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MLB Betting Picks for Saturday 4/3 - Moneylines, Totals, and Runlines

If you're expecting Steve Janik's picks today, then I'm afraid you're in for a disappointment. Steve will be continuing to do the weekdays and I'll be deputizing for the Saturday slates. As well as covering baseball at RotoBaller, I also do the EPL soccer betting pieces so have experience of both aspects and will hopefully help you make some money this season.

Like with my soccer articles, I want to remind you that gambling should be fun. When the fun stops, stop. Never bet more than you're willing to lose. I'm no professional gambler, just a guy who loves the game and likes a bet. But I'll still be giving 100% in my research to make us some money. Everything I put here, I'll be backing myself so we're in this together. I'll also be keeping track of only my picks so I don't drag Steve's numbers down.

We have been really increasing our sports betting content at RotoBaller, and this year will be no different. Tommy Bell will be handling things over in our premium offering, Steve will be carrying the free picks on weekdays throughout the season with some help from yours truly. Early on in the season, our plays will be smaller in volume, as we have very little info on teams and players. As things start to progress, expect to see more action. Let's make some money and have fun. but remember, please gamble responsibly!

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2021 MLB Betting Picks

Moneyline Record: 0-0
O/U Record: 0-0
Runline Record: 0-0
Prop Record: 0-0
2021 Total Record: 0-0


San Francisco Giants at Seattle Mariners

O/U: 8.5 | Moneyline: SEA +100, SFG -120

SFG: Logan Webb; SEA: Chris Flexen

The Giants' Opening Day defeat was creative, blowing a five-run lead in the bottom of the eighth inning then three straight walks saw the Mariners walk it off in the tenth. Given their bullpen was decent in 2020 (4.24 ERA), the manner of the defeat is concerning. On the plus side, they managed to score seven runs themselves. Saturday's starter Webb had a 5.36 ERA last year, although his xFIP and SIERA suggest he was a bit better than that. The Giants ranked 11th in OPS versus right-handed pitching last year so their offense has been solid, if not spectacular.

The Mariners are sending Flexen to the mound and despite a 3.01 ERA in the KBO (Korean Baseball Organisation) last year, prior to that he was dreadful in MLB with a career 8.07 ERA. Many scouts believe the KBO is similar to Double-A in regards to their comparative ability, which goes some way to explaining Flexen's success. The Mariners bullpen last year was 5.92 (3rd worst) and their biggest addition to it this offseason was Rafael Montero who blew the save on Opening Day. Their offense does look improved with the addition of Ty France and the return of Mitch Haniger, both of whom should more than offset the loss of Kyle Lewis to the IL.

The Mariners and Giants played each other four times last year, with the Giants winning all four games. Every game had at least ten runs scored in them and Opening Day saw them combine for 15 runs. I prefer the Mariners offense but their pitching makes it hard to back them to win the game. With both starting pitchers having low strikeout numbers, high ERAs and questionable bullpens, we should see plenty of runs in this one.

Pick: Run line over 8.5 (-115) 1 Unit


Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs

O/U: 11 | Moneyline: CHC -167, PIT +152

PIT: Tyler Anderson; CHC: Jake Arrieta

These next two picks I'm a little more apprehensive about going all-in on but think there is a bit of value to be had, hence only half a unit on each.

The Pirates had a .612 OPS versus right-handed pitching last year which was the worst in the Major League. Meanwhile, the Cubs had a .619 OPS versus left-handed pitching last year, second-worst in the Major League. Opening day saw them combine for eight runs on 11 hits and their 11 games last year combined for 80 runs (average of 7.27 per game). Neither offense fills me with confidence and if any team puts together a big inning, it will likely come once the bullpens get called into action, which is entirely possible given both team's relief pitchers.

Pick: Under 6 runs 1st 5 innings (-110) 0.5 Units


Minnesota Twins at Milwaukee Brewers

O/U: 7.5 | Moneyline: MIL -127, MIN +117

MIN: Jose Berrios; MIL: Corbin Burnes

The Twins blew a three-run lead in the bottom of the ninth on Opening Day, with new reliever Alex Colome blowing the save despite all three runs being unearned. Josh Hader then struck out the side in the tenth inning before the Brewers walked it off. Having an off day Friday, the Brewers bullpen aces will be rested and can go again Saturday which gives them an edge.

The Twins will again be without Nelson Cruz in the starting lineup due to there being no DH and they lost Josh Donaldson through injury. The Brewers offense looks the better of the two teams and their bullpen also contains the aforementioned Hader and 2020 NL Rookie of the Year Devin Williams. Both starting pitchers should be pretty evenly matched, so the Brewers look the more likely winner in what should be another close game.

I generally avoid taking the runline when backing the home team to win (especially in a game I expect to be close). In a tied game in the ninth inning or beyond, it's less likely the home team wins by two or more runs, as we saw between these two teams on Opening Day.

Pick: Brewers Moneyline (-127) 0.5 Units


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