MLB Underdog Picks Today | Odds, Predictions for Rangers vs Rays, Athletics vs Brewers on Friday, June 9

MLB Underdog Picks Today | Odds, Predictions for Rangers vs Rays, Athletics vs Brewers on Friday, June 9 article feature image

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images. Pictured: Brent Rooker and JJ Bleday

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.

Rangers vs. Rays, 6:40 p.m. ET

Andrew Heaney vs. Tyler Glasnow

Charlie DiSturco:When you look at these two pitchers, I think this number is just way too high. Tyler Glasnow will project better long term than Andrew Heaney, but you look at him right now and his fastball sits around 95 mph. His velocity dipped which is a pretty big concern coming back from a pretty significant injury.

Obviously it’s only been two starts, but a 7.42 xERA in that time frame is a bit of a concern. You look at his numbers, barrel rate 20.8%, hard-hit rate 62.5%. Obviously just two starts but his fastball, if it's not sitting in that 96-98 range, he becomes a lot more hittable and opponents have been able to hit him hard, they just haven’t fully been able to take advantage yet.

Heaney has had his lowest hard-hit rate of his career, 74th percentile of all pitchers and his xERA in the low 4s. So he’s about as average of a pitcher as you can get, but he’s been using his changeup a ton more this year and it hasn’t really paid off–he’s been getting crushed on his changeup. But the fastball, slider, when he does use it, has been incredible. Both have an expected batting average under .205.

So you look at Heaney last year versus this year –he was in the bottom 5% of all pitchers in barrel rate and hard-hit rate. Well now he has the best hard-hit rate of his career. And both bullpens grade out negatively, but Tampa exhausted its 'pen the last couple of games. They had a bullpen game yesterday. And I’m really concerned for them. They’re 29th in xFIP.

I know Zerillo’s talked plenty of times about the outlook of the Rays, but I do not like the Rays bullpen in the end run.

So I just think this number is way too high. I would back this down to that +130 mark. I think this is closer to a +120 projection.

Athletics vs. Brewers, 8:10 p.m. ET

Luis Medina vs. Adrian Houser

Anthony Dabbundo: I’ve got the Oakland A’s. The market has gotten crazy here on Adrian Houser. I’m sorry, but Adrian Houser should not be -230 or -240 against any major league team, even if you don’t count the A’s as a major league team.

You look at his projections, he’s limited homers thus far this year, but how long can we really expect that to last? He’s striking out 5.4 guys per 9, projections have him at like 5.8/5.9 for the rest of the year. The walks are projected to be worse and he’s always had command issues. And the home run to fly ball rate is a career low for him at 7.1%.

I mean, he was at 8% last year and that was with a dead ball. The ball’s more juiced this year. So I would expect more homers for Houser and that’s going to be a problem.

And I think the projection systems have him at a 5 ERA pitcher. So -240 with that guy pitching the bulk of the innings in the game. I can’t get to that number at all.

The A’s are going with a mix here of pitchers to try to get by. And it’s looking like Sam Moll is going to open. So it’s not going to be pretty for the A’s. He may open, but it may be Luis Medina, but either way, this is a concerning number that I can’t get anywhere near for Houser. So really at this number it’s a must-play for me.

Payoff Pitch Underdog Picks for Day, Date

  • Rangers moneyline
  • Athletics moneyline

At FanDuel, this parlay would pay out at +638 at the time of this writing.

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