Expert MLB best bets, picks and predictions today, 4/10: Dylan Cease’s Blazing Start

We are almost two weeks into the MLB season, and teams are beginning to show their form. Monday features a busy schedule with 14 MLB games, and there are plenty of betting opportunities, so let’s dive into my top MLB bets for Monday, and don’t forget to check out all our MLB predictions and parlay for the games taking place today.

CHI White Sox

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Key Stats
– Cease is boasting 18 strikeouts and a 14.3 K/9 rate.
– Yankees right-hander Domingo German has only achieved a 6-11 record over the past three seasons.
– The Dodgers have had a slow start to the season, with a 5-5 record after suffering three consecutive defeats to the Diamondbacks.

MLB 1st best pick today: Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins, First Five Innings Under 3.5 (+100)

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In 2021, White Sox star Dylan Cease led the league with a 12.3 K/9 rate. With the 2023 season just a couple of weeks in, Cease is on track to surpass that number, boasting 18 strikeouts (fourth-highest in the majors) and a 14.3 K/9 rate.

This season, Cease has had eight and ten strikeouts, and in two games against the Twins last year, he had 15 strikeouts. Although the Twins are tied for 11th in the lowest strikeout percentage (20.9%), four hitters expected in today’s lineup (Carlos Correa, Nick Gordon, Michael Taylor, and Trevor Larnach) have struck out in at least 40% of their career at-bats against Cease (all with 10+ at-bats).

This contributes to Cease holding current Twins to a .134/.193/.262 slash line and 32 strikeouts in 82 combined at-bats. In contrast, Minnesota’s Kenta Maeda struck out 50% of batters in his first start, with his .199 xwOBA significantly lower than the MLB average of .315.

The Over has been successful in 10 of Chicago’s last 11 games with a projected total between 7.0 and 8.5, while the Under has been successful in seven of Minnesota’s last nine home games against right-handed starters. Furthermore, the Under is 7-0-1 in the Twins’ last eight games against starters with a WHIP below 1.15, leading us to back the Under for the first five innings with two strong pitchers on the mound.

MLB 2nd best pick today: Cleveland Guardians ML (-152) over New York Yankees

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Although Cleveland lost its initial home series this season to Seattle, the Guardians managed to prevent a sweep by securing a 12-inning victory in a game where they were down 3-1 in the ninth inning. So, we expect them to take this momentum into their game against the Yankees, where they have a big advantage in starting pitchers.

Yankees right-hander Domingo German has only achieved a 6-11 record over the past three seasons, after leading the league with a .818 winning percentage in 2019. In his first start, German struck out 44.4% of batters, placing him in the 93rd percentile for whiff percentage among all pitchers. However, he also allowed considerable hard contact, ranking in the sixth and eighth percentile for barrel percentage and xSLG. On the other hand, Guardians ace Shane Bieber is known for his strong starts, with his 2.87 ERA, 0.982 WHIP, and 11.2 K/9 rate in March/April starts being the second-best in any month of his career.

The Yankees rarely find themselves as underdogs, as it generally requires a significant pitching advantage for them to be at plus odds. Since 2018, New York has won 44% of its games as underdogs (48-61), but they are justifiably underdogs today against a former Cy Young Award winner. The Yankees have a 2-6 record in their last eight road games, while the Guardians boast a 32-12 record in their last 44 games overall.

MLB 3rd best pick today: Los Angeles Dodgers ML (-140) over San Francisco Giants

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The Dodgers have had a slow start to the season, with a 5-5 record after suffering three consecutive defeats to the rising Diamondbacks team. They now head to San Francisco for their first rivalry series of the season. Both teams are bringing out their aces, with Julio Urias starting for the Dodgers and Logan Webb for the Giants.

Although this matchup would have been a prime NRFI spot last season, there appears to be a more intelligent bet for this game. Urias has consistently dominated the Giants, allowing only one earned run in his last 18 innings against San Francisco. He has made 13 appearances and 9 starts at Oracle Park, posting a 2.45 ERA and a .236 opponent batting average.

Urias’ history and left-handed pitching give him an edge, especially considering the Giants rank last in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS against left-handed pitchers this season. Furthermore, San Francisco has a 44% strikeout rate when facing southpaws.

Webb, on the other hand, has become the new star pitcher for the Giants, but he has trouble beating his division rival. In 10 career starts against the Dodgers, Webb has a 2-4 record, a 4.44 ERA, and a .259 opponent batting average. The top of the Los Angeles lineup has been particularly challenging for Webb, with Mookie Betts hitting .435, Freddie Freeman hitting .500, and Max Muncy hitting .300 against him.

The Dodgers are ranked third in OPS against right-handed pitching this season, making Webb a likely target. With the Dodgers projected as -160 favorites, there is value in their money line at -140.

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Patrick Culhane
Father of two beautiful kids. Grew up around sports, still waiting for the Vikings to win the Super Bowl. Is very adamant that Breaking Bad is the best tv show ever.