Our staff’s 5 best picks for Thursday, including Phillies vs. Marlins, Blue Jays vs. Yankees & More (April 14)

We are a week into the 2022 MLB season and have reached our first “getaway day” where a host of series are either underway or completed.

There are a total of 11 games on the board, including a series-opening tilt between the Cardinals and Brewers, and a series-final match between the Blue Jays and Yankees.

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

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

MLB Odds & Picks

St. Louis Cardinals Vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Pick
Cardinals +125
Order
PointsBet
Kander
Adam Wainwright Vs. Brandon Woodruff
First pitch
17:14 ET

Tanner McGrath: We get a red-hot Redbirds lineup with their aces on the mound at over +130 odds.

What not to like?

The general population is low on the Cardinals and I’m even betting on their overall win this season. But I’m ready to back them up here.

The Cardinals have posted a full 152 wRC + a week into the season, hitting .271 with a .874 OPS despite an below-average .271 BABIP. Meanwhile, Wainwright pushed into his first start, hitting six pointless while knocking out six Pirates and allowing no walks.

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

Meanwhile, the brewers’ bats have not figured it out. After an average of only 2.8 runs per. fight through their first five, the Brewers managed just three runs against the low Orioles, and the normally dominant back of the bullpen blew a two-run lead against – again – the low Orioles.

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

But the Cardinals lineup has a massive advantage. And like these two team trends, I can not help but support the Cardinals here at any cost above +130.


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St. Louis Cardinals Vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Pick
Cardinals +125
Order
PointsBet
Kander
Adam Wainwright Vs. Brandon Woodruff
First pitch
17:14 ET

Michael Arinze: The Milwaukee Brewers returned to .500 after winning the last two games of their series against the Orioles. Still, I would not be overly excited, given that Baltimore is one of three teams with only one win of the season.

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

Milwaukee’s bat is fighting again to start the year and is in 20th place with a wRC + of 87. It is worth noting that Milwaukee also does not get the production from its pitching staff as it is in 21st place with a 4 , 24 ERA. Usually, when it’s so early in the season, pitchers tend to have taken over against hits. With a shortened spring training this year, however, I think the throws are worse off.

On Thursday, Milwaukee sends Brandon Woodruff to the mound after a tough first start where he allowed seven runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Cubs. Usually I would like to support Woodruff to come back. However, he also struggled during the spring training and allowed 15 runs in 11 2/3 laps.

Woodruff must face a Cardinals team that has won the last three meetings with him on the mound. Milwaukee also have 0-6 in their last six starts. Although he finished with a 2.56 ERA in 2021, his 3.31 SIERA may herald the regression we could expect this season.

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

Since my model has this game closer to equal money, I think the Cardinals are worth a look and I would play them down to +115.


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St. Louis Cardinals Vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Pick
Brewers -140
Order
BetMGM
Kander
Adam Wainwright Vs. Brandon Woodruff
First pitch
17:14 ET

Jules Posner: Brandon Woodruff did not have the best debut of the season, but he has the ball again in Brewers’ home opening and he should bounce back.

Woodruff absolutely dominated at home last season to a 2.31 ERA with a 2.74 FIP in 2021. That comes with his career splits.

The Brewers’ offense was tasked with opening the season by playing at a hostile Wrigley Field against a team with a chip on the shoulder and a newly-assured Camden Yards. Not the best situations to get their offensive going.

But getting back to American Family Field will definitely boost morale and hopefully offensive production.

I’m always on board the Adam Wainwright train when he pitches at home, but I would betray him with a basket ball the second he sets foot elsewhere. I’m ready to do it again in this fight.

Wainwright did well away from home last season, but given the unbalanced schedule, it’s not very impressive to pick up victories against the Cubs and Pirates away at the end of the day.

The cards have the best offensive in MLB in terms of team wRC + at the moment, but they have not yet been challenged in the way they will be challenged by Brandon Woodruff.

Brewers ML looks great today.


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Philadelphia Phillies vs. Miami Marlins

Pick
Marlins -115
Order
PointsBet
Kander
Kyle Gibson Vs. Sandy Alcantara
First pitch
18:40 ET

DJ James: Sandy Alcantara loves to use her slider. He will throw it around 35% of the time. This works well for him because on the Phillies, only Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber have sent a .330 xwOBA or better against right-handed shooters.

Marlins, on the other hand, can hit real cutters and sinks. Gibson uses these two pitches combined more than 50% of the time. Every batsman on the team, except Jon Berti, Miguel Rojas and Payton Henry, has a .330+ or ​​better xwOBA on these courses.

This is a tough match for Kyle Gibson, even though he is a knowledgeable veteran and will know his way around the bulk of the Miami series.

The Philly bullpen has shown some big improvements here in the beginning, but this should not be a big advantage, considering that they are two of the best pitchers on each respective team.

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


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Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees

Pick
Yankees Team Total Over 4.5 (-110)
Order
DraftKings
Kander
Kevin Gausman vs. Luis Severino
First pitch
19:05 ET

Kenny Ducey: Kevin Gausman may have finished in sixth place in the Cy Young poll last year, but that was not thanks to the way he ended the season. The right-hander posted an ERA of 4.42 during the second half of 2021 in 15 starts, allowing an average of 0.276 and a home run for every 26th slaughterhouse on average.

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

All of this means that Gausman’s start to the season, allowing three runs on eight hits for the Rangers, is at least more worrying given what we saw late in the season from the right wing last year. It is also worth noting that the offenses he will encounter in the American league are likely to be more dangerous.

That’s what we have here in the Yankees. Although it is very early, I must note that New York has had a 55.2% hit rate and 15.2% barrel rate through six games, which seems to indicate that they are unlucky to collect only 21 runs over that time period. Both of these brands lead the major leagues, and they are a nightmare-like sight for Gausman, who has given up hit after hit since the All-Star break last year.

I will have no part in guessing whether Luis Severino is back or not, or fading this Blue Jays offensive. With that, I want to target the entire team.


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