MLB Friday parlay picks at mega +933 odds today, 4/19: Astros' woes continue despite return of Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros throws a pitch during the World Series.
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Kyle Lupas


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Born and raised in Northeast Pennsylvania and a former college baseball player, I'm an avid fan and handicapper of the MLB, NBA, NFL and NCAA's. Looking to find an edge by any means necessary. A lifelong Phillies fan, I was still unable to get my learner's permit the last time they made a postseason appearance. For Kyle Lupas media enquiries, please email
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All 30 teams are in action this Friday throughout Major League Baseball, starting at 2:20 pm ET in Chicago with the Cubs and Marlins, and finishing in San Francisco with the Giants hosting the Diamondbacks. Today’s parlay has a little bit of everything as I’ve chosen a home favorite on the run line, a home underdog to win outright, and an over in a game that feels like it favors both lineups.  Below I’ll provide a breakdown of each individual leg and don’t forget to check out our MLB predictions for every game today.

Phillies -1.5 (+116)

Nationals ML (+144)

Diamondbacks vs Giants Over 7.5 (-104)

MLB parlay Odds: +933

Philadelphia Phillies -1.5 over Chicago White Sox (+116)

The Phillies hit a light spot in their schedule in the third week of April, starting with a 3-game home series against the now 4-15 Colorado Rockies followed by an off-day yesterday, and they now finish the weekend with a 3-game set against the visiting 3-15 Chicago White Sox. Philadelphia completed the sweep of Colorado with a trio of excellent outings from Aaron Nola, Ranger Suarez and Cristopher Sanchez. The 3 starters pitched a total of 22.1 innings and allowed just 1 earned run, propelling the Phillies’ rotation to an NL-best 2.54 ERA. Tonight they turn to 31-year-old Spencer Turnbull, who has undoubtedly been the biggest surprise out of their rotation to begin the season.

It’s still early, but Turnbull has a legitimate chance to revitalize his career if he continues to pitch this effectively for the Phillies. Turnbull had a frustrating season in 2023 with the Detroit Tigers after he posted a 7.26 ERA across 7 starts, got optioned to Triple-A Toledo, and dealt with injuries. Through 3 starts with Philadelphia however, Turnbull has looked like an entirely different pitcher. His season began with back-to-back shutouts over the Reds and Cardinals, followed by a 4.0-inning outing against the Pirates in which he surrendered 4 walks and 3 earned runs. The Phillies have won all 3 games Turnbull has started for them and he should find success against a White Sox lineup that has scored at least 18 fewer runs than every other team in baseball.

While the Phillies’ starting rotation has been exceptional, the same can’t be said about their lineup. Philadelphia ranks 19th in team batting average and only has 40 extra-base hits; compare that to the Braves, who have 74. However, there were noticeable improvements in their series with the Rockies; the Phillies scored 14 runs with 11 extra-base hits. They have also enjoyed much more success against lefties, and the White Sox will have left-hander Garrett Crochet on the mound for his 5th start. Crochet owns a respectable 3.57 ERA alongside a 1.90 xERA and 35.2% strikeout rate. While the Sox may have the starting pitching advantage, their bullpen ranks 28th with a 5.08 FIP, and their lineup only scored 4 runs in their last series against the Royals. I’ll back the Phillies at home to do enough for a multi-run victory.

Read our full Chicago White Sox vs Philadelphia Phillies predictions

Washington Nationals ML over Houston Astros (+144)

There has been no bigger disappointment to start off the season than the play of the 6-14 Houston Astros, who have already been swept by the Yankees, Royals and Braves with just a single series win over the Blue Jays. They now begin a 9-game road trip with hopes of seeing some improvement before we get into May. The reason for the struggles isn’t all that difficult to pinpoint when their starting rotation owns an ERA of 5.05 with an MLB-worst 5.13 xFIP. Offensively, the Astros are performing similarly to their lineups of the past — ranking top-5 in batting average, OBP and SLG. Jose Altuve leads all of MLB in hitting and OPS.

Perhaps the return of 41-year-old, 3-time Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander will help boost the morale of the Houston rotation as he makes his first start tonight. Verlander, although up in age, is still a highly effective starter and posted a 3.22 ERA across 27 outings last season. While I’m sure Verlander puts together another solid season, I don’t feel entirely comfortable backing him in his first MLB start since his rehab assignment. I would feel a little more comfortable if Verlander didn’t surrender 11 earned runs across 7.0 innings in his 2 rehab starts — but that’s exactly what happened.

The Nationals will counter with 25-year-old left-hander MacKenzie Gore, who is off to a terrific start in D.C. Through 3 starts Gore owns a 2.81 ERA with 23 strikeouts spanning 16.0 innings. The sample size is small, but the underlying metrics would seem to suggest Gore’s success isn’t a fluke. Gore has a 2.45 FIP and his four seam fastball, curveball, and slider are all yielding xBA of .230 or lower. If Gore can go at least 5 innings in this ballgame, the Nats should have a legitimate chance to take the first game of the series. Don’t forget that the Nats just took 2 out of 3 on the road against the Dodgers and this Houston team isn’t doing a whole lot of winning.

Don’t miss our expert’s best MLB player prop bets for today’s games

Arizona Diamondbacks vs San Francisco Giants Over 7.5 (-104)

Last but not least, the final leg of this parlay takes us out to Oracle Park for a game between the San Francisco Giants and the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, airing on Apple TV+ with first pitch set for 10:15 pm ET. For this game, rather than picking a side I’m seeing value on the game total — which sits at 7.5 runs. The D-Backs were shut out and held to 3 hits in last night’s game, but there’s reason to believe the team that ranks 3rd in runs scored will bounce back in game 2. This lineup will go up against reigning Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell, who has struggled mightily since signing with the Giants. Over a pair of starts, Snell has given up 10 earned runs through 7.0 innings and allowed 2 home runs. 

Snell is an interesting case study because year after year he manages to get past his 11% career walk rate and outperform his expected metrics. In 2023 he became the first pitcher since 1959 to win the Cy Young while also leading the majors in walks. Snells’ tendency to walk batters is perhaps the reason that no teams were willing to offer him a long-term contract and he instead settled for a 2-year contract with San Francisco. Arizona should have some early success against Snell considering they have the 3rd-fewest strikeouts of any team with the 3rd-most walks. Their patience at the plate should run up Snell’s pitch count and result in scoring opportunities. 

For the Diamondbacks, it will be Jordan Montgomery making his first start for his new team. Montgomery comes off a productive 2023 campaign with the Texas Rangers, where he played a crucial role in their World Series run. However, Montgomery could experience some rust in this game; he has made just 2 rehab starts and they weren’t particularly strong outings. Across 7.2 innings with Triple-A Reno, Montgomery surrendered 9 earned runs on 12 hits, 5 walksand 9 strikeouts. The Giants could take advantage of some early season rust from Montgomery and the game total seems a run too low in my opinion. Let’s fade the starting pitching in this one and back the over at 7.5 runs.

Read our full Arizona Diamondbacks vs San Francisco Giants predictions

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