TheRX’s Top 3 MLB Picks to Bet on April 17: Kyle Freeland Will Out-Pitch Rich Hill

Kyle Freeland Colorado Rockies San Diego Padres
Kyle Freeland #21 of the Colorado Rockies pitches during the first inning of the game against the San Diego Padres. Denis Poroy/Getty Images/AFP

There are plenty of new matchups to begin the week in the MLB. I’ve got three top betting picks that I’ll be firing on tonight. Let’s earn some profit in the MLB!

Picks Summary

  • • Diamondbacks – Cardinals Under 8.5 (-105)
  • • Rockies: Rockies (-135)
  • • Braves (-145)

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Monday, April 17, 2023 – 07:45 PM EDT at Busch Stadium

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks are currently 9-7 on the year. They’re playing good baseball but they will have a tough test against Jack Flaherty and the Cardinals tonight.

Flaherty has a 6.39 xFIP with 20% of strikeouts and 21.5% of walks. It sounds awful, but he’s holding a 1.76 ERA to begin the season. Flaherty is escaping damage at a crazy rate, due to his high-ground ball and low-line drive rates.

Arizona has walked just 4.9% of the time against righties. This team has also hit a .296 wOBA to begin the year against righties with the projected lineup.

I wouldn’t be so confident in Arizona’s ability to score tonight.

St. Louis Cardinals

On the other hand, Merrill Kelly will get the start for Arizona tonight. He’s holding a 5.41 xFIP with 18.8% of walks.

Like Flaherty, he’s escaped damage thanks to a 52.8% ground ball rate and 16.7% line drive rate, but he’s been terrible against righties, allowing a .408 wOBA and ISO of .273 this season.

However, the Cardinals’ righties are hitting a .119 ISO and wOBA of .332 against righties this season. They haven’t shown much pop against righties. Only the lefties have, and they’ve got a poor matchup against Kelly.

I’m on the Under in this game.

MLB Pick: Under 8.5 (-105) at BetMGM

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Colorado Rockies

Monday, April 17, 2023 – 08:40 PM EDT at Coors Field

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates have begun the season 9-7. It’s been a fun start for the Pirates, but on the road in Colorado is never easy.

The Pirates will face Kyle Freeland, who is 2-0 with a .96 ERA to begin the year. Freeland still has a 5.74 xFIP with 15.7% of strikeouts, but he’s been able to keep walks down and has given up only 14% of line drives.

Righties are still hitting an ISO of .188, but he’s shut down lefties well.

The Pirates should have at least eight righties in the lineup. They’ve hit a .153 ISO and wOBA of .302 with the projected lineup against righties.

Freeland should be able to earn plenty of ground balls against the Pirates. That’ll help him have a good game.

Colorado Rockies

Meanwhile, the Pirates will pitch Rich Hill, who has a 6.23 xFIP and an ERA of 7.20. The old lefty is not earning strikeouts at a high rate but will keep walks down

He’s been terrible against righties, as they’ve hit a .412 wOBA and ISO of .426 in 58 plate appearances. But righties in the Colorado lineup have hit a .091 ISO against righties.

At home, those rates should increase. And Freeland should be able to out-pitch Hill in this game.

I’m taking the Rockies on the moneyline at -135 betting odds.

MLB Pick: Rockies ML (-135) at WynnBet

Atlanta Braves vs. San Diego Padres

Monday, April 17, 2023 – 09:40 PM EDT at PETCO Park

Atlanta Braves

Ryan Weathers will get his start for the Padres tonight. Weathers has a 4.95 xFIP this season with just 13.2% of strikeouts. He’s been able to limit extra-base hits due to allowing only 20% of hard contact this season.

He’ll also face a Braves lineup with a .129 ISO and wOBA of .351. Ronald Acuna, Austin Riley, and Sean Murphy are the only bats doing any kind of talking against lefties.

But they’re stacked in the order, batting 1-3-4 in the lineup. That should potentially help string together a run or two for the Braves.

San Diego Padres

Max Fried will take the hill for the Braves. He’s only pitched in one game this season but is back from an injury. Fried is king at earning quality starts and he will take on a Padres lineup that has hit a .180 ISO and wOBA of .298 against lefties.

Ha-Seong Kim has dominated lefties, and Nelson Cruz and Jake Cronenworth, have hit for power against lefties too.

But overall, the Padres don’t work walks well against lefties. However, they will at least put the ball in play against Fried.

The Padres have only hit 16.5% of line drives against lefties this season. With Xander Bogaerts, Manny Machado, and Juan Soto struggling against lefties, this isn’t the best matchup for the Padres.

I’ll take the Braves on the road.

MLB Pick: Braves ML (-145) at Caesars Sportsbook