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MLB Best Bets for April 20

Carlos Rodon

Carlos Rodon

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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Wednesday promises to be a great day of baseball with some excellent games to start our day and a short nightcap to close things out. Though there aren’t a large number of games to pick from, I’ve managed to find two I see some value in. Let’s get to them.

Los Angeles Angels (-125) vs. Houston Astros (+105) Total: 8.5

To borrow from Andy Bernard, Jake Odorizzi may have won the battle, but the Angels will win...the next battle. The right-hander started in a 13-6 win over the Halos back in the second game of the season, but wasn’t the main reason Houston was able to win. He escaped four innings with just two earned runs, but he scatted six hits and struck out just two.

L.A. was victimized by its pitching in that one, but I don’t see that as much of a possibility on Wednesday. For one, Shohei Ohtani will be pitching, which should present a very large challenge for these Astros hitters. On top of that, Houston has only scored 3.73 runs per game so far this year, and aside from that explosion against the Angels and a multi-homer game from Yordan Alvarez the other night, this offense has been very disappointing.

I think you can bank on the Angels — who have been hot at the plate — getting to Odorizzi, who is sporting a 6.48 ERA after a season where his xERA was a poor 4.66. I think we’ll see more of the same out of the Astros’ bats.

Edge: Angels -125

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San Francisco Giants (-125) vs. New York Mets (+105) Total: 6.5

The Mets are one of the toughest teams to beat in baseball right now. They’ve won three straight and six out of seven, and their pitching has been absolutely outstanding. Luckily for the Giants — who entered yesterday’s double-header on a five-game winning streak — they can counter with some firepower of their own.

Carlos Rodon, who was one of the best pitchers in the game last year with a 2.56 xERA and a strikeout rate well over 35%, will get the ball here against the Mets. New York isn’t a very big fan of lefties, ranking 21st in wRC+ within the split a year ago and 14th this season, so it certainly won’t love seeing Rodon on the hill on Wednesday.

The Giants rank 10th in runs per game, averaging 4.36, and should hand Chris Bassitt what he’s been due over his first two starts. Though he’s allowed just one run, his xERA is about two full runs higher than his real-life ERA, meaning he’s due for some regression, even if it’s slight. Just a run or two could make the difference here with Rodon on the hill, and I think you have to back the lefty here at this price.

Edge: Giants -125

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