MLB Underdog Predictions | Picks, Odds for Padres vs. Dodgers & More

MLB Underdog Predictions | Picks, Odds for Padres vs. Dodgers & More article feature image

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Blake Snell (Padres)

  • Another MLB slate with all 30 teams in action means there's plenty of value on underdogs.
  • Charlie DiSturco and Anthony Dabbundo took to the Payoff Pitch podcast to talk their favorite underdogs for Friday's MLB slate.
  • Check out their top picks for Reds vs. Marlins and Padres vs. Dodgers below.

All 30 MLB teams are in action Friday, which means there's plenty of betting value on underdogs across the board.

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.

Reds at Marlins

6:40 p.m. ET · Graham Ashcraft vs. Eury Pérez

Charlie DiSturco: My favorite underdog is the Reds on the moneyline.

I can’t tell if this number is giving too much respect for Eury Perez or too much disrespect to Graham Ashcraft. Yes, Graham Ashcraft was tattooed in his last start, but this is a good opportunity to buy low on him.

Before that Chicago White Sox start, he had a quality start in five of six, and the one that he didn’t have a quality start on, he went five innings up two-run ball.

So, he’s pitching well, his control has been a little bit wonky as of late, but he’s correcting in a lot of areas and has improved all of his stuff year over year. His expected batting average is down a tenth, his expected slugging is down two-tenths, his barrel rate is down to 4.5%. So, he’s really just making important strides. He’s using his sliders a lot more and it’s become his most effective pitch.

When you look at these two teams, Miami and Cincinnati, they're almost interchangeable offensively: they're 26th and 28th in wRC+, 28th and 20th in wOBA — Cincinnati has the edge there —and then 25th and 28th in ISO. So with the offenses, there’s not really a huge difference there.

And then you look at the pitching matchup. Eury Perez — yes, he’s a top prospect, and yes, he’s going to be great one day. But he’s 20 years old and has only pitched in Double-A. Yes, he had a 2.32 ERA this year in 31 innings, but last year, he had a .408 ERA in 17 Double-A starts, and he almost had a 1.5 home runs per 9 this year in Double-A, and now he’s going to the majors. In his debut, as a 20-year-old, he’s a heavy favorite.

I make this game closer to a coin-flip. Perez is projected at about a mid-4 ERA by most projections. He has elite stuff, but at this point, at +130, all the way down to +115, I’d take the Reds.

This is just a great number to grab them, as much as you don’t want to go against the hype of this phenom, the youngest prospect ever to pitch for the Marlins. But you have to at this number.

Padres at Dodgers

10:10 p.m. ET · Blake Snell vs. Dustin May

Anthony Dabbundo: I like the San Diego Padres against the L.A. Dodgers, who have owned them in the regular season for a long time now.

I think we’re getting a discount on Blake Snell, and I think this is a good sell-high opportunity on Dustin “Meh,” as I call him. He has not really improved his zone rate, and that was the one thing with him. He hasn’t been throwing as many breaking balls and the thought was, “OK, well that will help him improve his command.” But it really hasn’t.

So, I’m still kind of skeptical that May has really taken this step forward. The projections have loved him forever despite the strikeout numbers not being that dominant. And he’s still not generating a ton of swings and misses, he’s not sitting in the zone that much. So he just has an above-average walk rate that becomes a real issue against a patient lineup like the Padres.

And I know you can say the exact same thing for Blake Snell. Snell has command issues, he gets into these long innings. But Snell has always projected well against the Dodgers because the Dodgers are much better against righties than lefties. And he has the swing-and-miss stuff to get them out. He’s going to generate a lot more whiffs than Dustin “Meh” in this start.

So, I’m gonna take the Padres at +120 on the moneyline here. I know that the strikeout rate is down here for Snell, but the swinging strike rate  — if you look at a rolling graph — is starting to trend back up again for Snell.

I think the early-season blip was just a blip and that Snell will be fine. I like the Padres here at +120 as my underdog of the day.

Payoff Pitch Underdog Picks for Friday, May 12

  • Reds ML +120
  • Padres ML +116

At FanDuel, this parlay would pay out at +375 at the time of writing.

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