MLB Picks for April 4: Can Rays Stay Undefeated?

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Calvin Faucher #58 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with Francisco Mejia #21 after a 6-2 victory against the Washington Nationals on April 03, 2023. Greg Fiume/Getty Images/AFP .

MLB Pick: Rays/Nationals Over 8.5 (-125) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Over 8.5 (-125)
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Picks Summary:

  • Rays vs. Nationals – Over 8.5 (-125)
  • Blue Jays vs. Royals – Royals ML (+145)
  • Guardians vs. Athletics – Guardians -1.5 (-110)

Some teams are now entirely through their rotation and back to starting their ace pitchers tonight. Other teams will be relying on a fifth starter. Things will get exciting tonight in some matchups.

Here are my best three MLB picks on the slate!

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Washington Nationals

Tuesday, April 04, 2023 – 07:05 PM EDT at Nationals Park

Teams Analysis

Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays will take on right-hander Chad Kuhl of the Nationals. Kuhl finished last season with a 5.56 xFIP with the Colorado Rockies. Granted, he had to pitch in Colorado, but he struck out under 18% of batters and walked over 9%.

Kuhl isn’t a ground ball pitcher and allowed over 24% of line drives last year. The Rays’ lineup didn’t perform all that well last season, but the Rays are off to a hot start with a 4-0 record. This offense can dominate Kuhl, who allowed a ton of power to both sides of the plate last year.

Washington Nationals

Meanwhile, Josh Fleming will get the start for the Rays. He’s a lefty who had a 4.08 xFIP last season. His strikeouts weren’t high, but his ground ball rate was. He earned nearly 64% of ground balls last year and gave up under 19% of line drives.

He struggled against righties, allowing a .452 wOBA and ISO of .257. Righties like Joey Meneses and Stone Garrett should have success against Fleming. Both had ISO’s above .250 last season against lefties.

The Pick

Let’s back the Over 8.5 in this one.

MLB Pick: Over 8.5 (-125) at BetOnline

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals

Tuesday, April 04, 2023 – 07:40 PM EDT at Kauffman Stadium

Teams Analysis

Toronto Blue Jays

Kris Bubic will get the start for the Royals tonight. He finished last year with a 5.08 xFIP while striking out under 19% of batters. He also allowed nearly 11% of walks and gave up 27.3% of line drives last year.

He improved in Spring Training but was awful against leftie more than righties when it came to allowing extra-base hits. He’s facing a lineup nearly full of righties. Only Daulton Varsho should be in the lineup as a lefty.

Bubic could be a sneaky play if he limits extra-base hits.

Kansas City Royals

Meanwhile, Yusei Kikuchi will take the mound for the Blue Jays. He finished last year with a 4.68 xFIP.

He’s got high strikeout numbers but also high walk numbers. Righties hit a .381 wOBA and ISOS of .279 against Kikuchi last year.

The Royals should have seven righties in the lineup, including power guys like Bobby Witt Jr., Salvador Perez, Edward Olivares, and Nate Eaton.

The Pick

Following the MLB odds, I’ll back the Royals as a big underdog play.

MLB Pick: Royals ML (+145) at BetOnline

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Royals ML (+145)
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Cleveland Guardians vs. Oakland Athletics

Tuesday, April 04, 2023 – 09:40 PM EDT at RingCentral Coliseum

Teams Analysis

Cleveland Guardians

JP Sears will get his first start for the Athletics tonight. After pitching for the Yankees and Athletics last season, Sears finished last year with a 5.29 xFIP. The lefty limited wOBA and ISO number and wasn’t bad at all. However, he’s got a tough assignment going up against Shane Bieber.

The Guardians will put the ball in play. The projected lineup has five players with strikeout rates below 19% against lefties. There’s also some power at the top of the lineup and multiple guys who can hit line drives against lefties.

Oakland Athletics

Oakland likely got all of their offense out last night. This team has a .283 wOBA dating back to last year against righties.

Shane Bieber had a 3.41 xFIP last season with over 25% of strikeouts. His walks were also super low. He should dominate this Oakland lineup. The Athletics lineup walked just 5.8% of the time last season with this projected lineup. Bieber will be on cruise control. He pitched six innings in his first start of the season and added only three strikeouts but still gave up no runs.

His strikeout numbers declining are a bit concerning. But he’s still a terrific pitcher in his prime.

The Pick

Therefore, I’ll back the Guardians on the run line. At -200, the Guardians aren’t even bad on the moneyline. But I’ll take it further and back these Guardians to dominate this game.

For Cleveland residents looking to bet on this game, you can do it at our top Ohio betting sites.

MLB Pick: Guardians -1.5 (-110) at BetOnline

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Guardians -1.5 (-110)
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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.