MLB Underdog Picks: Odds, Predictions for Yankees vs Rangers, Phillies vs Astros Today

MLB Underdog Picks: Odds, Predictions for Yankees vs Rangers, Phillies vs Astros Today article feature image
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  • There are 14 games on Friday's MLB slate, which means plenty of betting opportunities.
  • The Payoff Pitch podcast MLB experts have found value in a couple underdog plays and detailed them on the podcast.
  • Their picks and analysis are also detailed below.

Friday's MLB slate sees 14 games with one this afternoon and a plethora of action coming this evening.

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.

Yankees vs. Rangers, 8:05 p.m. ET

Clarke Schmidt vs. Jacob deGrom

Collin Whitchurch: The Yankees are facing Jacob deGrom today and at +170 in my mind this is kind of an auto-bet, because how often are you going to find the Yankees at +170 or better? So I decided to look using Action’s PRO tools and I looked at games where the Yankees have been +170 underdogs or longer. This is the first time since April 2019 against the Astros, and they lost that game outright. However, going back to 2005 — so we’re talking 17-plus years — this will only be the 25th time that they’ve been underdogs of +170 or longer, assuming this line closes at +170 or longer. They’re 9-15 in the previous 24 games, which is actually a slightly positive ROI of 8.8% return on investment on the Yankees if you had bet them every time they have been +170 or longer.

So the point is you’re not going to get a chance like this very often. I know Jacob deGrom is Jacob deGrom, but the Yankees are +170 and the Yankees are the Yankees. It just seems like one of those very rare instances where you can bet a team as good as the Yankees at this long of odds. Jacob deGrom is awesome and Clark Schmidt has struggled. I get it. But Schmidt seemed to right the ship a little bit last time against Toronto. He went 5 2/3 innings, gave up a couple of unearned runs, had one walk, eight strikeouts, and I like Schmidt here to at least keep it close with deGrom through the first half of this game. And we know deGrom is not going long, that’s kind of the Yankees’ side of the argument here. Even if deGrom throws a perfect game through five innings, he’s going to get pulled after 5-6 innings, and then we turn things over to the bullpen.

Texas’ bullpen has been a train wreck of late. They blew several big leads against Cincinnati over the couple of days. They also lost outright to Gerrit Cole and the Yankees last night. They didn’t use a lot of key relievers there except for Jose Leclerc for an inning.

The Yankees have a huge advantage in the bullpen, so I like Schmidt to keep it close and when this game is turned over to the bullpen, the Yankees do their thing. +170 or better is insanely good betting value on a team as strong as the Yankees.


Phillies vs. Astros, 8:10 p.m. ET

Aaron Nola vs. Framber Valdez

Charlie DiSturco: I’m going to go with the Phillies here on the moneyline. Aaron Nola has been pretty inconsistent this far and some people saw it coming after last year, some people are a bit surprised, I think this is a good buy-low spot on him. His velocity is down ever so slightly. I think it’s being overstated: it’s only down 1.5 mph on his fastball. His FIP, xFIP, and xERA are all in the low to mid-fours, while his actual ERA up in the mid-5 range, so he’s going to be due for some positive regression. He’s not been as bad as everyone thinks. It’s really just because his strikeout rate has dipped below 20%, but he’s still limiting hard hit rate and still getting chases.

I like the opportunity here against the Astros. Yordan Alverez is probably back in the lineup tonight, but if he misses, that’s another 10 cents that gets knocked off this +130 price. This Houston offense you want to fade early before they get fully healthy. Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley are still out and Alvarez is battling that injury. Who knows how he’ll come back. The bottom of the order is pretty bad, so at this point you want to look to fade them at times. That’s what I’ve been doing throughout the season, just picking my spots.

And for Framber Valdez, it’s a perfect time to fade him. He has a 2.25 ERA that’s hiding some glaring issues with an xERA near 4.20. He ranks in the bottom 11% of all pitchers in hard hit rate with 50% of the balls being put in play are being hit hard, so that’s very concerning for me.

Philadelphia, as far as batting goes, have been playing a lot better as of late, and they’re in their positive split. All of last year we’ve talked about how good they are against left-handed pitching. They’re better, they’re getting the left-handed pitcher tonight, and I think they’re going to win this game. So +130 is good value for me. I’d back it all the way to about that +120 mark.


Payoff Pitch Underdog Picks for Friday, April 28

  • Yankees Moneyline
  • Phillies Moneyline

At FanDuel, this parlay would pay out at +555 at the time of this writing.

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