This article is part of our MLB Betting series.
Previous day: 0-3, -4.0 RWBucks
Season: 20-30, -9.72 RWBucks
The good thing about winless days is they make the math easier.
We've kept things pretty conversational here, so I'm going to break the fourth wall with you today. I've been getting my rear end kicked this month, and it's 75 degrees and sunny outside right now. I don't have a lot to say to you today, or a lot of motivation to stay inside until I come up with something. So one time, we're going to skip the introduction, give you the picks, and then go...man, it doesn't even matter as long as it's outside.
Come Friday we'll do a breakdown of the first four weeks of picks. Until then, get some sun. After the last 13 months, you've earned it.
6:30 p.m. Pirates (Mitch Keller) +104 over Royals (Mike Minor)
The Royals' 14-8 breaks down as 6-1 in one-run games, and 8-7 in all others. A team's record in one-run games is mostly luck, with the bullpen being a small factor on the margins. Their being a road favorite here is an overprice, especially against Mitch Keller. Once a top prospect, Keller hasn't been quite the same pitcher since being jerked up and down by the Pirates in 2019. He has a 7.16 ERA so far, but hasn't pitched nearly that poorly – it's two average starts, one disaster, and one middling quick hook. He's gained velocity back on his four-seamer, and has been a bit unlucky on contact so far. Look for his first quality start this evening. 1 RWBuck.
7 p.m. Yankees (Domingo German)/Orioles (Dean Kremer) over 9.5 (-106)
This is where you see the books making adjustments for the new baseball. Two years ago this would have been 10.5 and maybe minus juice on top of it. We're wrapping up an April that will feature the lowest batting average of any month since the mound was lowered and the strike zone made smaller in 1969, and one of the lowest OBPs since then.
The new ball has drained some, if not all, of the power out of the game. I was wrong about this series Monday (Yankees -1.5) and wrong about it yesterday (Yankees TT over 5.5), so let's go for the sweep on a warm, increasingly muggy night at Camden Yards. These two starters just do not warrant a 9.5 number. 2 RWBucks.
7:45 p.m. Cardinals (Johan Oviedo) -109 over Phillies (Vince Velasquez)
The ongoing desire to make Vince Velasquez a starter simply eludes me. Since the start of 2017, Velasquez has allowed 5.28 R/9 while going just 4 2/3 innings per start. The Phillies are 31-45 when he starts over the last five seasons. There's no such thing as free money – Johan Oviedo is basically still a prospect, the Cardinals can't hit, baseball happens – but given a chance to fade Velasquez, take it. 1.5 RWBucks.