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MLB Picks for April 9: Baseball Best Bets, Predictions, Odds on DraftKings Sportsbook

Nick Friar provides MLB betting trends along with his best bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for April 9.

MLB: Spring Training-Houston Astros at Washington Nationals Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve got a full slate on MLB action on Saturday. Fifteen games are being spread out throughout the day, and we’ll get things started with the earlier action.

Follow along on Twitter (@Nick_Friar) for updates.

All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Cardinals -1.5 +120
Cardinals over 4.5 runs -105

In case you missed the Cardinals’ opener, they dismantled the Pirates. Everything was clicked for St. Louis. Now, Miles Mikolas might have similar success to Adam Wainwright. But he might not either. Thing is, he won’t need to. Because he’ll be opposite Mitch Keller on Saturday.

After seemingly putting things together in the abbreviated 2020 MLB season, Keller struggled again throughout 2021. Although he put together a good spring, that doesn’t always translate. For Pittsburgh’s right-hander, history would indicate it won’t.

Keller has made 10 March/April starts throughout his MLB career, posting a career 8.20 ERA across that stretch. But it doesn’t end there. Opponents have posted a .410 wOBA and .979 OPS against him in that same time frame.

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Toronto Blue Jays vs. Texas Rangers

George Springer over 1.5 total bases +115

For all the noise the Jays made on Friday, their leadoff man was pretty quiet. Sure, he walked in two of his five plate appearances and scored twice, but he was not one of the Toronto hitters to take part in the hit parade. Missing out against Jon Gray — OK, fine. Missing out against Dan Dunning — not going to happen.

The Rangers’ Saturday starter gave up 126 hits across 117 2/3 innings last season. Lefties did hit him a little harder, accounting for 24 of the 43 extra-base hits he surrendered in his 27 outings (of which, 25 were starts). However, nine of the 13 homers Dunning gave up were hit by right-handers.

Although Springer didn’t necessarily hit well against righties from an average standpoint (.252), he hit for plenty of power against them throughout 2021 (.299 ISO). And after a quiet day in Toronto’s opener, he’s due to make some noise.

Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels

Justin Verlander under 6.5 strikeouts -135

At the ripe age of 39, Verlander is making his return to MLB regular season action after missing all of 2021 and all but one game in 2020. He’ll still be effective, as much as he won’t look like his younger self. (Who does?) But, asking him to go over this number in his first game back is too much of an ask.

The right-hander averaged just over a strikeout per inning throughout the spring, finishing with 15 in 13 2/3 innings. He could still get a number of strikeouts vs. the Angels, but length is more the problem. Although Verlander has always been good about pacing himself, there needs to be some level of management with the right-handers’ workload at this stage if the Astros intend to contend again. Trying to push him too far in his first game of the year isn’t exactly the best way to go about that.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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