MLB Betting Preview for Afternoon Games on Thursday, April 4

Welcome to a beautiful Thursday afternoon of MLB action! We’ve got four games on the early slate to break down, so without further ado…

[1:05 p.m. EST] Kansas City Royals (-105) at Detroit Tigers – Total: 8
KC: Jakob Junis – R (1-0, 4.76 ERA)
DET: Spencer Turnbull – R (0-1, 5.40 ERA)

Junis has absolutely owned the Tigers over the course of his career, going 6-1 with a 3.12 ERA in seven starts (eight appearances) – he went 4-0 with a 1.95 ERA in five starts against them last season. That should be enough confidence, but you have to think this Tigers squad is a bit too giddy after taking the last two games of their series with the Yanks in New York.

Turnbull is still looking for the first win of his MLB career and he’ll have a tough time doing it against a speedy KC bunch. Being mostly a sinker-ball pitcher, Turnbull could get chipped away at in the cold Detroit weather by a lineup that can put a lot of pressure on the Tigers’ defense.

KC’s bullpen has the fourth-worst ERA (7.27), but the Tigers’ bats aren’t doing much damage either, with only 12 runs over the first seven games. It’s time for the turnaround!

Also, the wind will be blowing in at 9 mph from left field, so that should keep the ball in the park a bit more.

* Final Score Prediction: Kansas City Royals: 4 – Detroit Tigers: 3

[1:10 p.m. EST] Washington Nationals at New York Mets (-128) – Total: 6.5
WSH: Stephen Strasburg – R (0-0, 6.00 ERA)
NYM: Noah Syndergaard – R (0-0, 6.00 ERA)

This is a starting pitcher’s rematch from the second game of this season, as the Mets got the 11-8 victory the first time around. Strasburg (8) and Syndergaard (7) had a combined 15 strikeouts in six innings apiece last Saturday, but they also gave up four earned runs each in the process.

Vegas has certainly left its mark on this game with a 6.5-run total, and you have to think we’re heading for a pitcher’s duel. The Nationals will be without one of the best base-stealers in the game, Trea Turner, and that should alleviate a great deal of stress that Syndergaard might have about keeping runners on base. In fact, April has been one of the better months over his career, allowing only one homer in 82 2/3 innings since 2016.

The Stras hasn’t been quite as good as Thor in the month of April, but it is worth noting that he does have a 24-5 record with a 2.52 ERA in 34 road starts since 2016.

All in all, we should look for both pitchers to rebound and put on quite the performance. But we’re giving the Mets the win, given their recent hot streak to begin the 2019 campaign.

* Final Score Prediction: New York Mets: 3 – Washington Nationals: 2

[3:05 p.m. EST] New York Yankees (-200) at Baltimore Orioles – Total: 8
NYY: James Paxton – L (0-1, 1.59 ERA)
BAL: Alex Cobb – R (Season Debut)

It seems like the remaining healthy players on the Yankees’ roster should be sporting bubble-wrap because they could be the next ones to land on the Injured List (it’s still the Disabled List, I don’t care what anyone says). Those remaining Yanks will head to Baltimore to face the Orioles, who are playing the home opener. Typically, this is a place that New York has gone in and dominated, especially in the crowd, but the start to this season has been anything but typical for the Evil Empire.

Alex Cobb was supposed to take the mound on Opening Day for the O’s before a minor injury negated that opportunity. After a dreadful start to the season, Cobb had some good performances down the stretch, but I don’t think we should be looking for more of the same today. And perhaps, it’ll do the Yanks some good to get away from their anxious fans in the Bronx.

James Paxton will take the mound to do what the Yanks paid him to do – win ball games. He wasn’t bad at all in his season debut against this same O’s squad, allowing four hits, one walk and two runs (one earned) over 5 and 2/3 innings while striking out five.

Neither team has been crushing the ball to start the season, but I do think it’ll do the Yankees some good to hit the road and get their minds right. Look for them to get to Cobb early en route to the victory.

* Final Score Prediction: New York Yankees: 8 – Baltimore Orioles 3

[3:37 p.m. EST] Boston Red Sox (-114) at Oakland Athletics – Total: 8.5
BOS: Eduardo Rodriguez – L (0-1, 10.38 ERA)
OAK: Brett Anderson – L (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

The Boston Red Sox capped off a thrilling win on Wednesday night with a three-run ninth inning, and the hope is that they take this momentum into today’s game against Brett Anderson and the A’s bullpen. And Lord knows, the defending champs need to get back on the good foot, with only two wins in their first seven games of the season.

The Red Sox pitching has finally settled down a bit, allowing only four runs in the last two games. This comes after they allowed 41 runs over the first five games of the season — Yikes!!! That trend should continue, as today’s starter Eduardo Rodriguez has a 2-1 record and 2.33 ERA in four career starts against the A’s, including a 1-0 record and 1.69 ERA in two starts at Oakland.

I don’t think the Red Sox pitching woes are fully solved in the bullpen, though. After all, there should be some fatigue after playing all these extra playoff games over the last few years, including the World Series run last season. However, this is a desperate Boston team and they get the bats going today.

* Final Score Prediction: Boston Red Sox: 7 – Oakland Athletics: 4