MLB Underdog Picks Today | Odds, Predictions for Mariners vs. Braves, Dodgers vs. Cardinals on Friday, May 19
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado.
Friday’s MLB slate features 15 games with all 30 teams taking the field, which means there’s plenty of betting value on the day’s underdogs.
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.
Mariners vs. Braves
7:20 p.m. ET · Bryce Miller vs. Bryce Elder
Charlie DiSturco: This is a battle of Bryces. Mariners vs. Braves. And if you’ve been following me at all this season, I’ve been fading Bryce Elder, and for the most part, getting the shit end of that stick.
Bryce Elder is the luckiest pitcher in baseball — a 1.94 ERA with an expected ERA over 2.5 runs higher at 4.56. He ranks in the bottom 10% of all pitchers in hard-hit rate — that’s near 50%. He’s been significantly worse from last year when he first came up into the bigs.
Has some command issues. You look at his numbers across the board — barrel rate near 10%, expected batting average .267, expected slugging .423. Yet, he has an 86.6 left-on-base rate and has been able to get out of jams consistently. It’s been super aggravating.
But there’s going to be a time where he does not get this luck of BABIP or luck of double-play balls or strikeouts when there are runners in scoring positions. And it’s all going to come to bite him.
I like him coming tonight against the Mariners. Bryce Miller, on the mound opposite him, has been incredible since he’s been called up. A .198 expected batting average, a .265 expected ERA. He doesn’t walk any batters, a 1.6 walk rate.
I love the Mariners as an underdog here. I think this game is closer to a pick’em.
Obviously, the Braves offense is always scary, but they’re actually in their worse split; they’re 16th in wRC+ against right-handed pitching and second against left-handed. Their bullpen is top-five, but Seattle is also top-five.
So, I like Seattle. I trust them to secure the lead and keep the lead going if Bryce Miller is able to outdo Bryce Elder. And I think it’s going to happen — Elder is due to get blown up eventually.
I’m going to take a stab here with the Mariners plus-money and might even add on their team total over as well.
Pick: Mariners +128
Dodgers vs. Cardinals
8:15 p.m. ET · Tony Gonsolin vs. Steven Matz
Anthony Dabbundo: I like the Cardinals. And I know it’s ugly with Steven Matz on the mound.
I think that they have a split advantage here with the Dodgers against lefties. The Dodgers rank second in wRC+ against righties; they have dominated righties for the better part of this entire era.
But they’ve always had a little bit of a hole against left-handed pitching. They’re 21st this year and about 15th last year. It’s been a consistent trend with them.
Also, Mookie Betts potentially could miss. It didn’t seem serious with Betts, but he could miss tonight potentially, so that’s one thing to keep an eye on with the Dodgers. But I like the Cardinals +110 at home in that matchup.
That offense is really starting to hum now. [Nolan] Arenado has obviously figured out his early-season woes. Contreras, the classic “joining the new team tax.” You see guys struggle early, but he’s really broken out now. [Lars] Nootbaar and [Nolan] Gorman especially have really had strong rises here in the last few weeks.
So, I’m impressed by this Cardinals lineup. I continue to buy their lineup. I just don’t know if they have the pitching, but tonight at home as a dog against the Dodgers, I like them at +110.
Pick: Cardinals +108
Payoff Pitch Underdog Picks for Friday, May 19
- Mariners +128 vs. Braves
- Cardinals +108 vs. Dodgers
At FanDuel, this parlay would pay out at +374 at the time of writing.
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