Free MLB Picks Today for Friday, April 9th, 2021

Free MLB Picks Today for Friday, April 9th, 2021
Fri 9th April 2021

Major League Baseball is back, from the first pitch of the season to the coronation of the 2021 World Series Champion, look no further than for daily MLB picks and predictions!

Look below to find our free MLB Picks for the five best games on today’s schedule!

New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays – 3.10PM ET

The Yankees and the Rays will kick off our Friday fixture of MLB games, with both sides looking to return to the winners list after a loss in their most recent outings. 

After improving to a 3-2 record following their opening two games against the Orioles in New York, the Yankees lost the final match of their set at home, going down to Baltimore 4-3 in the 11th inning. 

New York’s pitching rotation has been arguably the best in the league this season, allowing just 15 oppositions runs in their six games this year and currently leading the MLB in ERA with 1.74.

Unsurprisingly,  three time MLB All-Star and 2019 strikeout leader, Gerrit Cole has been the most damaging Yankee at the mound, with his 21 strikeouts this season currently the second most in the league.

As for the Rays, they have had a less than ideal start to their American League title defense season, most recently dropping their last three games to the Red Sox in Boston, resulting in a 2-4 overall record. 

Tampa Bay’s lineup has been the crux of their problems this year, batting at an average of just .208 (ranked 22nd in the league) and having only scored 23 runs in their six games this season.

Although this game is in Tampa Bay, we like the Yankees to win this one on the road, as New York’s No. 1 ranked rotation will be too strong for the Rays 22nd rank batting group, keeping Tampa Bay to a beatable score. 

MLB Pick – New York Yankees (-132)
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Washington Nationals @ Los Angeles Dodgers – 4.10PM ET

The Dodgers will return to Los Angeles for the first time this season, giving their fans a chance to revel in 2020’s World Series Championship success. 

However, as much as Friday’s clash against the Nationals will be a celebration of last years efforts, the Dodgers will be looking to return to the winners list after an upset loss to the A’s in Oakland on Wednesday. 

Los Angeles are now 5-2 heading into this encounter, thanks to a lineup that is currently boasting the second best team batting average in the league (.310), as well as a pitching rotation led by former MVP Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer. Bauer’s 20 strikeout through seven games are currently the third most in the league. 

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The Nationals will also enter Friday’s matchup looking to return to the winners list, having dropped their previous two games against the Braves in Washington. 

Prior to their bout of COVID-19, the Nationals would be considered a good enough team to pick as a valued underdog for this matchup.

However, with 10 players from their Opening Day roster currently on the injury list due to COVID-19, the Nationals clearly have a limited bullpen. As is evident with their selection of  Joe Ross as the starting pitcher for Friday’s matchup. Ross hasn’t pitched since game 5 of the 2019 World Series. 

Given that Los Angeles are expected to be welcoming Mookie Betts back to their lineup, we can’t go past the Dodgers to return to the winners list in their home opener. As Betts will be re-joining a championship caliber lineup, featuring Corey Seager (who leads the Dodgers with 11 hits and seven RBI), Max Muncy and Justin Turner (who have combined for 18 hits and 12 RBIs), all of whom are capable of bettering Joe Ross with bat in hand. 

MLB Pick – Los Angeles Dodgers (-310)
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Colorado Rockies @ San Francisco Giants – 4.35PM ET

The San Francisco Giants will host the Colorado Rockies on Friday, in a match that will have early implications for the standings in the NL West Division. 

After stealing a game off the Dodgers on Opening Day, the Rockies lost their next four games, before finishing off a three game set against the Diamondbacks with a pair of victories, resulting in a 3-4 overall record. 

Ryan McMahon has been Colorado’s barometer this season, hitting a league high four home runs in his seven games this year.

The Giants also won their most recent game, defeating the Padres 3-2 in San Diego to improve their record for the season to a respectable 3-3. 

San Francisco got two hits each from Evan Longoria and Darin Ruf in the contest against San Diego, with Ruf hitting his second homer of the season. However, it was Donovan Solano’s sacrifice flyball at the top of the 10th inning that proved to be the winning run in the contest.

San Francisco can take plenty out of a 3-3 record from their season opening six game road trip (@ Seattle and @ San Diego), and given that the Rockies were a team that genuinely struggled on the road last season, we like the Giants to take the W in their home opener. 

MLB Pick – San Francisco Giants (-158)
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Philadelphia Phillies @ Atlanta Braves – 7.20PM ET

After winning five of their opening six games, the Philadelphia Phillies are hitting the road to face the Braves in Atlanta. 

Philadelphia swept the Braves in their opening three game set of the season and have since won two of their three matches against the Mets to improve to a 5-1 record. 

Entering Friday’s clash with a 3-0 record over Atlanta this season, the Phillies rotation held the Braves to just three runs in their opening three games of the year. Philadelphia’s pitching group continued their hot start to the season when facing the Mets, and are now the fourth ranked rotation in Major League Baseball when looking at ERA (2.62).

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The Braves will be looking to flip the script on the Phillies in their second set of games, having recently defeated the COVID-19 riddled Nationals in two of their three games in Washington. 

Ronald Acuna Jr hit two home runs in the opening game of Atlanta’s set against the Nationals and also leads the Braves with seven hits in his first six games this season. However outside of Acuna, the Braves lineup has struggled so far this year, currently the 28th ranked lineup in the league with a team batting average of .170.

The Phillies are 3-0 against the Braves this season, 5-1 overall for the year, and Atlanta’s two wins have come against the COVID-19 compromised Nationals. Although Acuna is capable of winning a game off his own bat and the Phillies have struggled on the road in recent years, we still like Philadelphia to win Friday’s clash in Atlanta, giving the Braves a harsh reality check after soft victories against an undermanned Washington bullpen. 

MLB Pick – Philadelphia Phillies (+104)
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Oakland Athletics @ Houston Astros – 8.10PM ET

The Astros extended their winning streak over the A’s to five consecutive games on Thursday night and will be looking to continue that streak even further when the two sides meet again on Friday. 

After sweeping Oakland in their opening four game set of the season, Houston improved to 6-1 for the year and 5-0 against the A’s as a result of their 6-2 victory on Thursday. 

Yordan Alvarez and Carlos Correa both scored twice from their two hits for the Astros, which ultimately set up the victory.  Christian Javier also struck out seven A’s batters in his five scoreless innings at the mound.

Thursday’s loss was the A’s seventh of the season, as Oakland were held to a score of three runs of fewer for the sixth time in eight games.  

Oakland were the 29th ranked team in the league in terms of batting average and ERA prior to Thursday’s 6-2 loss, having scored just 17 runs this season and conceded 53 runs in their opening seven games.

As a result of their most recent loss on Thursday, the A’s have now conceded 59 runs while only adding a further two runs to their own tally, both of which were in the ninth inning. 

Having failed to get within four runs of Houston in each of their five losses to the Astros this season, we can’t go past the home team in this one. Houston should improve their record over Oakland to 6-0 and their record for the season 7-1 with another comfortable win against the struggling A’s.

MLB Pick – Houston Astros (-178)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.

Jesse is and always has been a lover of sports. No matter the league, no matter the game, Jesse is constantly keeping up to date with the latest odds, news, injuries and stats. He has a strong interest in the NBA and the NFL, and he will always strive to keep you up to date with the best news, odds, predictions and picks that the ever engaging sporting world has to offer.