MLB Betting Picks & Predictions for Friday, April 9th

With over a week of 2021 MLB action in the books, baseball bettors now have a decent sample size to go by when making their MLB picks and predictions. Just like every year, some players have started the season cold, and others have kicked off the campaign on a torrid pace.

At RotoGrinders, we have established a torrid pace of our own betting on the MLB at online sportsbooks. Yours truly has been providing baseball Bets of the Day twice a week—even including my favorite MLB parlays—and if you have been betting along with us, you’re already in the black.

On Tuesday, I crushed both my Spread Bets of the Day and improved my overall season record to 5-2. Let’s keep the Money Train rolling, and find some more winning MLB picks.

All MLB odds for this article are from BetMGM.

MLB Betting Picks — Friday, April 9

Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers

Pitching Matchup: Walker Buehler vs. Joe Ross
MLB Pick: Dodgers -2.5 (+100)

The defending-champion Dodgers make their 2021 home debut Friday, and stud No. 3 starter Walker Buehler will look to build off a quality start last Saturday against the Rockies. In his six-inning no-decision, Buehler allowed two runs (one homer) on four hits while striking out four. His velocity was not quite where we have seen it in the past, but his command was largely on point.

The Dodgers have the benefit of having played seven games (and winning five), while the Nationals have only played three (and won just one game). With multiple players still on the shelf due to COVID-19, Washington is far from ready to face the reigning champs. Due to rust, missing pieces, and having to fly cross-country to face one of the top young arms in the majors, I would avoid betting the Nats at all costs.

Furthering the case for betting LA, what little experience the Dodgers have against Joe Ross yields favorable results for Dave Roberts’ club. Shortstop Corey Seager is 5-for-5 lifetime with a homer and two RBI against the 27-year-old. Catcher Will Smith has gone 2-for-2 with a dinger, a double, and three RBI against him, while Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger have combined to go 3-for-4 with two RBI.

Buehler’s experience against Nationals hitters, meanwhile, has yielded great success (shout out, Borat). He has faced current Washington batters 61 times in his career, allowing only 13 hits (.213 batting average against). Shortstop Trea Turner and superstar outfielder Juan Soto have zero hits in 10 combined at-bats against Buehler. The only Nat to homer off the young ace is Gerardo Parra, who has gone just 4-for-17 lifetime against the 26-year-old.

Give me the World Series champions by three in their 2021 Dodger Stadium opener. The 2.5-run spread on BetMGM may seem risky, but the +100 reward feels worth it. The -275 moneyline, on the other hand, offers very little appeal.

Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians

Pitching Matchup: Zach Plesac vs. Julio Teheran
MLB Pick: Indians -185 ML

There’s a surprising amount of value in Plesac and the Indians here, as Teheran and the Tigers beat Plesac and the Tribe 5-2 at Comerica Park last Saturday. I don’t expect the same results Friday evening.

Plesac has stated he had some early-game butterflies going into his season debut, but he clearly worked through the jitters as he finished with just two earned runs in six innings. Now he gets to pitch at Progressive Field, a place he loves to call home. His career record at home is 6-2, a stark contrast to his 6-7 career record away from Progressive. Plesac owns a sparkly 1.14 ERA in four career starts against the Tigers.

The veteran Teheran, meanwhile, has only played at Progressive Field one time in his 11-year career. He owns a lifetime 5.59 ERA and 1.862 WHIP against Cleveland, and Indians hitters have enjoyed a slash line of .289/.400/.500 against the 30-year-old. We’ll take the Tribe at home with the younger, more promising starting pitcher.

San Diego Padres at Texas Rangers

Pitching Matchup: Joe Musgrove vs. Kohei Arihana
MLB Pick: Padres -190 ML

Most of my readers know at this point that I’m very keen on the Padres this season. Musgrove spun a gem in San Diego’s 7-0 win over the Diamondbacks last Saturday, striking out eight in six shutout innings. Dating back to last season, the six-year veteran has gone three consecutive games allowing no runs and three or fewer hits across six or more frames. Now he gets a free-swinging Rangers club that ranks in the top 10 in strikeouts with 63 on the young season.

For Texas, rookie Kohei Arihana will be making his second-career MLB start. The 28-year-old native of Japan surrendered three earned runs on six hits in five innings in an 11-4 loss to the Royals last Saturday. He struck out just one batter. Arihana obviously needs some time to adjust to the grind of the majors, and playing against San Diego one week into his MLB career probably won’t do wonders for his self-confidence.

The Padres have scored just eight runs across their last four games, a stretch that included a shoulder subluxation to star shortstop Fernando Tatis, Jr. But their offense remains light-years ahead of the Rangers, so Arihana should have an even rougher go Friday than he experienced against the Royals last week. I would confidently bet the Padres straight-up or against the spread, but I’m leaning toward taking the ML as the 1.5-run spread is at just -120.

MLB Moneyline Parlay of the Day

Los Angeles Dodgers (-275) vs. Washington Nationals (Walker Buehler vs. Joe Ross) – see above. The Dodgers remain the strongest, most complete ballclub in the majors, and the rusty Nats turn to an inconsistent starting pitcher on the road against the vastly superior Buehler.

Cleveland Indians (-185) vs. Detroit Tigers (Zach Plesac vs. Julio Teheran) – see above. Plesac has a great win-loss record at home, and a sparkling track record against the Tigers.

San Diego Padres (-190) at Texas Rangers (Joe Musgrove vs. Kohei Arihana) – see above. The lock of the day obviously makes the Parlay of the Day. This one could get ugly early.

Cincinnati Reds (-125) at Arizona Diamondbacks (Tyler Mahle vs. Taylor Widener) – the blows keep coming for the D-backs, who just added star second baseman to the IL with a hamstring strain. Mahle struck out nine Cardinals batters last weekend, with his four-seam velocity reaching 98 miles per hour. The Reds are the hottest offense in baseball, and I like them to spoil Arizona’s home-opening fun Friday night.

Total Parlay Odds: +476

Bet: $100 | To Win: $476| Total Payout: $576

MLB Spread Parlay of the Day

Los Angeles Dodgers -2.5 (+100) vs. Washington Nationals (Walker Buehler vs. Joe Ross) – I’m all-in on this game. It’s the World Series winners’ home opener, it’s Walker Buehler vs. Joe Ross, and the Nats are flying cross-country with COVID hangovers. Make it rain with LA.

Houston Astros -1.5 (+110) vs. Oakland Athletics (Lance McCullers, Jr. vs. Sean Manaea) – The Astros have been one of the hotter offenses out of the gate, and they rocked Manaea to the tune of five earned runs last Sunday. McCullers, meanwhile, has been sharp—in five innings last Saturday in Oakland, he struck out seven Athletics and allowed one earned run on two hits. Houston outscored Oakland a combined 35-9 in the Opening Weekend series sweep.

Cincinnati Reds -1.5 (+120) at Arizona Diamondbacks (Tyler Mahle vs. Taylor Widener) – Mahle has a scorcher of a four-seam fastball, and he struck out nine batters last week (good for a 42.9% K rate). The Diamondbacks just placed their best hitter, second baseman Ketel Marte, on the IL with a strained hamstring. The Reds lead the MLB in runs (57), home runs (14), RBI (54), average (.316), slugging (.602), and OPS (1.002).

Total Parlay Odds: +824

Bet: $100 | To Win: $824 | Total Payout: $924

MLB Odds For Friday

Image Credit: Imagn

About the Author

  • Sloan Piva (SloanPiva)

  • Sloan Piva is a veteran of the sports journalism industry, and a freelance sports betting analyst. He received his master’s degree in Professional Writing from the University of Massachusetts, and currently resides in East Bay, Rhode Island with his wife and daughter. He covers the MLB, NFL, NBA, NCAA, and PGA, as well as anything related to fantasy sports and sports betting. Shoot him an email anytime at SloanPiva@gmail.com!

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