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MLB Picks for April 21: Baseball Best Bets, Predictions, Odds on DraftKings Sportsbook

Garion Thorne gives his best bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for Friday’s MLB betting card.

San Diego Padres v New York Mets Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

Well, we’ve reached the end of another work week. To celebrate, let’s watch baseball all night. All 30 teams are in action on Friday, with 12 games getting going past 7:00 p.m. ET. It’s a huge slate filled with betting opportunities on the DraftKings Sportsbook.

We’re 11-8 and up 3.0 units on article plays for the season. Let’s keep building that bankroll on the diamond.

New York Mets at San Francisco Giants

Mets ML (+100)

While Anthony DeSclafani has been quite good to begin 2023, it’s hard to get too excited about his results. That the right-hander owns a 1.42 ERA and hasn’t walked a batter over 19.0 innings is obviously encouraging, yet the fact that DeSclafani has yet to face a team outside the American League Central looms large. The Royals and the Tigers might have the worst lineups in baseball and the White Sox aren’t exactly setting the world on fire, either. Tonight, he’ll get a chance to truly test his mettle, as the Mets own the league’s eighth-highest wRC+ (108) and its second-lowest strikeout rate (17.9%). It’s a massive step-up in competition.

On the other side of the pitching matchup we find Joey Lucchesi, who is set to make his first MLB start since 2021. That might not sound all that tantalizing from a betting perspective, but Lucchesi has a notable advantage in this spot: He’s left-handed. San Francisco comes into Friday’s action in possession of a .267 wOBA and a 63 wRC+ within the split — each the second-lowest mark in all of baseball. If Lucchesi can supply New York with five quality innings, that should be more than enough to propel the Mets past a lowly Giants squad that’s lost six of its last seven games.

Joey Lucchesi Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+105)

Let’s double-dip, shall we? As I mentioned above, it’s been awhile since we’ve seen Lucchesi take the mound in a major league contest, yet we do have a 337.2 inning sample to play with. In that opportunity, Lucchesi has proven himself to be a very capable strikeout pitcher. To wit, the lefty owns a career 24.5% strikeout rate. If that’s not enough, Lucchesi has managed to rack up 16 strikeouts in 15.2 innings of work in Triple-A so far in 2023.

Still, as you might imagine, this has more to do with the Giants than Lucchesi himself. San Francisco currently owns the league’s highest strikeout rate at a whopping 27.0% — a number that jumps to an even more underwhelming 28.8% when the team is opposed to a left-handed hurler. The Giants also sport baseball’s lowest overall contact rate at 72.8%. At this point, I’d take anyone with a pulse to hit the over on this prop at plus-money.

Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers

JP Sears Under 4.5 Strikeouts (+100)

This prop isn’t aggressively high by any means — Sears is averaging four strikeouts per start so far in 2023 — yet the fact that the under is paying out even money is interesting. Sears is not a huge strikeout pitcher. He’s posted a 17.9% strikeout rate in his brief MLB career and sits in just the 29th percentile of pitchers in that metric this season. Not surprisingly, that’s led to a scenario where Sears has only managed to clear this prop in four of the 14 starts he’s made at this level since the beginning of 2022.

It’s also not like the Rangers strikeout all that much, particularly against southpaws like Sears. Texas enters the day with a minuscule 19.4% strikeout rate within the split — the fifth-lowest mark in the league. That’s probably has a lot to do with the Rangers’ overall approach and bat-to-ball skills as a team. Texas currently owns the lowest chase rate of any club in the American League (28.0%), while it’s 9.9% swinging strike rate is the lowest mark in the junior circuit, as well.

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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.