MLB Predictions Today | Odds, Expert Picks for Angels vs. Padres, Mariners vs. Giants, More (Tuesday, July 4)

MLB Predictions Today | Odds, Expert Picks for Angels vs. Padres, Mariners vs. Giants, More (Tuesday, July 4) article feature image

Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Musgrove (Padres)

Happy Fourth of July to all!

We have a full slate on Tuesday, with games starting as early as 11:05 a.m. ET and as late as 9:10 p.m. ET. There’s nothing better than baseball being on all day, and I’ve got you covered with a breakdown. 

Here’s four games that I'm targeting for this jam-packed slate.

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1:05 p.m. ET · Kyle Gibson vs. Clarke Schmidt

I will continue to fade Kyle Gibson as his struggles trudge on in his age 35 season. 

The right-hander ranks in the bottom 25% of all pitchers in hard hit%, xBA, xSLG, strikeout rate and chase rate. Across the board, it's Gibson’s worst season since 2017 (5.55 xERA) — aside from hard hit rate. This season (43.8%) is the only time he’s ever been in the 40s. 

Age is starting to catch up to Gibson. He has a deep six-pitch arsenal, but most of the pitchers — especially the hard stuff — render ineffective.

After two months of overperforming, June hit Gibson hard. He posted a 6.84 ERA in five starts. 

He’ll match up with Clarke Schmidt on Tuesday. The right-hander has been trending up after a disastrous April. Since that first month, Schmidt has a 3.33 ERA and has really stabilized himself in an injury-riddled Yankees rotation.

Schmidt’s biggest issue has been facing opponents three times through the order — .327 average, .918 OPS — but Aaron Boone has been more mindful of that. The right-hander is also significantly better at home (3.83 ERA) than on the road (5.18) despite a 1-5 record. 

Catching the Orioles in their lesser split, I have the Yankees as heavier favorites here. The bullpens grade out just about even — in the last 14 days, the Yankees are fifth in xFIP and the Orioles are sixth —  while the Yankees' offense has been much improved even without Aaron Judge. 

Over the last two weeks, the Yankees are 15th in wRC+, 17th in isolated power and second in BB/K. Baltimore is 27th, 26th and 16th, respectively.  

Continue to fade Gibson and back the Yankees ML (-120) on Tuesday. 

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4:10 p.m. ET · Kodai Senga vs. Zach Davies

No trusting the New York bullpen here, but this is a cheap spot to not only back Kodai Senga but fade Zach Davies. 

There are few areas where the right-hander has been above average this season. He’s limited barrels at a high rate, but has seen his strikeout rate dip yet again (17%), while his walks remain in the double-digits. He rarely generates chases or swings and misses and relies on inducing soft contact for his outs. 

While he’s been unlucky with a 54 LOB%, his expected indicators remain in the mid-to-high 4s. Davies has made some arsenal changes — to no avail — throwing his four-seam and cutter a lot more often. He has a deep arsenal, but has been unable to limit the opposition much at all (.272 xBA). 

The issue with the Mets all season long hasn’t been their hitting. Over the last 14 days, they have actually graded out better than Arizona in wRC+ and isolated power.

They also rarely strikeout, which provides a huge boost against a pitcher like Davies who struggles to mitigate damage with runners on base. 

Senga is an interesting case. His biggest issue has been a 13 BB%, which ranks in the bottom 6% in baseball. But he’s been well above average in just about every other metric in his first big league season. 

Opponents have just a .222 xBA and .354 xSLG against Senga, all while the right-hander has a near-30% strikeout rate. His forkball has been one of the best pitches in all of baseball — .095 xBA, .150 xSLG and a 58.8 whiff% — and it’s shown. 

To me, the offenses are about an even wash. But the starting pitching edge is significant, and the Mets should be much heavier favorites, even on the road. I would back them on the F5 ML up to -130.

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4:35 p.m. ET · Logan Gilbert vs. Keaton Winn

It seems like every time Logan Gilbert steps on the mound I'm backing him at some capacity. Once again, I'm looking to back Seattle here behind the 26-year-old righty. 

Gilbert is a very interesting pitcher. He can run into issues with barrel rate (9.7%) but took a huge step forward across the board last season.

He was once a big fade candidate of mine, but the introduction of a splitter has led to higher ground ball rates and an improvement across the board in xBA, xSLG and hard hit%. 

Command remains a strength of this Seattle rotation. Gilbert’s walk rate is in the 92nd percentile and his chase rate (78th) has led to an increase in strikeouts this season. He's also a prime positive regression candidate, with a 3.56 xERA vs. 4.19 actual. 

His LOB% of 64.5 should also improve toward his career average (72.0), and it’s only a matter of time before his elite command and high chase rate leads to consistent and successful starts.

We saw against Washington, the Nationals BABIPd him to death in the first inning — three runs — before he finished and threw five innings of one-run ball immediately after. 

He matches up with Keaton Winn, who should see about 4-to-6 innings tonight for San Francisco. The Giants' bullpen has been used heavily the last couple of days, and they didn’t get a night off after Sunday Night Baseball.

The end result was a fireworks 10th inning for Seattle in a win, and with Winn not pitching deep into games often, that could prove disastrous. 

Winn has a 50% hard-hit rate through his four starts, with a .250 xBA and .408 xSLG. But the hard hit rate is what I’m concerned about, mostly because he’s been relying on pitching to contact and hasn’t struck out many batters in the majors.

Winn has made a really quick jump to the majors — he was in Single-A to start last season — and still has a lot of raw talent that needs sorting through. 

THE BAT and Steamer have him right around a mid 4s pitcher ERA-wise. He forces ground balls at a high rate and should see his strikeouts slightly improve — and his walk rate decrease — when compared to how he’s done in 18 big league innings to date. 

You can still grab Seattle as an underdog here, and I love that look. Despite the Mariners' offense being a concern at times, the edge on the mound makes them a slight favorite for me. 

I would back Seattle on the moneyline to -115.

6:40 p.m. ET · Shohei Ohtani vs. Joe Musgrove

I wrote about this game yesterday and while the line has continued to move in favor of the Padres, I still like San Diego up to -130. 

There’s a lot to love about Shohei Ohtani — he's a strikeout machine and generates whiffs at an elite rate. His xBA has dipped below .200 for the first time in his career, and he’s been forcing more ground balls this season than last. 

But there are some underlying concerns for the right-hander, who has an xERA (3.38) and xFIP (3.40) about a half-run higher than actual.

Ohtani’s barrel rate has jumped up to 9.2% this season and his HR/FB rate has nearly doubled. 

He's beginning to get hit harder and more often, and his control has taken a step back as well. After shoring up on his command over the last couple of seasons, Ohtani’s walk rate is back at 10.2%. 

The Padres' offense is a disciplined one. They're notorious for taking a lot of pitches and making the opposing pitcher work. Over the last 14 days, they're third in walk rate and ninth in both wOBA and wRC+. 

Joe Musgrove gets the call on July 4, a pitcher that I'm extremely high on. He ranks in the 92nd percentile of all pitchers in hard hit rate (30.5%), and despite seeing his strikeouts dip this season, he’s shored up on his barrels. 

Musgrove’s advanced metrics are near-identical to last season — when he had a sub-three ERA — and his xERA (3.16) is well over a half-run lower than actual (3.80) in 2023. He’s been a byproduct of bad BABIP luck — .316, 20 points higher than his career average — and has really found a groove in June (2.25 ERA, HR allowed). 

To top it all off, Brandon Drury is on the injured list and Mike Trout is all but likely out for Tuesday’s game. He left last night with a wrist injury and seemed concerned postgame.

Losing two key bats in the middle of the order is a significant loss to this Angels offense that's been running behind their superstar Ohtani all month. 

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