Free MLB Betting Predictions April 11
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COL Rockies WinCOL Rockies @ TEX Rangers
Both of these teams started with tough series. Colorado hosted the Dodgers, the team expected to win the NL West with ease. The Rockies were able to take the series at home and with a trip to Texas next, they have a great chance to get off to a very good start. They have won their last 2 games and tagged the Dodgers for 9 runs on Sunday. Texas started at Toronto, who most consider the best team in the American League. The Rangers dropped the first 2 games, but came back on Sunday to win the finale. Their offense exploded with 12 runs and they are going to have to lead this group if they are going to have any sustained success. The Rangers’ pitching staff is very light.
Lefty Austin Gomber is going to try to keep things rolling for the Rockies in this first road series of the season. He had some funny splits last season. He was actually brilliant at Coors Field (2.09 ERA) but struggled on the road. Texas is going to be searching for pitching all season. Taylor Hearn made 11 starts for the Rangers last season without really distinguishing himself much. The Rangers are hoping for more this season. They need someone other than Jon Gray they can have some confidence in. It is a new season, so I am looking past the road struggles of Gomber last year. These teams are probably about even but the Rangers have been made a favorite for their home opener. The line makes sense but I am very comfortable fading them in this spot. They got a win on Sunday, but the Jays still wore them out a little over the weekend. That is an advantage for the Rockies. Take Colorado.
BOS Red Sox WinBOS Red Sox @ DET Tigers
The Red Sox came within 2 games of the World Series last season and got better in the offseason. Detroit retooled and should be much improved in 2022 themselves. But the odds for this game can be questioned. The line isn’t egregious by any means. But there is good value in taking a Boston lineup that has Trevor Story, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and JD Martinez against a 2nd-year starter who has yet to find his stride in the big leagues. The other 5 starters in Boston’s projected lineup are also not to be written off. Without getting too much into numbers off a small sample size to start the season, strictly from a matchups standpoint, Boston is a great pick.
Michael Wacha gets the start for Boston in this matchup. He certainly has questions to answer himself this season but with the best part of 9 years under his belt and facing a lesser caliber lineup than Boston’s, he and the Red Sox are more of a sure thing in this matchup. Miguel Cabrera is the only projected Tigers starter who has hit Wacha as he is 2-2. This Red Sox team that is largely intact from last season had a better road win percentage than Detroit had at home. Boston should be comfortable in this game facing an unproven team and an unproven pitcher.
TB Rays -1.5OAK Athletics @ TB Rays
The A’s made a decision to rebuild in the offseason, or at least try to retool on the fly. Indications are that it may be a tough season for Oakland, which has suffered a couple of multi-run losses to the Phillies to start the season. It won’t get any easier as the A’s go down to Tampa for their second series of 2022. Tampa has taken care of business against another bad team in Baltimore to begin the campaign. The Rays will get their try at Paul Blackburn. Blackburn threw just 38.1 innings in 9 starts in 2021, posting a 5.87 ERA and 1.62 WHIP. That was the most innings he has pitched since 58.2 in 2017. This Rays lineup should be more than formidable against a pitcher that is trying to find himself.
The Rays are taking a bit of a chance as well with their starter Luis Patino. He has struggled in his limited major-league experience thus far in his career. But he is just 22 and has some electric stuff. With Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, and Mark Canha no longer with Oakland, their lineup took a big hit. Patino facing a rebuilding lineup is a good opportunity for him to get his footing and get some confidence early in 2022. His support staff and situation is better than that of Blackburn. Look for Tampa to keep taking care of business against inferior opponents.
PHI Phillies WinNY Mets @ PHI Phillies
The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies will begin a 3-game set at Citizens Bank Park on Monday. New York took 3 out of 4 games from the hapless Washington Nationals to open the year. Philadelphia took 2 of 3 games from the bottom-feeding Oakland Athletics to begin their season. Tonight, the Mets will send Taijuan Walker to the hill, who will be opposed by Ranger Suarez. Walker delivered a 2.66 ERA and a 3.06 FIP during the first half of 2021, but struggled to a 7.13 ERA and a 6.79 FIP across his final 64.1 innings. During those 13 turns in the rotation, he posted only an 18.6 strikeout percentage against a 9.1% walk-rate. Per Baseball Savant, Walker owns a dreadful 8.02 FIP and a .410 xwOBA against the current Philadelphia roster. To put it lightly, this is not a favorable matchup for him to make his 2022 debut.
Suarez owned a 1.51 ERA and a 2.35 FIP in 12 starts after being transitioned to the starting rotation at the end of 2021. However, it is worth mentioning that 9 of those 12 outings came against the Miami Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Washington Nationals. Notably, the Mets will be without their top reliever, Edwin Diaz, who is on the bereavement list. The Mets have only one reasonably talented left-handed pitcher in their arm barn, Chasen Shreve, who threw 22 pitches on Sunday. Joely Rodriguez is likely to see work in the late innings, but that is not necessarily a good thing for New York. Philadelphia has a strong offense and the starting pitching advantage in this game. Take them to secure a victory in the series opener.
TOR Blue Jays WinTOR Blue Jays @ NY Yankees
Not to clown on the Baltimore Orioles, but excluding them, the AL East is going to be a tight race this season. Both the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees enter the series at 2-1 and fresh off a loss. Alek Manoah will start for Toronto after an outstanding rookie year where he went 9-2 with a 3.22 ERA. Toronto will need Manoah to put together a quality start after Jose Berrios only managed to throw 0.1 innings in the opener and Hyun Jin Ryu only went 3.1 innings in yesterday’s loss. The Yankees will also be asking a lot of Jameson Taillon when he takes the ball. Taillon is coming off a year that started slow, going 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA in April but then showed some promise in July, posting a perfect 4-0 with a 1.16 ERA. Taillon is working back from offseason ankle surgery and seems to have implemented a new windup in spring training. It seems as if he’s still working on some mechanics which may not fair well with a loaded Blue Jays lineup that could ruin a pitcher’s night in a hurry.
In the first 3 games of the season, no Yankees starter has gone more than 4.0 innings and even though the bullpen has done a fantastic job there comes a point where you run thin on pitching. With a Toronto lineup that’s putting up 6.6 runs per game, expect them to have a big night at the plate against Yankee pitching. Manoah should be able to be more effective than a slow starting Taillon, who if pulled early after running into trouble only turns the game over to a depleted bullpen. Back the team that’s putting up over a touchdown per night and go with Toronto.
ATL Braves -1.5WAS Nationals @ ATL Braves
The Braves did not have the easiest time in their first series since winning the World Series. But now the Masters is over and the state of Georgia can focus on the Braves. They have the luxury of remaining at home in Atlanta and welcoming a depleted Nationals team. The Braves have lost Freddie Freeman, but replacement Matt Olson already has Atlanta fans asking ‘Freddie who?’ He’s clearly comfortable in the #2 spot in the lineup, recording hits in all 3 games and his first home run yesterday. Clearly his impact was necessary as the Braves were able to only squeak out 1-run wins in the first 2 games against Cincinnati and struggled yesterday.
The Nationals will be coming down to Atlanta from the nation’s capital as far less of a threat than the Reds. New acquisition Nelson Cruz went yard for the first time as a Nat yesterday, and Juan Soto can do the same at any time. However, the rest of the lineup is incomplete and should struggle to keep up with the Braves. Not only do they miss Trea Turner in their lineup, the Nats also miss Max Scherzer in their rotation. Without great starting pitching, Atlanta should get to Washington’s bullpen early. That should be a recipe for a Braves win as the Nats’ bullpen arms were used heavily in their series against the Mets.
SEA Mariners WinSEA Mariners @ MIN Twins
This is the last game of a 4-game series to start the season. So far the Mariners are enjoying their close-game success again with 2 victories by just a run to start the series. They dropped the 3rd game, so now they are looking for a series win on Monday. Starting 3-1 on the road might validate some of their offseason moves. Minnesota was getting a lot of sleeper buzz in the week before the season started. I am not sure whether that was justified or whether being the 2nd-best team in a bad division is going to help them out. The key for them is going to be the consistency of their offense, because the pitching is probably better than you think. I love the top of their lineup with Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa. Last year Chris Flexen was a really nice surprise for the Mariners. If they are going to be in the hunt again this season, they are going to need him to perform well. Last year he had a higher ERA on the road but he was also 7-1 away from Safeco Field. He was 1-0 against Minnesota too.
The Twins are going with Dylan Bundy, who is now on his 3rd team. During the short pandemic season, he looked like he might have found something with the Angels, but last year he was a disaster in LA (ERA over 6). It is hard to like the outlook for him to be much better with Minnesota this season. Bundy is definitely going to be a fade for me this season (especially if he is the favorite). He has never followed through on his prospect ratings and I am not optimistic Minnesota can unlock him. Flexen should be good enough on the road for the Mariners to get back in the win column on Monday. Look for another close game, though. Take Seattle.
LA Angels WinMIA Marlins @ LA Angels
Both the Marlins and Angels had a tough draw out of the gates to the start the season, managing decent showings against the Giants and Astros respectively. For this matchup, there isn’t much that separates these starting pitchers in terms of finding an edge. Michael Lorenzen is a veteran with more experience, but he has started only 5 games since 2015. He has been most productive as a reliever, but his numbers last year were largely underwhelming. He follows up a 2021 campaign in which he posted a 5.59 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in 29 innings pitched. On the flip side, Miami starter Elieser Hernandez has yet to stay healthy and consistent in his 4-year career. In a game that may very well come down to offensive production, the Angels have a higher upside.
The Marlins’ offseason additions will surely improve on their performance in 2021. They don’t appear to be a pushover, but the Angels’ 1-4 of Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, Jared Walsh and Anthony Rendon is a gauntlet. If those guys stay healthy, that is as good a top of a lineup as there is in baseball. They have more pop and a higher ceiling than the best pieces of the Marlins lineup. The Angels have a good matchup in this series, starting with this game on Monday.
SD Padres WinSD Padres @ SF Giants
The San Diego Padres travel to San Francisco to take on the Giants in each team’s first true test of the season. As expected, the Padres won their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Giants took 2 of 3 from the Miami Marlins. This series could give a good indication of which team will be competing against the Dodgers down the stretch for the NL West. The Giants may have been the biggest surprise of last season after they won more games (107) than any team in MLB and won their division. The Padres ended last season on the outside looking in and are without Fernando Tatis Jr. until at least the middle of June. That being said, every early divisional game will be of the utmost importance until they get back the production of Tatis.
Game 1 will see Nick Martinez for the Padres opposite Alex Wood for the Giants. Martinez will be making his first appearance in a Major League game since 2017, after spending the last 4 seasons playing in Japan. The move to Japan appears to have been the correct one for Martinez after he went 10-5 with a 1.62 ERA over 149.2 innings. That’s a tremendous improvement from his Major League numbers that stand at 17-30 with a 4.77 ERA. Nine- year veteran Wood is coming off a productive 2021 season in which he went 10-4 with a 3.83 ERA. Over his career, left-handed batters are hitting .250 off Wood, so expect the Padres to be lefty-heavy at the plate. Even though Martinez hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2017, there can be an argument made that he actually has an advantage coming in. He has clearly improved his stuff and reports state his velocity increased while in Japan. Take the Padres in game 1.
KC Royals WinCLE Guardians @ KC Royals
On Monday, the Cleveland Guardians and the Kansas City Royals will conclude their opening series of the season at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals took each of the first 2 games of this set, winning 3-1 on Thursday and 1-0 on Saturday, but Cleveland rebounded for a 17-3 victory on Sunday. Today, the Guardians will send Aaron Civale to the hill as they go for a series split. He will be opposed by Carlos Hernandez. In Civale’s rookie campaign, he posted a 2.34 ERA, but that number was buoyed by a seemingly unearned .250 BABIP and a 6.6% home-run to fly-ball ratio. Since the beginning of 2019, Civale has seen his luck statistics regress to a .282 BABIP and a 16.7% home-run to fly-ball ratio, which has resulted in a 4.17 ERA and a 4.53 FIP in that span. Last summer, Civale ranked worse than the league average in hard-hit rate, xwOBA, xERA, xBA, xSLG, barrel percentage, strikeout percentage, whiff rate, and fastball velocity. He has excellent command and a 6-pitch mix, but that only gets a pitcher so far at the big-league level.
During the final month of last season, Hernandez delivered a 2.67 ERA and a 3.76 FIP. Still, he lacks elite swing-and-miss stuff, and command is an issue for him at times. Cleveland’s offense finally made the trip north from Spring Training, but there is still an undeniable lack of talent in this lineup. Hernandez was far from elite in 2021, but he remains good enough to keep the Royals competitive in this one before handing it off to a talented and rested bullpen. Bettors should trust Kansas City to get back in the win column on Monday.
STL Cardinals -1.5PIT Pirates @ STL Cardinals
While many teams wrapped up their opening series yesterday, the Pirates and Cardinals provide some Monday afternoon baseball. Pittsburgh had a rough start to their 2022 campaign getting outscored 15-2 in the first 2 games against St. Louis. They were able to find their bats yesterday, but they’ll have a tough time repeating that performance. There was a lot of anticipation for the Cardinals’ Steven Matz and the Pirates handled it well. However, the bottom of their lineup greatly overperformed compared to what we’re likely to see from them on a daily basis.
Daily consistency is exactly what is to be expected from the middle of St. Louis’ lineup. Tyler O’Neill and Nolan Arenado should have no issues continuing their hot start. Starting pitcher Zach Thompson will try to cool them off, but that’s a tall task in the first start of a sophomore season. It’s expected for Thompson to take some time before his innings are ramped up, implying the Cards’ bats will see a Pirates’ bullpen nice and early. Pittsburgh ended 2021 with a bullpen ERA of 5.08. Without any major improvements in that area, their relief arms should have a tough time against this Cardinals lineup. The Cardinals should handle this game similarly to the first 2 games and avoid splitting this series.
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MLB Under Over Picks
Over 9.5COL Rockies @ TEX Rangers
Over 9.5BOS Red Sox @ DET Tigers
Under 8.5OAK Athletics @ TB Rays