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MLB Underdog Picks Today | Odds, Predictions for Dodgers vs Braves, Giants vs Twins on Monday, May 22

MLB Underdog Picks Today | Odds, Predictions for Dodgers vs Braves, Giants vs Twins on Monday, May 22 article feature image

Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/Getty Images. Pictured: Mitch Haniger

The Major League Baseball slate on Monday includes 12 games and plenty of intriguing betting possibilities.

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.

Dodgers vs. Braves, 7:20 p.m. ET

Gavin Stone vs. Charlie Morton

Sean Zerillo: I like the Dodgers in both halves here. I’m forecasting better things for Gavin Stone. He’s a guy who’s well regarded by scouting reports and the tapes seem to look good, but the Stuff+ metrics and the Location+ metrics, both in his limited major league sample – which is one start – and his starts in the minors, both were eight below average.

But there are other young guys pitching on this slate: Luis Ortiz for the Pirates who I’m high on and Brandon Williamson for the Reds, who has a lot of pedigree but awful minor league numbers. Stone, among the rookies, projects way better than these guys across five different projection systems. One even has a FIP projection for him at like 3.9. All these other guys are at like 4.5 to 5.

They actually see Stone as a pretty competent pitcher, but the location metrics, the Stuff+ metrics do not necessarily like what’s coming out of his hand. On paper, he actually projects very favorably to Charlie Morton, who is regressing. Strikeout rate has dipped, strikeout rate minus walk rate getting back to where he was in his pre-Houston days, going all the way back to 2016 before he really started leaning heavily on that fastball/curveball combo.

So Morton nearing the end of the line at age 40, Stone a kid on the way up, the Dodgers in their superior split. The Dodgers actually have the better of the offensive splits in this matchup. They rake against righties, the Braves are a bit better against lefties, at least so far this season.

Bet the Dodgers in both halves, first five about +118 and full game about +121. I actually see a slight starting pitching edge for the Dodgers if this kid can find it, and I expect him to do it at some point.

Giants vs. Twins, 7:40 p.m. ET

John Brebbia vs. Bailey Ober

BJ Cunningham: I like the Giants at +130 against the Twins. The Giants are going to open with John Brebbia. The Giants bullpen xFIP sits around 4.1 – 13th in Major League Baseball – which is kind of how they were projected heading into the season.

And the Twins, especially, are very bad against left-handed pitching, but they can hit righties. So if you look at where the Giants bullpen is right now, their two lefties, Scott Alexander and Taylor Rogers, are both available and are ready to pitch and haven’t pitched for a few days.

So the starting pitching matchup shouldn’t be that drastic in favor of the Twins, who are pitching Bailey Ober. Ober has a 1.78 ERA through five starts, his xERA is at 3.6 and his Stuff+ numbers are pretty concerning. He has an 82 this season – but his Location+ is one of the best in baseball at a 106.

Ober was around a 4.5 xERA pitcher the last two years, but if you don’t have the Stuff, it’s hard to keep up this great control and location over a long period of time. I think there is some regression coming for Ober, so I don’t think that the Twins should be this drastic of a favorite.

I like the Giants at +130.

Payoff Pitch Underdog Picks for Monday, May 22

  • Dodgers moneyline
  • Giants moneyline

At FanDuel, this parlay would pay out at +424at the time of this writing.

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