TheRX’s Top 3 MLB Picks for April 24: Guardians In Great Spot Behind Quantrill

Cal Quantrill Cleveland Guardians v New York Yankees
Cal Quantrill #47 of the Cleveland Guardians reacts after a double play against the New York Yankees. Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP

It’s a busier than usual Monday around the major leagues that includes a marquee matchup between AL contenders Houston and Tampa Bay. That’s one of three betting picks we have with MLB odds from the top-rated books for Monday. 

Picks Summary

  • • Guardians ML (-196)
  • • Rays ML (-127)
  • • Reds +1.5 (-175) 

Colorado Rockies vs. Cleveland Guardians

Monday, April 24, 2023 – 06:10 PM EDT at Progressive Field

This is the first game of the night, available to stream on ESPN+. The Rockies are truly terrible right now with one victory in their past 12.

Colorado won its first two road games of the season and has just one away victory since. The team has made an MLB-high 17 errors and allowed an MLB-most 17 unearned runs. 

It’s not clear if Kris Bryant will be in the lineup for this game, as he wasn’t for Sunday’s loss in Philadelphia with a hip issue. Bryant is having a solid year, batting .288 with three homers. Charlie Blackmon is sitting at 890 career runs scored, two shy of tying Larry Walker for the second-most in franchise history.

The Guardians are at .500 after avoiding a home sweep vs. Miami with a 7-4 win Sunday. Needing a home run for the cycle in the eighth inning; Amed Rosario’s line drive to left hooked foul and he settled for an infield hit. He finished 4-for-5 with three runs scored.

The Starters

Cleveland starts right-hander Cal Quantrill (1-1, 4.15 ERA) on the mound here, and historically the right-hander has been so much better at home – just not yet in 2023. His lone start at Progressive Field was on April 8, when Quantrill allowed three runs over five in a loss to Seattle. Last year, he was 9-0 with a 3.28 ERA in 19 home starts and is 14-1 at Progressive Field all-time. 

It’s massively struggling lefty Austin Gomber (0-4, 12.12 ERA) for Colorado. His 12.12 ERA is the highest in the National League. Gomber had a quality start in his first start of the season on April 2 at San Diego but has allowed 19 runs on 22 hits in 10.1 innings over his last three. Gomber is 0-1 with a 6.57 ERA in eight career innings vs. Cleveland.  

  • • Rockies are 14-42 in their last 56 road games vs. a right-handed starter. 
  • • Guardians are 12-5 in their last 17 interleague games. 

MLB Pick: Guardians (-196) at WynnBet

Houston Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Monday, April 24, 2023 – 06:40 PM EDT at Tropicana Field

The shame of this series is that it’s a possible American League playoff preview, but that there likely will not be more than 10,000 fans in attendance in any of them at Tropicana Field, which is the worst pro stadium in American sports.  

That said, the Rays are a stunning 13-0 at the Trop after a weekend sweep of the visiting White Sox. The 13-game winning streak at home has tied the 2009 Los Angeles Dodgers for the second-longest home winning streak to start a season since 1901. The 1907 New York Giants opened with 15 straight wins at home. The Rays are the eighth team since 1901 to start a year by winning 19 of 22 overall, and the first since the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers.  

Tampa Bay hit two more homers in Sunday’s win and leads the majors with 48, two behind the record for most set through a team’s first 22 games (2000 Cardinals had 52). Closer Pete Fairbanks had the save Sunday and has thrown 29.0 consecutive scoreless innings, the longest active streak in the majors and a franchise record.  

Tampa Bay’s Best Pitcher

Right-hander Taj Bradley (20, 2.61 ERA) is Tampa’s top pitching prospect, ranked as the No. 18 overall prospect in the majors, and gets his third start of the season/career. Bradley is the first pitcher in AL history to:

  • • Strike out at least eight batters
  • • Earn a win in each of his first two career starts

Houston second baseman Mauricio Dubo brings in an MLB-best 17-game hitting streak but hasn’t seen Bradley. 

Houston’s Jose Urquidy (1-1, 3.66) lasted 4.1 innings last time out, allowing four runs and seven hits in 4.1 innings. His WHIP is a concerning 1.53. Urquidy hasn’t faced the Rays since 2021.  

  • • Rays are 5-2 in their last 7 during game 1 of a series.
  • • Rays are 13-3 in their last 16 games vs. a right-handed starter. 

MLB Pick: Rays (-127) at BetRivers

Texas Rangers vs. Cincinnati Reds

Monday, April 24, 2023 – 06:40 PM EDT at Great American Ball Park

Here is some advice this season: Only back Cincinnati when at home and when one of three pitchers are on the mound:

  • • Hunter Greene
  • • Graham Ashcraft
  • • Nick Lodolo (today’s starter)

I’m not saying to bet Cincinnati whenever at home with one of those three pitching, but only consider those games

Cincinnati signed Greene to a big extension last week and they’re hoping to do the same with Lodolo (2-1, 4.98 ERA) to buy out his arbitration years and perhaps a few of free agency. Maybe a contract was on Lodolo’s mind last time out when he was blown up for eight runs and 12 hits over 4.2 innings by Tampa Bay, because Lodolo has been very good otherwise dating to last year. This will be his first career look at the Rangers.  

Texas leads the AL West – from 2017-22, the team had just one day in which it held the lead or was tied for first in the AL West – and has the second-best run differential in the AL at plus-60.

The Rangers had a shot at their first five-game winning streak since 2019 on Friday, but were upset by Oakland. Texas then won the next two in the series by a combined score of 23-5. The Rangers have won four straight series for the first time since 2018.

Who Is Pitching Today?

Nathan Eovaldi (2-2, 5.40 ERA) is on the bump for Texas Monday. He has a 0.60 ERA in 15 career innings vs. the Reds but hasn’t seen them since way back in 2014. Consider this for a possible “yes run first inning wager”:

In the first inning, Reds batters rank 10th in the majors in batting average (.297) and fifth in on-base percentage (.381). 

We think Cincinnati has a great shot of winning outright, as it is a vastly different team at home but will take the run line.

  • • Rangers are 2-11 in their last 13 interleague road games vs. a left-handed starter.
  • • Reds are 9-4 in their last 13 interleague games vs. a team with a winning record. 

MLB Pick: Reds +1.5 (-178) at Caesars Sportsbook