MLB Underdog Picks Today | Odds, Predictions for Angels vs Astros, Cubs vs Padres on Friday, June 2
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images. Pictured: Shohei Ohtani.
The Payoff Pitch podcast MLB experts break down their favorite picks from the day's slate every Monday, Tuesday and Friday, including each analyst's favorite underdog on the slate. They've got two more to recommend today.
You can read about their picks below, and be sure to subscribe to Payoff Pitch for MLB picks and predictions all season long.
Shohei Ohtani vs. Framber Valdez
Charlie Disturco: My underdog today is the Angels at +112 — I'd back it all the way down to even money. I have the Angels favored in this game that features a starting pitching matchup between Shohei Ohtani and Framber Valdez.
I got bit by Valdez being pushed back yesterday when I was on the Angels, but he’s a fade candidate right now — he has an xERA above four despite a 2.38 ERA. He has a career-worst barrel rate near 10%. His xBA and xSLG are both alarmingly high, and he’s seen a big cut in walks this season, which is why he’s likely had a little more success and less base runners. He’s been hit a little bit harder, but I expect that to regress back to his career averages.
Valdez walks about 1.88 per nine now — his career average is 3.5 — and projections have him in the high 2s, low 3s. You look across the board for him — he pitches out of the zone, but doesn’t generate many chases. If hitters are a little more patient, they should be able to hit him hard.
The Angels are in their positive split here — you want to back them against left-handed pitching. They’re 4th in wRC+ and seventh in wOBA against lefties. And Shohei Ohtani, there’s not much to add about how dominant this guy is. Across the board, his numbers have increased.
Ohtani’s in the top 10% of pitchers in whiff rate, strikeout rate, xBA, xSLG and hard hit rate. He’s not generating as many chases this year, but he’s also getting a lot weaker contact with his pitch mix. He’s throwing his sinker a lot more and inducing more ground balls.
I love the Angels in this matchup. I’m all in on the fade Valdez train.
Cubs vs. Padres, 9:40 p.m. ET
Jameson Taillon vs. Michael Wacha
Michael Wacha, I think I bet against him nearly every start. He’s getting by with his command and his changeup right now.
The Cubs can load up their lineup with a lot of righties, and given that Wacha is a changeup guy, I think that hurts him. As a righty, normally the changeup is a split dependent pitch, in that it’s a reverse splits pitch. For Wacha, that’s generally been the case.
There is a difference in opinion on the market versus me on Wacha, and I’ll continue to bet into that market consistently this season. The fastball continues to be one of the worst in baseball (70 Stuff+). The changeup is the only above-average pitch, and I think that even though he has decent underlying numbers, I don’t expect it to continue because the stuff isn’t very good.
His strikeout rate is also well below average. And can he maintain the elite contact rates? I’m very skeptical of that continuing. So I’m going to go with Cubbies on the road.
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Payoff Pitch Underdog Picks for Friday, June 2
- Angels Moneyline (+112)
- Cubs Moneyline (+142)
At FanDuel, this parlay would pay out at +413 at of Friday at 3:15 p.m. ET.