MLB Underdog Picks Today | Odds, Predictions for Red Sox vs Twins, Braves vs Phillies (Tuesday, June 20)
Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Turner and Christian Arroyo
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.
Braves vs. Phillies, 6:40 p.m. ET
Spencer Strider vs. Ranger Suárez
Anthony Dabbundo: Guess what? Spencer Strider has a velocity problem again, and I am worried about Strider. Not to the level as some in the public who are starting to catch on to this.
He gave up four home runs to the Tigers in his last outing, who are one of the worst offenses in baseball. But the underlying data on Strider is that the fastball Stuff+ is down, mainly because the fastball velocity is down. Instead of sitting at 98 and 97 consistently, in his last couple of outings he's been a little bit lower, and you're starting to see some 95 and 96 popping on that radar.
Now, for Strider, when you only have two pitches and you're somebody who has not always had plus command so you just trust your stuff, sit in the zone and dare people to hit it, you can do that at 97, 98 and 99, give up the occasional homer and be fine.
But, when you start to sit at 95 and 96, these major-league hitters are teeing off on Strider's fastball right now. I am concerned about Strider living up to the ERA market projection that he's sitting at. I'm not yet ready to say that it's injury, but there's something under the hood that is wrong with Strider. I think he's overvalued here.
I like the Phillies at +120 or better with Ranger Suárez on the mound. Suárez is not a stuff guy, but he has had good command in his last few outings, finally locating the changeup. He has dominated some good lineups in the last couple of weeks, including Arizona and the Dodgers.
I am encouraged by Suárez's improvements after a really rough start off of injury, and I am discouraged by Strider on the road on the road here in Philly tonight.
Red Sox vs. Twins, 7:40 p.m. ET
Kutter Crawford vs. Bailey Ober
Sean Zerillo: I like the Red Sox, but in the first five innings only. It's down to about +114. I don't see a substantial difference between Kutter Crawford and Bailey Ober. That surprised me, because I would have assumed without looking that I viewed Ober as the better pitcher. But running everything through the model, I actually make them pretty comparable.
Crawford has been in both the bullpen and in the starting rotation this season. In the rotation in his past few outings he has a 3.20 xERA, compared to 3.80 for Ober. The way that pitching models view them as potential pitchers, they have Crawford's range anywhere between 3.75 to 4.50, and Bailey Ober between 4.00 and 4.50.
The relative floor of both seems equivalent, but Crawford may actually have the higher ceiling in the numbers. Again, I find that interesting, and not something I would have assumed going in.
The Red Sox also have the better offense; they are top 10 against righties. The Twins are closer to the league average. I just made this first live line about +105, so down to +115 is fine. The Twins have the bullpen advantage, so we don't want the full game.
Payoff Pitch Underdog Picks for Tuesday, June 20
- Phillies Moneyline
- Red Sox First 5 Moneyline
At FanDuel, this parlay would pay out at +369 at the time of this writing.
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