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MLB Picks for April 7: Baseball Best Bets, Predictions, Odds on DraftKings Sportsbook

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

We’ve got yet another afternoon-heavy MLB slate on Friday, with several teams doing their home opener for the 2023 season. However, for the purposes of clarity — and article longevity — we’ll be focusing on tonight’s action that get’s going past 7:00 p.m. ET. It’s been a very successful start to the year, as we’re 6-2 on article plays and are up 4.2 units.

Let’s try to keep the good times rolling as we head into the weekend.

Washington Nationals at Colorado Rockies

MacKenzie Gore Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+110)

This prop seems one strikeout too low, right? While no one needs me to acknowledge that pitching at Coors Field is a nightmare, Gore is coming off one of the best starts of his career, holding a powerful Braves lineup to just a single run over 5.1 innings of work. That game might have not been in the altitude, but Atlanta had the second-best wOBA against LHPs in 2022, so it’s not like it was a stroll in the park, either. Gore struggled with free passes in that victory, yet still wound up with six strikeouts and a 12.9% swinging strike rate on 93 total pitches. We know he has the raw stuff to succeed at this level, and he’s fully built up. Check and check.

The key to this bet is the matchup. As you would expect when looking at their roster, the Rockies have been awful in the batter’s box so far in 2023, limping along to a putrid 67 wRC+. The biggest issue? Making contact. Colorado enters play on Friday in possession of the league’s fourth-highest strikeout rate at 27.0%. Five of the Rockies “everyday” lineup options currently own a personal strikeout rate of at least 28.0%, including Elehuris Montero, Ryan McMahon and Ezequiel Tovar, who all have rates above 33.0%. No team has chased pitches out of the strike zone at a higher clip (38.1%). No team has a higher swinging strike rate (15.2%). If Gore can last five innings, he should rack up five strikeouts through sheer osmosis.

Toronto Blue Jays at Los Angeles Angels

Chris Bassitt Over 5.5 Hits Allowed (-110)

It is far too early to call Bassitt cooked, but let’s review what we know at this juncture in April. Bassitt has always been a deliberate pitcher. Part of his slower pace is intentional — the veteran has spoken in the past about purposefully shaking off pitches to disrupt opponent timing — but part of it is almost certainly the fact that the right-hander throws an insane amount of pitch types and it sometimes takes awhile for he and his catcher to get on the same page. That process might be particularly difficult when working with a new backstop, on a new team, with a pitch clock suddenly counting you down. If you want an optimistic view on Bassitt’s first outing of 2023, there’s how you frame it.

If you want to be a realist, the 34-year-old’s fastball velocity was way down from where it sat in 2022 and Bassitt got demolished by a good Cardinals lineup. The RHP faced 19 batters and did not strikeout a single one. In fact, Bassitt registered just four whiffs on his 57 total pitches. Of the 19 batted ball events St. Louis generated, five were barrels and 12 were classified as hard hit — having an exit velocity of at least 95 mph. To Bassitt’s credit, he didn’t shy away and start nibbling, he stayed in the zone and didn’t walk an opposing hitter, but that’s a pretty simply formula for surrendering a ton of hits. The Cardinals racked up 10 this past Sunday. I think the Angels can manage six this evening.

Shohei Ohtani Over 1.5 Total Bases (+110)

There’s a decent amount of correlation here. If you’re of the opinion that Bassitt is going to struggle on Friday, it’s rather likely that Ohtani is playing a large part in those issues. The former MVP has been his usual self at the dish so far in 2023, slashing .286/.400/.571 with a 162 wRC+ in 25 plate appearances. He’s also left-handed. That’s important. In that aforementioned outing against the Cardinals, Bassitt faced 11 LHBs. They proceeded to go 7-for-10 (.700) with four home runs. For those keeping track at home, that’s a slugging percentage of 2.000. Small sample, but certainly a red flag.

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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.