Blue Jays vs. Nationals MLB Best Bet: Kikuchi Keys an Under

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MLB Pick: Under 9 (-115) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Under 9 (-115)
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We have a full schedule of 15 Major League Baseball betting matchups on Friday including one afternoon game at Wrigley Field.

We are on a 12-6 run here at Bookmakers Review, and we are back with our three plays for Friday that we feel hold the most betting value at the current MLB odds at the top sportsbooks. For our first best bet, our proprietary model likes a total in the Blue Jays vs. Nationals matchup.

Don’t miss out on more MLB expert picks:

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Washington Nationals

Friday, May 03, 2024 – 06:45 PM ET at Nationals Park

Two struggling offenses square off in our nation’s capital Friday night, so we are betting the Under when Yusei Kikuchi and the Blue Jays visit Patrick Corbin and the Nationals.

ERA and xFIP Below 3.00

Kikuchi is one of only seven qualifying starting pitchers who currently have both an ERA and xFIP below 3.00. He stands with a 2.94 ERA and 2.48 xFIP through six starts, thanks in large part to a nice K/BB ratio of 9.62/2.14 per nine innings.

The 32-year-old had a career-best walk rate of 2.58/9 last season, and he has shown that was not a fluke by further improving that rate so far in 2024.

Yusei now gets to face a Washington offense that has struggled vs. left-handers like himself. The Nationals are ranked 25th in wRC+ against southpaws at 81, or 19% below average. The Nats have also hit just 27 home runs all season, 24th in baseball, so Kikuchi should have no issues attacking the strike zone.

Bullpen For Real

Now, of course, it can be scary to bet an Under in a game started by Corbin and his 6.82 ERA. However, Manager Dave Martinez had a short hook lifting Corbin after four innings last time out, and an early call to the Washington bullpen is probably a good thing.

That unit may be the strongest part of this Nationals team, currently standing with a 3.75 xFIP and a collective strikeout rate of 8.81/9.

Besides, Corbin actually has a 3.18 ERA at home this season after tossing 5.1 scoreless innings against the potent Dodgers offense the last time he pitched here at Nationals Park. He is now facing a struggling Blue Jays offense that has scored less than three runs in all seven losses of their current 2-7 skid.

The Pick

We see Kikuchi having no issues with the Nationals and even Corbin having a chance to continue his surprising home success against the slumping Jays. Add in a good Washington bullpen if Corbin does struggle and back the Under in DC Friday.

Predicted Score: Blue Jays 5 – Nationals 2

MLB Pick: Under 9 (-115) at Bovada

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Under 9 (-115)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.