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MLB Underdog Picks Today | Odds, Predictions for Rays vs Orioles, Mets vs Reds (Tuesday, May 9)

MLB Underdog Picks Today | Odds, Predictions for Rays vs Orioles, Mets vs Reds (Tuesday, May 9) article feature image

Denis Poroy/Getty Images. Pictured: Luke Weaver

As a reminder, 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.

Rays vs. Orioles, 6:35 p.m. ET

Zach Eflin vs. Grayson Rodriguez

Sean Zerillo: My favorite underdog of today is the Baltimore Orioles at +120, and I like this down to about +110. And now it is time for my co-hosts to guess where the Tampa Bay Rays bullpen ranks in strikeout rate and xFIP this season, two marks that I think are pretty indicative of bullpen success. So, where do you think those Rays rank considering they’re third with a 3.00 ERA. They’re 28th in both categories.

I need to dive deeper into this to see if the Rays just have a collection of relievers that they’re intending to generate weak contact with because I’m an xERA guy, but you can’t really see xERA and break it down by a bullpen. You can break it down in terms of a team. But the Rays rank, in terms of strikeout rate this season in their bullpen, ninth. And you would expect it to be much higher, but their batting average against is .208, their batting average on balls in play is about .250, so they’re essentially just completely denying any kind of hard contact. Tampa Bay’s relief corps’ strikeouts are not high, its walks are actually very high compared to where you’d expect them to be.

This is a bullpen who, by and large, I’m projecting as the best bullpen in baseball on a daily basis. So, the fact that their expected indicators thus far put them with the bottom-five bullpens in the league, I think is just a very interesting point to talk about. I don’t know if it’s necessarily predictive or indicative of what they are, but in terms of where I have this matchup, I have it right around a pick ‘em.

The Orioles are a good team. They’ve been largely unlucky over the past three days. We’ve bet them all three days against the Orioles and the Braves, but they’ve shown they can be a good team and be competitive.

The AL East is loaded — like really loaded. The Orioles are good; the Rays, we know how good they are; the Jays are probably just as good as they were last year. As I said coming into the year, the Red Sox were going to improve, and they clearly have. So, where does that leave a team like the Yankees, when four teams around them in the division are all getting better? Definitely potentially on the outside looking in at the end of this season. I don’t think the sky is falling as much in the Bronx as it should be in Queens given all of the pitching injuries for the Mets, even though the Yankees are dealing with pitching injuries too.

Anyway, Orioles +115 is a fine bet here, so I’d definitely play the +120 at FanDuel on Tuesday afternoon. I make them a pick ‘em price in this game. Even though Grayson Rodriguez has struggled a little bit and Zack Eflin has been good, I don’t know if that Rays bullpen is quite as effective as they’ve been this year.

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Mets vs. Reds, 6:40 p.m. ET

Editor’s note: Max Scherzer was scratched from Tuesday’s start. David Peterson will start in his place.

Max Scherzer vs. Luke Weaver

Anthony Dabbundo: I think we don’t know what the floor is on Max Scherzer. I think it’s a real concern in terms of trying to project him. Zerillo talked about it: Scherzer has been a feel guy. He’s talked about how important feel is to him, and he’s more of an artist in a way when he pitches. But if he’s not healthy, there’s no limit to how bad this could be for the Reds. You can find as high as +170 or +175 out there if you shop around, and I would advise that because I like the Reds at that number. The +155 number is probably a little low, so I’d pass on them there.

Certainly don’t love Weaver, but given the hitting environment and the problems Scherzer’s going to have–the velocity being down, him openly discussing injury– it’s all red flags.

This line has gone down since the recording of the podcast. I’d still bet Reds +165 at PointsBet or BetRivers.

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