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Look below to find our free MLB Picks for the five best games on today’s schedule!
Miami Marlins @ New York Mets – 1.10PM ET
The Mets will play their first game of the 2021 MLB regular season in New York on Thursday, when they host the Marlins for their opening match of a three game set against Miami.
New York pinched game two of their previous set against the Phillies, however bookended their stretch in Philadelphia with a pair of losses, most recently going down 8-2 on Wednesday.
As for the Marlins, they will enter this clash having recently slipped to a 1-5 record after a shutout 7-0 loss to the Cardinals, also on Wednesday.
The loss to St Louis was Miami’s second shutout loss of the season and the fourth occasion where the Marlins have been held to two runs or fewer in their six games this year.
Ready for a change of scenery.
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) April 8, 2021
Currently with the fourth most strikeouts in the Major League (17), Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara is doing his best to keep Miami competitive in games, however with a lineup that has scored just 19 runs from their six games this season, it is hard to be competitive.
As both sides are coming into this match off the back of losses, it is tough to get a read on form. However, we like the Mets to get the W in this one at home.
New York recently pinched a game off the now 5-1 Phillies and the Mets lineup has proven to be more capable in their three games than the Marlins lineup has been in their six.
Given that Alcantara is out of the rotation for Miami, New York should get their second win of the season in their first game at home.
Boston Red Sox @ Baltimore Orioles – 3.05PM ET
Two teams that are competing in the tightly contested AL East will face off on Thursday, with the result guaranteed to shake up the division standings.
After starting the season 0-3 from their three game set against the Orioles, the Boston Red Sox have returned to a .500 record after three consecutive wins from their three game set against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Boston won their last three games against Tampa, 11-2, 6-5 and 9-2, flaunting both a damaging lineup as well as a well drilled pitching rotation across their winning streak.
J.D Martinez has been the most consistent member of the Red Sox lineup, with 11 hits (third most in the league) and 11 RBIs (third most in the league) in his six games this season.
After kicking off their season with a 3-0 sweep over the Red Sox in Boston, Baltimore will now host their first game of the year. The Orioles recently avoided a three game losing streak with a win in their final match of a three game set against Yankees in New York, resulting in a 4-2 overall record.
Homers for Mullins and Santander were not enough to get the Orioles over the line in nine innings on Wednesday, however extra innings runs for Santander and Ruiz ensured that Baltimore walked away with the victory in the 11th.
Given that both sides have flipped the script since their opening three game set against each other, this game is the toughest matchup to pick on today’s schedule.
Having already defeated Boston three times on the road and stolen a game off the Yankees in New York, we like the Orioles to win this one in Baltimore, improving to 4-0 against the Red Sox and 5-2 for the season.
Seattle Mariners @ Minnesota Twins – 4.10PM ET
Both coming off wins on Wednesday, the 3-3 Seattle Mariners are headed to Minnesota to face the 4-2 Twins on Thursday afternoon.
After suffering their second loss for the season against Detroit on Tuesday, Minnesota got back on the winners list with a 3-2 victory over the Tigers on Wednesday, completing their three game set in Detroit with a 2-1 record.
Although he was hit seven times, Kenta Maeda struckout seven Tigers on Wednesday and only conceded two runs in his six innings at the mound.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) April 8, 2021
As for the Mariners, they recently returned to a .500 record thanks to a 8-4 victory over the White Sox on Wednesday.
Ty France scored twice for Seattle, while Kyle Seager scored once from his three hits, to go along with three RBIs in his four at bats.
Seeing as Minnesota have started the season as a top 10 pitching team (third in ERA – 2.17) and a top 10 batting team (eighth in batting average – .259), we can’t go past the Twins to win this one at home.
Especially when considering that Seattle are a bottom 10 team in the corresponding categories, rankings 23rd in ERA (5.09) and 26th in batting average (.193).
Milwaukee Brewers @ St Louis Cardinals – 4.15PM ET
A battle between the No. 2 and No. 3 seed in the NL Central Division will take place this Thursday, when the 4-2 St Louis Cardinals host the 3-3 Milwaukee Brewers.
The Cardinals pitched a shutout in their most recent game against the Marlins, defeating Miami 7-0.
Jack Flaherty was hit just once in his six scoreless innings at the mound, to go along with his six strikeouts on Wednesday. In fact, St Louis’ rotation only conceded three runs in their three game set against the Marlins.
Milwaukee are also entering Thursday’s match with a win behind them, having defeated the Cubs 4-2 on Wednesday.
The victory gave the Brewers a 2-1 record at the conclusion of their three game set against Chicago, bringing their overall record to 3-3 after their 1-2 start to the season against the Twins.
When looking at team batting average, Milwaukee were a bottom three team in the league after five games, hitting at just .161.
Given that the Cardinals are at home and have executed well at the mound in their past three games, we like St Louis to win this one against a struggling Brewers lineup, stretching their lead over Milwaukee in the NL Central.
Oakland Athletics @ Houston Astros – 8.10PM ET
The A’s will enter Thursday’s clash against the Astros in Houston fresh off their first win of the season, having recently defeated the reigning World Series champions.
A ninth innings single gave Oakland a 3-3 tie against the Dodgers on Wednesday, forcing an extra innings that saw the A’s steal a 4-3 victory at home and end their six game losing streak.
Los Angeles had more hits on Thursday, however failed to capitalise, as A’s third baseman Matt Chapman proved to be the difference in the game, scoring twice from his four at bats.
Admittedly, the Dodgers were without Mookie Betts, Corey Bellinger and Clayton Kershaw, but you can’t take this W away from Oakland.
— Oakland A’s (@Athletics) April 7, 2021
As for the Astros, they already hold 4-0 lead over the A’s from their opening four game set, and a 5-1 record overall after their two games against the Angels in Los Angeles.
Houston will enter this game as a top five pitching and batting team in the Major League, with the Astros rotation currently boasting an ERA of 2.72 (fifth in the league), while Houston’s lineup are currently batting at an average of .295 (fourth in the league).
Contrastingly, Oakland are currently the 27th ranked team in the league in terms of batting average, and the last ranked team when it comes to ERA.
As the Astros have already beaten the A’s four times in Oakland this season and are the vastly superior statistical team, we like Houston to make it 5-0 against the A’s on Thursday, winning their first game of the season at home in the process.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.