MLB Odds, Picks | Friday Full Slate Predictions, Including Yankees vs. Red Sox & More
Via Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: Tanner Houck #89 of the Boston Red Sox in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on June 10, 2023 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Red Sox 3-1.
- The MLB features a full slate on Friday, and our MLB betting expert has three picks ready.
- Anthony Dabbundo is betting two money lines and one total, including a pick for Yankees-Red Sox.
- Find his MLB picks and predictions below.
Friday's 15-game MLB slate has one matinee matchup in Chicago as the Orioles take on the Cubs. Chicago has quietly moved within 3.5 games of the NL Central lead while Baltimore is within striking distance of Tampa Bay atop the AL East standings. The Yankees and Red Sox begin a three-game series in Boston on Friday with Aaron Judge still sidelined for the Yankees.
Pittsburgh and Milwaukee begin a three-game set as the top two teams in the muddled NL Central race with 43-year-old Rich Hill taking on journeyman and 32-year-old Julio Teheran. The Dodgers host the Giants this weekend as both currently sit in wild card positions chasing the surprise division leading Diamondbacks.
Here are my best bets for Friday's MLB action.
Orioles at Cubs, 2:20 p.m. ET
Cole Irvin vs. Kyle Hendricks
Weather conditions are unseasonably cold in Chicago for Friday afternoon baseball. Temperatures are expected to be in the low 60s at first pitch with a 10-12 mph wind blowing straight in from center field. Both starting pitchers are below average in this matchup, but the wind has such a major impact on the playing conditions that the total sits at just eight runs.
One major reason that Kyle Hendricks is considerably less effective as a pitcher than he used to be is his drop in Groundball Rate. Hendricks has never had elite stuff or relied on whiffs, but he could reliably keep the ball on the ground and limit extra-base hits and homers that way. Even though that's been more of a struggle for him the last couple years as his stuff has dropped off, the conditions will majorly benefit him on Friday. He allowed 1.54 HR/9 in 2021 and 1.60 HR/9 in 2022.
The favorable conditions will also help Cole Irvin, who has struggled with his command this season. Irvin has always had mediocre Stuff+ numbers — 76 this season — and made up for it with plus command and low Walk Rates. If his command isn't as sharp this year, he's a below-replacement-level pitcher. His 9.4% Walk Rate is a major alarm bell against a Cubs lineup that is in the seven-most patient and projects better against left-handed pitching than righties. Chicago is 11th in wRC+ against southpaws and is seventh in Walk Rate.
Hendricks' overall Stuff+ is quite poor, but he has an above-average changeup and curveball to help supplement his lack of a real fastball. He projects as a slightly better pitcher than Irvin, and the Cubs are at home in their best offensive split, so I'd bet Chicago at -120 or better in the Friday afternoon matchup.
Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET
Domingo Germán vs. Tanner Houck
Home runs have clouded the true talent and projection for Tanner Houck this season. He's allowed a home run on 18.1% of fly balls this season, which is an unsustainably high number. Throughout his MLB career and even in the minors, Houck never had a home-run issue. He's consistently allowed fewer than one homer per nine innings, and his average MLB HR/FB rate is 10.1%.
I tend to use the BAT projections for rest of season, but the home run numbers for Houck from them seem too out of line with his past career splits. Houck projects as an above-average starter in most of the other projection systems, and I'd project him closer to those numbers for the rest of the season. His entire pitching profile looks similar to last season — Barrel Rate, K-BB%, Stuff+, and yet his ERA is nearly two runs higher.
If Houck keeps pitching as he has, the homers will regress, and you'll be left with an above-average starter. We're buying him at a discount as a pick'em against the Yankees' reduced lineup without Aaron Judge.
While Houck has never had a homer issue in the past, that's been a major weakness for Domingo Germán. He's allowed 1.57 HR/9 in his MLB career, and this season he's paired that with just slightly above-average Strikeout and Walk Rates. A quick look at the ERA and even xERA would suggest these two starters are comparable. Houck projects better for the rest of the season, and the Red Sox have the better lineup projection at home without Judge.
The only clear advantage for New York is the bullpen, but I'd bet Boston at -125 or better.
Rockies at Braves, 7:20 p.m. ET
Dinelson Lamet vs. Jared Shuster
The Rockies have been the worst offense in MLB against left-handed pitching by a wide margin this season, but they get a favorable matchup against Jared Shuster and the Braves on Friday night. Shuster has had major command issues when he's pitched both in Triple-A and MLB this season. He's walked nearly five batters per nine in 60 innings across both levels this season. If you throw in his poor fastball Stuff+ (60) and a mediocre slider, there's just not much to work with for the Atlanta rookie.
Shuster hasn't been able to strike out MLB hitters either. He has a 5.3 K/9 and has a 5.10 ERA despite allowing just 0.5 HR/9. That tells me there's even more room for Shuster to fall as an MLB pitcher. He allowed 1.85 HR/9 in Triple-A Gwinett last year. With more homers allowed and his middling command, Shuster isn't yet an MLB starter. Even for a lineup that has struggled against lefties as much as Colorado, the Rockies should be able to score runs on him.
His rest of season 5.51 ERA projection from The BAT suggests he's only in the majors because of the sheer number of starter injuries that have plagued the Braves.
Dinelson Lamet has a decent sinker and slider combination, but he pairs it with reliever-level command. Lamet no longer has the dominant stuff to make up for his inconsistent command. With a Walk Rate near 15% and a Stuff+ below 100, the Braves lineup has the potential to do major damage on Friday night.
The wind is blowing out to centerfield tonight, which only further improves the hitting-friendly park factor at Truist Park. The total has moved from 10 to 10.5 overnight, but I'd still bet over 10.5 at -110 or better.