MLB Expert Predictions for Friday: Our Staff’s Picks for Angels-Astros, Yankees-Dodgers

MLB Expert Predictions for Friday: Our Staff’s Picks for Angels-Astros, Yankees-Dodgers article feature image
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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Aaron Judge

  • Our experts give out their favorite plays for Friday's MLB slate, including a pick on tonight's Yankees-Dodgers showdown (10:10 p.m. ET).

Danny Donahue: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros

Jose Suarez (2-4, 6.75 ERA) vs. Zack Grienke (13-4, 2.84 ERA)

  • Away Moneyline: +240
  • Home Moneyline: 270
  • Over/Under: 9
  • First pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET

By this point in the season, it’s very hard to convince yourself to bet against the elite teams in the league. Clubs like the Astros have established themselves as machines, and that’s why you’ll find the public all over them even when they’re listed at openers nearing -300 — like they were for tonight’s game.

Eighty-one percent of bettors have taken the ‘Stros tonight despite the lofty price tag, but they’ve fallen down to -270 since opening. That likely means sharps are going the other way, and if history is any indication, it looks like they have good reason to think the Angels have value.

In the second half of the season, fading .600-or-better public teams is a profitable strategy, especially when done so by backing a contrarian divisional underdog. With just a 19% backing thus far, the Angels fit the above system, which has returned 52.8 units for a nice 28.4% ROI since 2005.

The PICK: Angels +240

John Ewing: New York Yankees at Los Angeles Dodgers

Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-3, 1.64 ERA) vs. James Paxton (9-6, 4.53 ERA)

  • Away Moneyline: +130
  • Home Moneyline: -140
  • Over/Under: 8.5
  • First pitch: 10:10 p.m. ET

The two best teams in baseball will square off on Friday. The Dodgers (85-44) host the Yankees (83-46) in a potential World Series preview.

The Dodgers are home favorites and are receiving a majority of moneyline tickets, but the line has moved from LA -180 to -140 despite the Yankees having lost four in a row.

Which team is the smart bet?

According to Bet Labs, when two great teams (won at least 60% of games) meet in the regular season it has been wise to back the favorite. Since 2005, the chalk in matchups of elite teams has gone 359-222 (61.8%). A $100 bettor backing the favorite has returned a profit of $4,132.

Casual bettors are often drawn to the underdog in games featuring two great opponents as they assume the teams are evenly-matched. But as history shows, the oddsmakers are good at their jobs and often identify the team that should win.

Bookmakers have done all the hard work for us by highlighting the Dodgers as the favorites. Now all bettors have to do is wager on LA.

The PICK: Dodgers -140