Counting on Quality: Best MLB Quality Start Picks for April 2 (Trust Zac Gallen)

Breaking down the best starting pitchers to target when betting MLB on Tuesday, April 2.

Mar 28, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen (23) pitches
Mar 28, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen (23) pitches / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

While I didn't throw a perfect game on Opening Day I still feel good about my picks, winning two and losing two, but breaking even units-wise thanks to taking the Orioles run line at +118 as they blasted the Angels 11-3.

Last Week: 2-2 Net Units: 0.00

A famous coach once said, trust the process, not the result and that's just what I'm going to do heading into round two.

If you missed last week, you can find the explanation here, but in short, I'm looking for situations that indicate a quality start may be in the offing.

In 2023, teams won 69% of the time when they got a quality start and if only one of a game's two starters registered a quality start it was 79%.

So far in 2024, those numbers are 75% (27-9) and 78% (23-5), respectively.

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That puts the focus on five matchups on Tuesday.

Los Angeles Angels at Miami Marlins

The Angels have improved to 2-2 and are in Miami to face Jesus Luzardo and the 0-5 Marlins.

Luzardo threw quality starts in 53% of his 2023 starts and while he only completed five innings in his 2024 debut, he gave up only a two-run homer to Bryan Reynolds and left with a 5-2 lead that the Marlins bullpen couldn't hold.

The Marlins will be facing Tyler Anderson who's making his 2024 debut after a less-than-stellar 6-6 record and 5.43 ERA for the Angels last season.

PICK: Marlins ML -149

Cincinnati Reds at Philadelphia Phillies

I'm always a little hesitant to pick against the Phillies in Philadelphia, but Graham Ashcraft is battling Spencer Turnbull in this one.

Don't let Ashcraft's 7-9 record and 4.76 ERA fool you. He had 17 quality starts in 26 outings last season and got better as the season wore on, including a 2.81 ERA over his last 10 starts.

Turnbull is the Phillies answer to Taijuan Walker's injury and most days that would suffice with the Phillies offense.

I'm betting that isn't the case against Ashcraft and the Reds and getting a plus number to boot.

PICK: Reds ML +120

Texas Rangers at Tampa Bay Rays

One of my Opening Day losses was the Rangers beating the Cubs with Justin Steele as the starter for Chicago.

The Cubs bullpen gave up the lead in the nine and the game in the 10th and Steele got injured along the way.

In this matchup, the Rangers have to face Zach Eflin, who took it on the chin the first time out in 2024 against the Blue Jays.

That's a one-game sample, but last season Eflin recorded 17 quality starts in 31 outings, with the Rays going 14-3 in those games.

A word of caution: The Rangers have hit Eflin around a bit in 35 plate appearances, so proceed with caution.

PICK: Tampa ML -155

Boston Red Sox at Oakland A's

Brayan Bello was one I considered on Opening Day, but pitching in Seattle against that staff didn't give me the advantage I wanted and I ultimately decided it was too risky.

In this matchup Bello's going up against Alex Wood and the hapless A's, giving the Sox a huge advantage.

Some don't think much of Bello and looking at the traditional stats I get it. 12-11 with a 4.24 ERA screams average, not quality.

Except Bello managed 15 quality starts in 28 outings last season, including two against Atlanta's powerful lineup and another against the World Champion Rangers.

Maybe this says more about the A's than Bello, but it's a shot on the run line when the opponent is Oakland.

PICK: Red Sox Run Line -1.5 +117

New York Yankees at Arizona Diamondbacks

The Yankees wish they could stay in Houston for another week and are off to a hot start, so this is another one to consider carefully.

They'll be facing Zac Gallen, who racked up 20 quality starts in 2023 and threw five innings of one-run ball in his 2024 debut.

Twelve of Gallen's quality starts last season came in Chase Field and the Diamondbacks were 10-2 in those contests.

PICK: Diamondbacks ML -123

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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