Our staff’s top 5 picks for Thursday, including Phillies vs. Marlins, Blue Jays vs. Yankees and more (April 14)

We’re a week into the 2022 MLB season and have reached our first “getaway day,” with a slew of series starting or ending.

There are 11 total games on the roster, including a series-opening tilt between the Cardinals and Brewers, and a series-ending matchup between the Blue Jays and Yankees.

Our analysts are on both games, including a trio of picks on the former, as well as a side on Phillies-Marlins.

Here are our top five bets from Thursday’s Major League Baseball slate.

MLB odds and picks

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers

To take
Cardinals +125
Book
PointsBet
Pitchers
Adam Wainwright vs. Brandon Woodruff
First launch
5:14 p.m. ET

Tanner McGrath: We get a scorching Redbirds formation with their ace on the mound at over +130 odds.

What’s not to like?

The general population is weak on the Cardinals, and I even bet their winning total this season. But I am ready to support them there.

The Cardinals posted a whopping 152 wRC+ per week in the season, hitting .271 with .874 OPS despite a below-average BABIP of .271. Meanwhile, Wainwright pushed on his first start, throwing a scoreless six while striking out six Pirates and allowing no walks.

Put it all together and the Cardinals are 3-1.

Meanwhile, the Brewers bats didn’t get it. After averaging just 2.8 points per game over their first five, the Brewers managed just three runs against the lowly Orioles, and the normally dominant guard in the bullpen took a two-point lead. points against – again – the lowly Orioles.

Brandon Woodruff is a better starting pitcher than Wainwright. And the Brewers have a better pen than St. Louis.

But the Cardinals’ roster has a huge upside. And the way these two teams are going, I can’t help but support the Cardinals here at all costs above +130.


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St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers

To take
Cardinals +125
Book
PointsBet
Pitchers
Adam Wainwright vs. Brandon Woodruff
First launch
5:14 p.m. ET

Michael Arinze: The Milwaukee Brewers are back to .500 after winning the last two games of their series against the Orioles. Still, I wouldn’t be too excited, considering Baltimore is one of three teams with just one win on the season.

Over the past four years, the Brewers’ starting rotation has carried the team — propelling them to a playoff appearance in each of those seasons. However, the 2018 season was the only time the Milwaukee offense recorded an average to above average wRC+.

Milwaukee bats are still struggling to start the year, ranking 20th with an 87 wRC+. 4.24 MPM. Usually, when it’s this early in the season, the pitchers tend to have the upper hand over the hitters. However, with shortened spring training this year, I think the pitchers are at a disadvantage.

On Thursday, Milwaukee will send Brandon Woodruff to the mound after a rough first start where he allowed seven runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Cubs. Normally I would look to support Woodruff to bounce back. However, he also struggled in spring training and allowed 15 runs in 11 2/3 innings.

Woodruff will face a Cardinals team that has won the last three meetings with him on the mound. Milwaukee is also 0-6 in its last six starts. Although he finished with a 2.56 ERA in 2021, his 3.31 SIERA could foreshadow the regression to be expected this season.

Given what we know about this abbreviated spring training for pitchers, I’m more inclined to favor teams with better offenses. The Cardinals rank second with a wRC+ value of 153, but they’re as high as a +125 underdog.

Since my model has this game closer to even money, I think the Cardinals are worth a look, and I’d play them up to +115.


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St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers

To take
Brewers -140
Book
BetMGM
Pitchers
Adam Wainwright vs. Brandon Woodruff
First launch
5:14 p.m. ET

Jules Posner: Brandon Woodruff hasn’t had the best start to the season, but he has the ball again in the Brewers’ home opener and he should bounce back.

Woodruff absolutely dominated at home last season hitting a 2.31 ERA with a 2.74 FIP in 2021. That follows with his career.

The Brewers’ offense was tasked with opening the season playing in a hostile Wrigley Field against a team with a chip on their shoulder and a newly offensively-tested Camden Yards. These are not the best situations to launch their attack.

However, returning to American Family Field will definitely boost morale and hopefully offensive production.

I’m always on Adam Wainwright’s train when he pitches home, but I’ll betray him the second he sets foot anywhere else. I’m ready to do it again in this game.

Wainwright pitched well on the road last season, but given the lopsided schedule, getting wins over the Cubs and Pirates on the road doesn’t end up being very impressive.

The Cards currently have the best offense in MLB in terms of a wRC+ team, but they are yet to be challenged as they will be by Brandon Woodruff.

The Brewers ML looks good today.


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Philadelphia Phillies vs. Miami Marlins

To take
Marlins -115
Book
PointsBet
Pitchers
Kyle Gibson vs. Sandy Alcantara
First launch
6:40 p.m. ET

DJ James: Sandy Alcantara loves using his slider. It will throw it about 35% of the time. It works well for him because on the Phillies, only Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber posted a .330 xwOBA or better against right-handed sliders.

The Marlins, on the other hand, can hit cutters and sinkers on the right. Gibson uses these two heights combined more than 50% of the time. All of the team’s hitters except Jon Berti, Miguel Rojas and Payton Henry have an xwOBA of .330+ or ​​better on these pitches.

It’s a tough game for Kyle Gibson, even though he’s a savvy veteran and will know the bulk of Miami’s roster.

The Philadelphia bullpen showed big improvements here early on, but that shouldn’t be a huge advantage considering they’re two of the best pitchers on each respective team.

Given the advantage on the offensive side, paired with Alcantara on the bump, the Marlins are on the safe side. Take them to -130.


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Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees

To take
Yankees team total over 4.5 (-110)
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Kevin Gausman vs. Luis Severino
First launch
7:05 p.m. ET

Kenny Ducey: Kevin Gausman may have finished sixth in Cy Young’s vote last year, but it’s not thanks to how he finished the season. The right-hander posted a 4.42 ERA in the second half of 2021 in 15 starts, allowing a .276 batting average and one home run every 26 beats on average.

Maybe a regression was coming, given his 3.52 xERA for the season, although that’s not necessarily a bad number even though it’s much higher than the ERA he ended the season with. year.

All that to say that Gausman’s start to the season, where he gave up three runs on eight hits for the Rangers, is a little more concerning given what we saw late in the season from the right-hander last year. It’s also worth noting that the offenses he’s going to encounter in the American League are likely to be more dangerous.

That’s what we have here at the Yankees. Although it’s very early, I should note that New York posted a 55.2% hit rate and a 15.2% barrel rate over six games, which would seem to indicate that they haven’t no chance of collecting only 21 races over this period. Both of those brands lead the major leagues, and they’re a nightmare sight for Gausman, who’s been dropping blow after blow since the all-star break last year.

I don’t want anyone to guess if Luis Severino is back or if the Blue Jays offense is fading. With that, I’m going to target the team total.


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