Astros vs. Rangers & Other MLB Bets & Expert Picks for Friday, April 12

Astros vs. Rangers & Other MLB Bets & Expert Picks for Friday, April 12

This article is part of our MLB Picks series.

MLB Bets and Expert Picks for 

Friday, April 12

YTD 16-15 (+0.10 units)

Prior article 3-1 (+2.36 units) 

Prior article review

  • Royals ML for 1 unit (DraftKings +110) 
    • I am a HUGE fan of this Royals team right now and will continue to ride them when there is value. They are looking a lot like the 2023 Orioles in that oddsmakers just have not caught up to them yet. I did get lucky in that they won 4-3 in extra innings.
  • Phillies/Cardinals UNDER 4 runs F5 for 0.75 unit (BetMGM -120)
    • Game ended up 3-0 after 5 and fit my system play of going UNDER F5 when there are two strong starting pitchers with a moneyline between 100 and 150. 
  • Dodgers -1.5 for 1 unit (DraftKings -118)
    • Dodgers jumped out to a 6-0 lead and Glasnow hit 14 strikeouts against the Twins, who are striking out at alarming rates right now. There are spots to pick for the Dodgers and this day fit the system (huge edge in starting pitching matchup). Dodgers bullpen allowed 3 runs late which is something to watch.
  • Giants OVER 2.5 runs F5 for 0.5 unit (ESPN BET +105)
  • Giants OVER 4.5 runs for 0.5 unit (DraftKings -105) 
    • I voided both of these once Josiah Gray was scratched. 
  • SGP BONUS - Shohei Ohtani 4+ total bases; Glasnow 7+ strikeouts; Dodgers -1.5 for 0.25 unit (DraftKings +425)
    • This one hurt as we hit 2/3 legs and then Ohtani got 2 total bases which should have been the play. I got too aggressive. 

MLB Unit Betting Guide (Here is a basic guideline that I use when it comes to betting baseball and knowing what unit value to place on each bet)

  • 1 unit (Moneyline / Run Line strongest plays)
  • 0.75 unit (ML/RL medium plays, Totals, Pitcher Props – Ks, Outs – F5)
  • 0.50 unit (Pitcher Props – Earned runs – Hitter Props – TB, HRRBI – Team Totals, F5 Run Line/Totals)
  • 0.25 unit (Parlays, HR Props)

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Kansas City Royals at New York Mets  

Another situation where I think we get the slightly better pitcher in Michael Wacha against Luis Severino at plus money. I professed my love for the Royals above and will continue to ride them in a spot where I think there is strong value. 

This Royals lineup 1-6 is producing some deadly numbers and they have won seven in a row. Bobby Witt is now +950 (3rd) in AL MVP Futures odds. 

The Royals have allowed three runs or less in seven straight games. So not only are they leading MLB in hard-hit and barrel rate, they are limiting opponents from scoring. 

The Mets have bounced back lately from their rough start, but I still will lean on the road dog here who I think should be favored. 

MLB Picks for Royals at Mets

  • Royals ML for 1 unit (DraftKings +105)

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Washington Nationals at Oakland Athletics  

There are not many times where the A's are favored, but this would be the ideal spot in that they are at home with a significant edge in starting pitching with Paul Blackburn against Jake Irvin.

Blackburn's first two starts have been solid and he was much better at home in 2023 versus on the road. (HOME 3.57 ERA, 1.32 WHIP versus ROAD 5.33 ERA, 1.78 WHIP). Oakland is 5-1 SU in Blackburn's last six home starts. 

Irvin has a 5.73 ERA and 1.36 WHIP through two starts with nine strikeouts in 11 innings. His Achilles heel is the 4.0 BB/9 that will hurt him against the A's, who can chip away while getting runners on. 

Neither pitcher is going to set the world on fire and I think we could see some runs scored in this game, but I will stick with the side on the A's.

MLB Picks for Nationals at Athletics 

  • Athletics ML for 0.75 unit (BetMGM -130)

Texas Rangers at Houston Astros  

Two of the best offenses on paper against two questionable starting pitchers (Dane Dunning and J.P. France) is usually a recipe for an OVER and the total is 9.5 but could be climbing.  

We also have some batter versus-pitcher-matchups to exploit with Corey Seager against France and Yordan Alvarez against Dunning.  Alvarez is 4-for-12 against Dunning with two home runs while Seager is 4-for-8 against France with two home runs also.  Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucke, and Jeremy Pena have favorable numbers against Dunning. 

If you want to go even more on this game – I would look at some HR props along with SGPs on the Astros bats. 

MLB Picks for Rangers at Astros 

  • Rangers/Astros OVER 9.5 runs for 0.5 unit (BetRivers -102)
  • Yordan Alvarez OVER 1.5 total bases for 0.5 unit (DraftKings -105)
  • Corey Seager OVER 1.5 total bases for 0.5 unit (DraftKings -110)
  • SGP - Alvarez/Seager/Adolis Garcia 4+ Total bases for 0.25 unit (FanDuel +3383)
    • For example if your unit size is $20-25; this is a $4-5 bet that pays out $135-$170. You do not want to fire many of these but it is a situational and very low unit play. 
    • This game could explode in a huge way and there is potential to hit a nice bomb. You can mix and match with some of the other hitters (Marcus Semien, Kyle Tucker, Jose Altuve) and even bring it down off four total bases and go with two or three. (Same SGP at 2+TB is +650, 3+TB is +1900)

Colorado Rockies at Toronto Blue Jays

You know how much I HATE the Rockies on the road, but hear me out. I would never advocate taking them on the moneyline, but we are getting the Rockies at +1.5 at EVEN money.

Kevin Gausman has not looked good early on and there is a velocity dip. He got rocked in his last start against the Yankees for five earned runs in 1.1 innings. Ryan Feltner had 10 strikeouts in his last start against the Rays in COORS. 

Baseball is all about grabbing value when you can. You never want to lay -200 with a questionable pitcher and team that is not hitting. On the flip side, taking the Rockies outright is just too risky. Get the insurance of +1.5 runs with the hopes we get a 5-4 type game. 

MLB Picks for Rockies at Blue Jays 

  • Rockies +1.5 runs for 0.5 unit (BetMGM +100)

MLB Best Bets Today Recap

  • Royals ML for 1 unit (DraftKings +105)
  • Athletics ML for 0.75 unit (BetMGM -130)
  • Rangers/Astros OVER 9.5 runs for 0.5 unit (BetRivers -102)
  • Yordan Alvarez OVER 1.5 total bases for 0.5 unit (DraftKings -105)
  • Corey Seager OVER 1.5 total bases for 0.5 unit (DraftKings -110)
  • SGP - Alvarez/Seager/Adolis Garcia 4+ Total bases for 0.25 unit (FanDuel +3383)
  • Rockies +1.5 runs for 0.5 unit (BetMGM +100)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Rathburn
Known as “Rath” in the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) community, he has helped run operations for two prominent daily fantasy sports startups. Michael has taken his insider knowledge and expertise in daily fantasy sports to the content side. Rath won the 2016 FSWA "Baseball Article of the Year, Online" award and was a finalist for the FSWA Best Baseball Series in 2011.
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