Today’s MLB Prop Picks & Best Bets: Is There Value on Cardinals as Home ‘Dogs?
After a quiet day on Friday, Major League Baseball ramps back up with all 30 teams in action on a jampacked Saturday. Read on for our top MLB prop picks and best bets for Saturday based on the best MLB odds.
The pitch clock and bigger bases were two of the biggest rule changes in Major League Baseball entering this season, and both have had immediate impacts. On Opening Day, games were more than 40 minutes shorter on average than on Opening Day last year, and there were more stolen bases (21) in 15 games on Thursday than there were in the first full three days of the season in 2022.
The latter is worth monitoring as the season progresses from a player prop perspective.
Here are our top MLB prop picks and best bets for Saturday (odds via DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Saturday’s MLB schedule and odds
(odds via DraftKings)
- Chicago White Sox (+110) vs. Houston Astros (-130)
- Toronto Blue Jays (-130) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (+110)
- Milwaukee Brewers (-125) vs. Chicago Cubs (+105)
- Atlanta Braves (-250) vs. Washington Nationals (+210)
- Philadelphia Phillies (-130) vs. Texas Rangers (+110)
- San Francisco Giants (+120) vs. New York Yankees (-140)
- Los Angeles Angels (-165) vs. Oakland Athletics (+140)
- Baltimore Orioles (+140) vs. Boston Red Sox (-165)
- Detroit Tigers (+155) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (-180)
- Minnesota Twins (-165) vs. Kansas City Royals (+140)
- New York Mets (-130) vs. Miami Marlins (+110)
- Pittsburgh Pirates (+125) vs. Cincinnati Reds (-145)
- Colorado Rockies (+195) vs. San Diego Padres (-230)
- Arizona Diamondbacks (+215) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (-255)
- Cleveland Guardians (+115) vs. Seattle Mariners (-135)
Saturday’s MLB best bets
- Player prop: Nico Hoerner Over 1.5 total bases vs. Brewers (+140 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐
- Player prop: Jose Urena Under 3.5 strikeouts vs. Padres (-120 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Player prop: Mookie Betts Over 1.5 total bases vs. Diamondbacks (-110 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Upset: Cardinals vs. Blue Jays (+122 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐
Saturday’s MLB prop picks
Player prop: Nico Hoerner Over 1.5 total bases vs. Brewers (+140 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐
Much is expected of Hoerner this year, as the Cubs second baseman batted leadoff on Opening Day after just 9% of his plate appearances last year came in the top third of the batting order. Hoerner is coming off a year in which he set career highs in launch angle and maximum exit velocity, and many believe his first All-Star game nomination is not far off.
We are getting a reasonable price with this prop, as Hoerner is just 1-for-13 with three strikeouts in his career against Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff. However, Woodruff also allowed career highs last season in exit velocity and hard-hit percentage (37.5%), and his .282 wOBA was his worst in the previous four seasons. And though Woodruff ranked in the 89th percentile in K% last year, that is mitigated by Hoerner’s above-average 11% strikeout rate from a season ago.
It may be more tempting to take advantage of FanDuel’s +220 offer for Hoerner to record two-plus hits, but we will instead stick with this wager, as Hoerner can cash in with a double or better in just one at-bat.
Player prop: Jose Urena Under 3.5 strikeouts vs. Padres (-120 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
After joining the Rockies in July last year, Urena made two starts against the Padres and struck out four combined hitters over 10 innings. Urena has walked 13 current Padres hitters in 67 career at-bats and allowed a .358/.460/.537 slash line. That suggests his pitch count should rise early, and he will not be around long in this start.
Surprisingly, Juan Soto is the only player in San Diego’s Opening Day lineup with a whiff percentage greater than 26.7% against Urena. Still, he has also walked in 40% of his plate appearances, which means he is patient against the righty. And though Urena’s barrel percentage has decreased each of the last three seasons, last year was the first season of his career when he didn't generate at least a 30% whiff percentage on any of his four main pitches.
DraftKings offers the best value on this prop, as the Under 3.5 is juiced -141 or higher at Caesars and FanDuel.
Player prop: Mookie Betts Over 1.5 total bases vs. Diamondbacks (-110 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Of all players with a minimum of 10 at-bats against the pitcher they are facing today, only one has a higher OPS than Mookie Betts’ career 1.145 OPS against Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner was durable last season, making 30 starts for the second time since 2017. However, that also coincided with his worst single-season WAR (minus-0.7), largely because his 43.2% hard-hit percentage allowed was the second-worst of his career, and his 30.3% fly-ball rate was the highest.
Bumgarner ranked in the 11th percentile in barrel rate and the 13th percentile in hard-hit contact allowed last year. However, his numbers suggest further regression is expected, as his 4.88 ERA bested his 5.53 xERA.
This is a confident four-star play, as Betts tied for fourth with Aaron Judge with a 174 wRC+ against southpaws last year (min. 100 plate appearances).
Saturday’s MLB game picks
Upset: Cardinals ML vs. Blue Jays (+122 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐
St. Louis was one of four National League teams to win 53-plus games at home last year, so any time we can get it as a home ‘dog, we are jumping at the opportunity.
Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty is a bit of an unknown entering his first start of the season, given that he has made nine or fewer starts in two of the previous three seasons. However, he typically gets off to fast starts, as his career .778 winning percentage in March/April is his second-highest of any month. And he loves pitching at home, as he has posted a 2.84 ERA and 0.959 WHIP in 49 career home appearances (46 starts).
Though Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman is coming off a career-best 1.4 BB/9 rate, he will be challenged by a Cardinals lineup that ranked fifth in wOBA last season. In addition, three of St. Louis’ biggest bats (Nolan Arenado, Wilson Contreras, Paul Goldschmidt) have combined for four home runs in 28 at-bats off Gausman, while just four current Blue Jays have ever faced Flaherty.
This is a three-star play, as the Cardinals were a profitable 13-12 as home underdogs last season. Caesars offers the best value, with the best price at other sportsbooks being at +114.
MLB best bets made 4/1/2023 at 7:42 a.m. ET.
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