multiple sportsbooks to choose from so you can get the best line possible. My lines in the article are from DraftKings because they own VSiN, not because they have the best odds on that game. It is your responsibility to get the best line that you can.

    Check out all my preseason content, including previews for all 30 teams and baseball betting tips, right here.

    MLB Odds | MLB Betting Splits | MLB Matchups

    Here are the MLB best bets today for April 1:

    Kansas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles (-155, 8)

    6:35 p.m. ET

    Michael Wacha and Dean Kremer will take the hill for their respective teams in this one as the Royals and Orioles fire up a weekday series at Camden Yards. The weather looks problematic in the later innings of this one with some late rain in the forecast. Sometimes that will get teams to play a little quicker and swing a little earlier in the count to avoid a rain delay that drags out the game or a suspended game that decides a winner/creates a partial doubleheader.

    But, that’s more anecdotal than anything else and I prefer to leave the bets up to the statistical analysis. It should be a good day for pitching in Baltimore with temps in the mid-50s and a little bit of a light breeze blowing in from right center. We know that Mount Walltimore in LF suppresses offense and power with the deeper dimensions as well.

    I do also like both starters here. The Royals have gotten some outstanding starting pitching from Cole Ragans, Seth Lugo, and Brady Singer. Wacha will attempt to play follow the leader here in his 2024 debut. The crafty veteran right-hander posted a 3.22 ERA with a 3.89 FIP over 134.1 innings of work last season on the heels of a 3.32 ERA and a 4.14 FIP for the Red Sox in 2022. Pitching at Fenway Park is no picnic, so those are solid numbers for a guy who worked 55.2 innings at that venue.

    While Wacha did have a 4.07 ERA in 55.1 innings on the road last season, away from the safety net of Petco Park, his wOBA against was only .295 and he allowed just a .225/.288/.392 slash line. Compare that with a .223/.287/.372 slash and a .288 wOBA at home and he was mostly the same guy, just a little bit unlucky.

    Kremer could be a breakout candidate type of guy for the Orioles this season. He had a 4.12 ERA with a 4.51 FIP last season, but the peripherals were decent with a 21.4% K% and a 7.5% BB%. In fact, we saw the signs in the second half last season. He allowed 20 homers and a .280/.330/.481 slash with a .348 wOBA in 98 first-half innings. He allowed seven homers and a .218/.293/.327 slash with a .277 wOBA in the second half for a 3.25 ERA over 74.2 innings.

    Kremer cut down on his Hard Hit% and Barrel% in the second half. I also think the cooler weather should help him with his home run issue from last season. It didn’t early in the year last year, but the Orioles are a really smart team and he’ll be better prepared for the start of this season. The O’s have run out some really good arms, but they struck out nearly 35% of Angels hitters in the opening series.

    Speaking of smart teams, the Royals have gotten wiser in recent years, with the hiring of former Guardians bullpen coach Brian Sweeney as the pitching coach and former Guardians and Rays assistant coach Matt Quatraro as the manager. Usually we see the gains on the pitching side from teams that embrace data and analytics pretty quickly when these changes take place and I think we are seeing that here.

    Just about all hands are on deck in both bullpens here and I like the two starters in this respective matchup.

    Pick: Royals/Orioles Under 8 (-105)

    Los Angeles Angels at Miami Marlins (-115, 8.5)

    6:40 p.m. ET

    We’ve got four interleague games tonight and we’ll add a fifth tomorrow as the MLB schedule goes 5-5-4 with NL-AL-IL matchups. These are always a little more interesting for me because they typically feature pitchers that a team hasn’t faced very often. Pitcher vs. hitter or pitcher vs. team stats do not have the sample size to be statistically significant, so you won’t find me using any of those when it comes to games or player props.

    Now that the PSA about that is out of the way, let’s talk about Chase Silseth, who gets the nod for the Angels here. Silseth had a 25.3% K% last season, but he paired it with an 11.8% BB%, so that cut into his value quite a bit. His 11.2% SwStr% was solid and I like that he got more swings and misses on pitches in the zone. Hitters aren’t always going to chase, but if you can get them to swing through strikes, that is a huge deal.

    In his final Spring Training start, Silseth showed good life on the fastball and his sweeper graded as a plus pitch, not to mention he showed a little more of the splitter that he has. He faced the Dodgers Opening Day lineup essentially and had 10 strikeouts in that one. He’s an interesting guy to me because he works up in the zone with 94-95 mph heat with just a 6-foot frame, so it has to look weird coming out for hitters. However, he also leverages the sweeper and splitter to generate a lot of ground balls.

    I think he’s got the most upside of any Angels hurler at present. I also think he’ll be a little bit undervalued in the Strikeout Props department. He’s at 4.5 here against the Marlins, who didn’t strike out a lot against Pirates pitching, but the Pirates don’t have a lot of strikeout guys. Silseth will be in the controlled environment of Marlins Park, so grip or weather won’t be issues.

    I like what the Angels have done with guys like Griffin Canning and Reid Detmers to better optimize their arsenals and I’d expect the same with Silseth moving forward, especially as a guy who won’t turn 24 until next month.

    Pick: Chase Silseth Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-105)

    Texas Rangers at Tampa Bay Rays (-122, 8.5)

    6:50 p.m. ET

    It will be Dane Dunning and Ryan Pepiot to kick off the AL Wild Card Round rematch between the Rangers and the Rays. It is my belief that we’re going to need to bet on Pepiot early in the season because I think the Rays have a really good pitcher here and that he’s going to put up some outstanding numbers as the season goes along.

    I’m also looking to fade Dunning, who had a tale of two halves last season. Dunning had a 2.84 ERA over 92 innings in the first half and then turned in a 4.69 ERA over 80.2 innings in the second half. He went from six homers allowed to 14 and his slash line (BA/OBP/SLG) jumped by 29, 40, and 105 points, respectively, from the first half to the second half. He still didn’t make it all the way to his regression indicators with a 3.70 ERA, but a 4.48 xERA and a 4.27 FIP. But, he got closer as his BABIP and LOB% both negatively regressed.

    Dunning doesn’t really induce a lot of swings and misses and didn’t look sharp or crisp in his final Spring Training tune-up. He was better against righties last season than lefties by a substantial margin – and the Rays will likely have eight righties in the lineup tonight – but his splits were pretty neutral in 2022.

    Back to Pepiot, I’m just a big fan. The Athletic’s Eno Sarris has a metric called Stuff+ and Pepiot was a top-10 guy in that stat over the course of the Spring. The Rays added more movement to his fastball and he was accurately spotting it at the top of the zone, which is what a lot of Tampa pitchers look to do.

    Across two levels last season, Pepiot had a 64/10 K/BB ratio and allowed 20 earned runs in 64.2 innings of work. Health will be the primary concern for Tampa as the season rolls along, especially since he missed a large chunk of 2023 coming back from surgery, but I think he’s a legit dude and the Rays are pretty good at finding pitchers. He came over from the Dodgers in the Tyler Glasnow deal, not because the Rays didn’t like Glasnow, but because they always need to find a cheaper alternative.

    Tampa’s likely to put more balls in play here and create more run-scoring opportunities, plus I like their rested arms in the pen a little more than those of the Rangers. I will say that DraftKings has an outlier 1st 5 line with the Rays at -135 at time of writing, while other shops are closer to the -120 or -125 range. Shop around. I like the 1st 5 at a price similar to the full game, maybe even more than the full game. But, because I use DraftKings odds for the article, this is what I have to work with.

    Pick: Rays -122

    Adam Burke
    Adam Burke
    Adam Burke is the Managing Editor of VSiN.com and has spent well over a decade in the sports betting content creation space. He has been with VSiN since 2021 and covers a wide range of sports, along with hosting the VSiN Daily Baseball Bets podcast.

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