MLB Expert Picks for Tuesday: Two Big Underdogs to Consider
Troy Taormina, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Justin Verlander
John Ewing: Royals at A’s
Jorge Lopez (4-7, 6.09 ERA) vs. Brett Anderson (12-9, 4.07 ERA)
- Royals Moneyline: +220
- A’s Moneyline: -240
- Over/Under: 9.5
- First pitch: 10:07 p.m. ET
Kansas City stunned Oakland on Monday upsetting the Athletics as +250 underdogs. Few saw the result coming as only 17% of moneyline tickets were on KC.
But one of those sage bettors was yours truly and anyone brave enough to follow my advice in Monday’s article.
The Royals have nothing to play for while the A’s are in the Wild Card hunt. This is precisely why we recommended a play on KC yesterday. Even though each club’s motivation may be different at this point in the season, the variance in baseball gives big underdogs like KC a shot.
Since 2005, bad teams that have won fewer than 40% of their games, like the Royals, have gone 90-113 (44%) against opponents with a winning record in Games 150 or later in the season — approximately the last two weeks. Despite the losing record, it has been profitable to bet these clubs because they are plus-money underdogs.
Casual bettors expect Oakland to bounce back. More than 70% of bets are on the A’s, which has liked led to an inflated line. The Royals are the worse team but given the randomness in baseball they have value as a big underdog again tonight.
The PICK: Royals +220
Sean Zerillo: Texas Rangers at Houston Astros
Lance Lynn (14-10, 3.72 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (18-6, 2.58 ERA)
- Rangers Moneyline: +304
- Astros Moneyline: -350
- Over/Under: 8
- First pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
Like the White Sox on Monday, the Texas Rangers are in an extremely contrarian spot on Tuesday that triggers numerous Bet Labs systems.
Most notably, it fits this contrarian system for betting against good teams:
That system is just 41-75 (35.3%) in 2019 but has still generated a small profit ($255).
I have the Rangers fair odds for Tuesday set at +190 – an implied probability of 34.5%; and you can currently get them at odds of +304, an implied probability of 24.8%, and a massive gap from my projection.
Justin Verlander is exceedingly likely to win this game, but it’s far from certain, and I have no choice but to scoop up value with this underdog.
Lance Lynn has a better FIP (3.10) than Verlander (3.33), and has accumulated more WAR (6.2 vs. 5.8) in 2019.
The PICK: Texas Rangers +304