MLB Underdog Picks Today | Odds, Predictions for Rockies vs. Diamondbacks (Tuesday, May 30)
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Freeland (Rockies)
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.
They have two more to recommend today.
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Rockies vs. Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m.
Kyle Freeland vs. Zac Gallen
Anthony Dabbundo: I’m a big Zac Gallen guy generally, but I think the market has gotten a little high on him.
There was a start against Pittsburgh a couple of weeks ago where I was looking at the market like “how is this line right on the road at Pittsburgh against (Johan) Oviedo?” Now he’s -240 at home against Kyle Freeland, who's a solid mid-level starter, especially when he doesn't have to pitch at Coors Field.
If you look at his splits from last season and this season, the numbers on him are pretty good, so I just think this number is way too high on Arizona.
I like Gallen; he’s still a 3.40/3.50 xERA pitcher this year. The Stuff+ is not elite, but it’s good, and he’s clearly an above average pitcher. He’s improved his walk rate, and that’s really been the biggest thing for him. He hit too many guys and had too many walks in the past, so you’ve seen him take a bit of a step forward this year because of that.
With Freeland having the better slugging allowed away from home and just being the better pitcher, I think it’s closer to a coin flip number than the market is suggesting here.
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Sean Zerillo: I’m on the Rockies here, too. They’re actually my largest projected edge for today, as I have them closer to +170.
For me, Gallen is like a No. 2 starter. He’s like a low 3s, high 2s, maybe a high-end No. 2, low-end ace starter, but he’s not with those "elite of the elite" aces.
Projections have him in that low 3s type of ERA FIP projection. His Stuff+ and Location+ numbers are above average in both, but about 6% or 7% above average.
So, Gallen has gotten a little bit overrated after that scoreless inning streak that he posted last year. He broke the club record scoreless streak. It’s the seventh-longest in major league history, as it was like 45 innings of scoreless baseball that he pitched.
And since then everyone’s been like, “Oh this guy is one of the best pitchers in baseball.” No, he has one of the highest floors among pitchers in baseball, but I don’t think he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball.
I don’t think the ceiling is where Spencer Strider or Jacob deGrom or those guys are on a start-to-start basis. I think his floor is very safe, but I don’t think the ceiling is that high.
Payoff Pitch Underdog Picks for Tuesday, May 30
- Rockies +220