MLB Picks for April 2: Rangers to Complete the Sweep on Sunday Night Baseball

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Martin Perez #54 of the Texas Rangers pitches during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners on September 28, 2022. Steph Chambers/Getty Images/AFP.

MLB Pick: Rangers ML (-120) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Rangers ML (-120)
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Picks Summary:

  • White Sox vs. Astros – White Sox +1.5 (-135)
  • Blue Jays vs. Cardinals – Blue Jays ML (-110)
  • Phillies vs. Rangers – Rangers ML (-120)

The best sportsbooks have released their odds for today’s MLB action.

Three games, in particular, interest me as worth investing in:

  • White Sox vs. Astros
  • Blue Jays vs. Cardinals
  • Phillies vs. Rangers

For your MLB picks, you should play the run line for the first game and the moneyline for the second and third games.

Chicago White Sox vs. Houston Astros

Sunday, April 02, 2023 – 02:10 PM EDT at Minute Maid Park

Daytime Numbers

One distinctive feature of today’s game is that it takes place during the afternoon.

Whereas Houston’s starter Luis Garcia is worse during the day than he is at night, Chicago’s starter Mike Clevinger boasts a 3.06 career daytime ERA.

Clevinger vs. Astro Batters

Clevinger’s outlook looks positive today also because Astros’ batters lack a consistent track record against him.

Only two Astros’ batters hit .222 lifetime against Clevinger – Jose Altuve, who is injured with a right thumb fracture, and Alex Bregman, who is ice-cold with a 0-for-12 start for the season that includes four strikeouts.

While Clevinger has allowed a few home runs to active Astros batters, asking Clevinger to keep the ball inside the park seems like a simple ask, and that’s pretty much all he’ll need to do to succeed today.

Luis Garcia’s Situation

Only partly due to the fact that his career daytime ERA is 3.79 compared to 3.49 at night, Houston’s starter is in a bad situation.

Today is the first game that counts in which he’ll present his new delivery, which he had to rework in light of baseball’s rule changes. While he practiced the new delivery in Spring Training, we’ll have to see how he does with it when the results actually matter.

Batters will already know what to expect since he has already publicly displayed his new windup.

Luis Garcia vs. White Sox Batters

Multiple White Sox batters look promising today with Garcia on the mound.

Andrew Vaughn, Yoan Moncada, and Gavin Sheets all hit well over .300 and slug at least .500 lifetime against Garcia.

For Chicago residents looking to bet on this game, you can check out our top Illinois betting sites.

MLB Pick: White Sox +1.5 (-135) at Bovada

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White Sox +1.5 (-135)
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Toronto Blue Jays vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Sunday, April 02, 2023 – 02:15 PM EDT at Busch Stadium

Toronto’s Stronger Starter

Similar to the first game of this series, in which Toronto triumphed, I find the MLB odds for this game unusual because both teams are listed at -110 even though Toronto has a clear advantage in terms of starting pitcher quality.

Blue Jays’ starter Chris Bassitt expanded his pitching arsenal to help him last longer into outings – he now throws seven different pitches, according to Statcast – while limiting opponents’ hard contact.

Bassitt’s Outlook

The Blue Jays’ starter is in a good spot because it’s the first start of the season.

He has shut out three of his last four first opponents, and his positive history in his first start of the season extends beyond this period. His outlook today also looks positive because he enjoys a deeply promising 2.89 ERA in two career starts in St. Louis.

Most recently, i.e., last year, he allowed two hits and no runs in six innings in St. Louis. The only Cardinals’ batter who looks scary here right now is Paul Goldschmidt, who hits him well, whereas Cardinals’ batters mostly lack a promising track record with Bassitt on the mound.

Shaky Cardinals’ Pitching

St. Louis’ shaky pitching today will begin with starter Jordan Montgomery, whom Blue Jays’ batters are especially familiar with because he used to pitch for a team in their division.

Four different Blue Jays’ batters slug .500 or higher in at least six careers at-bats with Montgomery on the mound. Their positive track record against Montgomery reinforces my impression that it is unusual for these teams to be lined up evenly.

This impression is perhaps most strongly reinforced by the utterly shaky effort thus far of the Cardinals’ bullpen. Normally relied-upon reliever Jordan Hicks looks unplayable right now.

Closer Ryan Helsley had to pitch five outs in yesterday’s game. Helsley won’t be fresh today. Plus Blue Jay batters are familiar with him now – he also pitched in the first game where he blew his team’s lead.

MLB Pick: Blue Jays ML (-110) at Bovada

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Philadelphia Phillies vs. Texas Rangers

Sunday, April 02, 2023 – 07:00 PM EDT at Globe Life Field

Texas’ Starter

Martin Perez starts for Texas today.

Perez took a solid leap forward last season by doing several things, such as reducing the rate at which he allows home runs.

His 2.45 Spring Training ERA must reinforce the optimism that he’ll continue to build off last season’s improvement – his ERA was 2.89 last year.

Texas Is Hot

Besides the fact that Philly starter Bailey Falter’s development has been much more modest than Perez’s, Texas’ team outlook tonight looks great because of its hitters.

The Rangers scored 11 runs in the first game of this series before amassing 16 runs in the second game. Eight different Rangers’ batters have an OPS (on-base plus slugging) of 1.000 or higher thus far, attesting to the team-wide nature of their strong form. Adolis Garcia, for example, is a sizzling 5-for-8 so far.

MLB Pick: Rangers ML (-120) at Bovada

*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.