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MLB picks: Diamondbacks vs. Nationals, Tigers vs. A’s

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

April 15th, 2021

It’s Jackie Robinson Day, meaning all MLB players will don the No. 42 that the Dodgers’ trailblazing second baseman wore in his Hall of Fame career today.

We previewed a pair of games on this noteworthy occasion, starting with a clash between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals, and concluding with a look at the matchup between the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics.

Arizona Diamondbacks (4-8) at Washington Nationals (3-6), 7:05 p.m. ET

Thu, April 15 2021, 11:05 PM

WAS Nationals

Moneyline

-177

Spread

-1.5

Total

O 8

ARI Diamondbacks

Moneyline

+150

Spread

+1.5

Total

U 8

Bettors should expect a low-scoring game between the Diamondbacks and Nationals in our nation’s capital this Thursday night, especially early.

Merrill Kelly gets the nod for the visiting D-backs, looking to shake off a poor start to the campaign (0-2, 8.10 ERA). He makes his third road start of the season, but he won’t be doing so against a dynamite San Diego Padres lineup here, nor will he be in the hitter’s haven that is Coors Field.

Kelly faces a Washington lineup that’s 28th in runs per game (3.44), with the wind at his back to boot. He’s never faced the Nationals before, giving him a leg-up over hitters encountering him for the first time.

Patrick Corbin responds for the Nats, and he was tattooed by the outstanding Dodgers lineup in L.A. in his first start of 2021. Things should work out differently for Corbin at home, where he produced a 3.29 ERA last season (38 1/3 innings).

There’s value in taking the first five innings Under (4.5) here, instead of chancing it with the full game total (eight runs). Neither team’s bullpen inspires confidence, as Arizona’s relief corps is 16th by ERA (4.15), while Washington’s is 26th (5.22).

MLB pick: Under 4.5 runs first five innings (-125)


Detroit Tigers (6-6) at Oakland Athletics (5-7), 9:40 p.m. ET

Fri, April 16 2021, 1:40 AM

OAK Athletics

Moneyline

-177

Spread

-1.5

Total

O 8.5

DET Tigers

Moneyline

+150

Spread

+1.5

Total

U 8.5

The improving A’s offense should pounce on Tarik Skubal and the Tigers’ bullpen this Thursday night.

Skubal, 24, has shown promise when pitching at home in his brief MLB career, producing a 3.31 ERA and 0.796 WHIP (16 1/3 innings). But he’s been awful on the road, authoring a 7.92 ERA and 1.600 WHIP (25 innings). Skubal is unlikely to get much support from Detroit’s league-worst bullpen by ERA (6.65).

Oakland’s offense is firing on all cylinders after a disastrous start, averaging 7.25 runs per game over their last four tilts. Jed Lowrie has been swinging a hot bat in this stretch, going 8-for-18 (.444) with two homers and nine RBI.

A’s starter Sean Manaea squares off with the Tigers’ 18th-ranked offense by runs per game (4.08) in this one. He bounced back from an awful first start against the Houston Astros with six innings of one-run ball against the same opponent the following week.

Manaea was a much better pitcher at home than on the road in 2020 based on opponent batting average. Foes hit .302 against Manaea when he was on the road, but just .232 when he was at home.

MLB pick: A’s runline

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