MLB Underdog Picks Today | Odds, Predictions for Giants vs Reds, Rays vs Rangers (Tuesday, July 18)

MLB Underdog Picks Today | Odds, Predictions for Giants vs Reds, Rays vs Rangers (Tuesday, July 18) article feature image

Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Jonathan India

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, and 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.

Giants vs. Reds, 7:10 p.m. ET

Anthony DeSclafani vs. Luke Weaver

Sean Zerillo: I'm going with the Cincinnati Reds. They were my favorite underdog yesterday, but they still have to finish yesterday's game before they play Tuesday's game.

In terms of Tuesday's matchup, I like the Reds again. You can bet them down to +111; they are currently +125. I don't see a huge difference between Anthony DeSclafani and Luke Weaver. DeSclafani technically has a better xERA with a 4.91 compared to a 5.60. However, Stuff+ and Pitching+ actually points to Weaver being the better arm.

The Giants have the better bullpen, but the Reds have the slight offensive advantage. They project about 5% better than the Giants against right-handed pitching. As I mentioned yesterday and throughout the season, the Reds are a such a good base-running team, and the Giants struggle defensively.

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Both teams struggle defensively, frankly, but the speed of the Reds puts more pressure on the Giants' defense to make plays. Even yesterday, Elly De La Cruz nearly beat out a routine ground ball. You have to make plays so quickly against him, or he becomes a free baserunner. The Reds' speed is game-changing, since speed never goes into a slump. It raises their floor in an outing.

Against a poor defensive team like the Giants who might make mistakes, fail to turn double plays and are likely to put Brandon Crawford back in at shortstop with a right-handed starter, there are a lot of things I like in favor of the Reds in this matchup.

Rays vs. Rangers, 8:05 p.m. ET

Taj Bradley vs. Nathan Eovaldi

Charlie DiSturco: My underdog pick of the day is the Rays moneyline +120.

Nathan Eovaldi is on the mound for Texas, and there has been a bit of concern about him over the last month. If you look at his Stuff+ numbers, he's outside the top 80-90 range, and he has taken a real step back from early this season when he was dominant. His fastball grades out below average, and that's his main pitch. Aside from his start against Houston, in the last month he has pitched 17 innings, allowed 10 runs and has just 12 strikeouts.

He's about league average in whiff rate, he's not striking out as many batters, and he's giving up a few too many hard-hit balls, with a hard-hit rate in the bottom third of all pitchers in baseball. When you look at his numbers, he's due for negative regression. His xERA and xFIP are in the mid-three range, rather than in the twos where his actual ERA is.

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The opposite can be said for Taj Bradley. He's got a 5.43 actual ERA, but projections actually really like him. He has a 4.04 xERA and a 3.35 xFIP. His biggest issue is his 65% strand rate and a .350 BABIP. He is giving up hard hits, and that's been an issue with him all season in his rookie year. Every ball put in play seems to be finding the holes, he's not able to mitigate damage, and he's given up a lot of home runs, which has become an issue for him with a 1.61 HR/9.

I think all those numbers come back and positively regress for Bradley. He has a high strikeout rate and a low walk rate. He also has excellent command, which is something you look for in a young pitcher.

Given the extended rest he's had, and given that these offenses and bullpens kind of grade out about the same for me, I am comfortable laying the plus money with Bradley.

Payoff Pitch Underdog Picks for Tuesday, July 18

  • Reds Moneyline
  • Rays Moneyline

At FanDuel, this parlay would pay out at +349 at the time of this writing.

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