MLB Expert Picks, Predictions Today | Odds for Padres vs Giants, More

MLB Expert Picks, Predictions Today | Odds for Padres vs Giants, More article feature image

Pictured: Mike Yastrzemski. (Photo by Suzanna Mitchell/San Francisco Giants/Getty Images)

  • There's another robust MLB slate tonight and all 15 games are set to take place under the lights.
  • Our MLB analyst is targeting five games with a significant amount of betting value.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of those games and to see how he's betting them.

With a full 15-game slate on the board for Tuesday, there's a number of spots I am looking to find value, with five games in particular sticking out.

Below, you'll find my favorite bets for this evening's MLB slate.

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Blue Jays vs. Marlins

6:40 p.m. ET · Yusei Kikuchi vs. Eury Perez

I wrote about fading Eury Perez here, and the best way given the current line is backing Toronto’s team total over 4 at plus money. 

The 20-year-old phenom has impressed since his debut nearly five weeks ago. He has given up three runs just once in seven starts and enters off his best outing, six innings of shutout ball against the Mariners. 

But there’s inevitable negative regression for the 6-foot-8 righty. While his ERA sits at 1.80, his xERA is nearly two runs higher at 3.79. His xFIP? Nearly three runs higher at 4.55.

Perez relies on generating chases out of the zone and using his high-90s fastball to set up dominant off-speed pitches. But when you look at his heat maps, he rarely finds the zone with his curveball and almost never does with his changeup. 

He has a similar problem as Hunter Greene had coming up last year, where his fastball is so overpowering, but can lead to issues with both hard hit and barrel rates increasing. His xBA on the fastball — which he throws nearly half the time — is up at .298 and the xSLG just a tad over .600. 

Given his near-double-digit walk rate and the propensity to be hit hard, Perez should struggle soon enough. He’s been flirting with danger constantly — a .227 BABIP and 92.6 LOB% —both of which are unsustainable numbers. Not even MLB’s elite can replicate, let alone those that rank in the bottom 50% in both hard-hit and barrel rate. 

Toronto also gets their positive split on Tuesday night against a right-hander where it is third in wRC+. 

Since the Blue Jays are on the road that ensures 27 outs are to be had by the Marlins pitchers. This is a perfect scenario for Toronto to bounce back from a three-game win streak as Perez falls down to Earth. Take the team total over 4 up to (-110).

Pick: Blue Jays Team Total Over 4 (-110 or Better)

Cubs vs. Pirates

7:05 p.m. ET · Marcus Stroman vs. Johan Oviedo

I wrote about fading Marcus Stroman behind Johan Oviedo last week and while it didn’t work out too well, I’m back on board Tuesday. Oviedo was way better than his final statline indicated. 

While he’s taken a slight step back from last season, Oviedo has battled some misfortune. He has a 68.5 LOB% — down over 10% from 2022 — and has a 4.06 xERA vs. 4.40 actual. He doesn’t generate many chases, which has hurt him at times, but does rank around the top 30% of all pitchers in average exit velocity and barrel rate. 

Since May 12, Oviedo has made seven starts to the tune of a 3.26 ERA. His strikeouts have begun to rise, too. 

Opposite him is Marcus Stroman who, from an outsider’s perspective, has starred with a 2.46 ERA that includes a one-hit shutout of the Rays. But his xERA and XFIP sit in the mid-to-high 3s and he’s benefited from a .235 BABIP, over 60 points lower than his career average. 

There hasn’t been a big tweak in arsenal. He is throwing his split-finger more and generating ground balls at a 60.5% rate — which has led to increased double plays and limiting runners while in scoring position. But I expect that to change soon. 

Stroman ranks in the bottom 50% of all pitchers in nearly every metric including hard-hit%, xBA and BB%. While he’s excellent at limiting barrels, his average exit velocity of 89.9 mph is his worst since 2016. 

Both offenses rank slightly below average against right-handed pitching and in a game where I think the difference in starting pitching isn’t far apart, I’m more than happy to back the Pirates as an underdog at home here. 

Take Pittsburgh at anything plus money. 

Pick: Pirates Moneyline (+100 or Better)

Mariners vs. Yankees

7:05 p.m. ET · George Kirby vs. Gerrit Cole

Another game that I highlighted in my column, George Kirby gets the start tonight looking to silent the Yankees bats once again. 

The last time Kirby took on the Bronx Bombers, he threw eight innings of shutout ball while striking out seven. The right-hander has pinpoint command and is among the most talented arms in baseball. 

The 25-year-old grades out above average in nearly every metric across the board. His Stuff+, Location+ and Pitching+ all rank above 100 and his xERA sits at 3.45. He’s shored up on his barrel rate this season and rarely gives any free passes. 

That’s key here because Kirby’s biggest issue is whiff rate (bottom 23% of all pitchers). He generates plenty of chases, but if he falls behind and has to attack the zone the opposition has made him pay at times. 

Over the last four starts, Kirby has zig-zagged his performances. He’s combined for 16 innings of one-run ball — no earned runs — against the Yankees and Marlins, but has also given up 12 runs across 8 1/3 against the Pirates and Padres. 

The upside of Kirby, though, is where I’m buying. And he’s facing Gerrit Cole, who is one of the more overvalued pitchers in the market. Cole’s numbers are of concern. He’s posting his worst xBA, xSLG and xERA since 2017. 

His barrel rate remains near 10% and he’s seen his strikeout rate drop six percent from last season. While he’s limited damage with a 2.75 ERA, I am a bit concerned for the right-hander that has seen his velocity drop a touch. 

Tack on the Yankees' offensive woes of late, and I like their struggles to continue against Kirby. The Mariners enter with the better offense and the No. 1 bullpen, per xFIP. With edges across the board aside from starting pitching — another matchup where I don’t see a huge difference between Cole and Kirby — I would back the Mariners at anything plus money. 

Back Kirby to continue his dominance against the Yankee bats on Tuesday. 

Pick: Mariners Moneyline (+100 or Better)

Rangers vs. White Sox

8:10 p.m. ET · Nathan Eovaldi vs. Dylan Cease

The first two months of the season, I was worried about Dylan Cease. I still am slightly, but in three June starts we have seen his strikeout rate start to return to last year. 

Cease is starting to see an uptick in O-Swing% — swings outside of the zone — and a decrease in hard-hit rate. A lot of that had to do with his decline in velocity and Stuff+. But his two main pitches — the fastball and slider — carry Stuff+ ratings of 120 or better. 

His xFIP and xERA sit in the low-to-mid 4s and I’d expect that number to continue to trickle down as the season progresses. He has also struggled with stranding runners, posting a left on base rate nearly 6% less than career average. 

Opposite him is Nathan Eovaldi, who has really taken a step forward in his first year with the Rangers. The right-hander carries an xERA and xFIP in the low-to-mid 3s and has shored up on his barrel rate nearly four percent. His xBA and xSLG have also taken significant steps forward from last year.

There’s a lot to love about Eovaldi. He doesn’t walk many batters, has seen his strikeout rates return to his career average and has generated ground balls at the highest rate since 2015. He’s above average in nearly every metric aside from hard-hit rate (42.5%), but even then it’s often on the ground and playable for the infield. 

Rather than trusting two weak bullpens, I’m putting full faith in the starting pitching here. The White Sox are 29th in wRC+ against right-handed pitching and while Texas is No. 2, Cease’s improvements give me enough confidence that Tuesday will be a low-scoring affair — at least in the early going. 

Back the first five under 4.5 to -130. 

Pick: First 5 Innings Under 4.5 (-130 or Better)

Padres vs. Giants

9:45 p.m. ET · Seth Luga vs. Anthony DeSclafani

Once again, we’re seeing near-20 mph winds out to left center on Tuesday night in San Francisco, and in a matchup of two less-than-stellar pitchers, the over is more than live. 

We’ll start with Seth Lugo. The right-hander makes his return after spending a month on the injured list. He may be eased into action and not throw a full workload, but regardless, I like the Giants' chances at getting to Lugo early. 

Lugo has a 4.91 xERA and has posted his career-worst xBA (.275) and the worst barrel% and xSLG since his rookie season in 2016. His strikeout rate has dropped all the way down to 21.3% and he’s not generating any swings and misses. 

The Giants' offense has kicked it into high gear amid their eight-game win streak and now find themselves in their positive split. They are sixth in wRC+, eighth in isolated power and third in walk rate against right-handed pitching. 

This is a patient offense that has used late rallies to hoist themselves into win after win. During their win streak, the Giants have averaged nine runs per game. They have scored less than seven runs just once (4-3 win over STL) in that span. 

As for their starting pitcher, Anthony DeSclafani is a pitcher I’m looking to continually fade here. The right-hander relies heavily on pitching to contact as his strikeout rate remains sub-20% this season. 

His xBA, though improved from last year, still sits at .277, and his hard-hit rate has remained the same (46%). Both of those numbers rank in the bottom 20% of all pitchers. DeSclafani doesn’t generate swings and misses and has actually benefited from a .286 BABIP — for reference, .300 is about average — despite struggling to limit hard contact. 

The Padres are one of the most patient offenses in baseball — they’re first in BB/K against righties — and have a great matchup here to break out. They have notoriously struggled with runners in scoring position all season long, but in a big park with the wind blowing out, I’m expecting them to hit DeSclafani hard. 

Back the over 8.5 (-115) up to 9 (-110). 

Pick: Over 8.5 (Bet to 9 and -110)

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