MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for Sunday, June 16, 2024

Elehuris Montero #44 and Ezequiel Tover #14 of the Colorado Rockies
DENVER, COLORADO - MAY 12: Elehuris Montero #44 and Ezequiel Tover #14 of the Colorado Rockies celebrate their win against the Texas Rangers at Coors Field on May 12, 2024 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

We took the under in Reds vs Brewers yesterday, and it was tied for the lowest-scoring game of the day. We have nine runs to play with, and the game ended 3-1. Feels good to hit a bet like that.

We are 5-2 since I started with my favorite pick of the day. They’ve been half-unit plays, so we aren’t bathing in profit, but it’s the best way to chip away at the hole I’ve dug for myself. Remember, we still have a long season to go. As I refine this process, the unit size will eventually increase.

For today, we are going with an underdog, with no business being the price it is. Happy Father’s Day!

These picks are available on BetMGM. Code “JustBaseball” for a first bet offer up to $1500.

2024 Record: 62-73 (-13.50 U)

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Colorado Rockies @ 3:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Daulton Jefferies vs. Dakota Hudson

We are dumpster diving for value today, as the wrong team is favored. It’s unclear how the Pirates will go about pitching today, and because the Pirates have a better record, I think the books hung a lousy number.

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We are still determining who is pitching for the Pirates today, but we know it’s not one of their regular starting pitchers. Daulton Jefferies appears to be making a start, and usually, they’d have Luis Ortiz to back him up, but he threw five innings against the Rockies on Friday. Ortiz has been fantastic, so it’s nice to know he won’t be available today.

The Rockies will likely face off against a pitcher with two appearances this year. Jefferies allowed five earned runs in two innings against the Padres on March 31. He got another chance against the Red Sox, allowing four earned runs in 2.2 innings. He’s not a prospect getting his feet wet; he’s 28 years old. He has a career 6.64 ERA and was rehabbing through injury for 2023.

He may cover the bulk innings after an opener or get the first few. He’s not a pitcher you want to back, especially making his first appearance at Coors Field.

Following him will be a Pirates bullpen that ranks 26th in ERA, 20th in FIP, and 24th in xFIP. Since May began, they have ranked 28th in ERA, 20th in FIP, and 26th in xFIP. Since June began, they have ranked 25th in ERA, 16th in FIP, and 24th in xFIP. No matter how you queue it up, it’s an objectively below-average bullpen.

It’s also a bullpen that isn’t on an ideal rest schedule. David Bednar (5.52 ERA) and Colin Holderman (0.76 ERA) are both available, but everyone else has thrown 20+ pitches in the last two games. One of their better arms, Hunter Stratton just went on the IL with a triceps strain.

We are also playing at Coors Field. All it takes is for one of the relief pitchers to have a blow-up inning. One guy who can’t adjust to the altitude, and here come the runs. A botton-ten bullpen in Coors Field feels like it’ll produce plenty of Rockies runs.

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The Pirates get to face Dakota Hudson. Hudson has been terrible at Coors Field, posting an ERA north of seven. I wouldn’t say I’m hyped up to watch him dominate the Pirates today, but he does have great numbers against them.

The former Cardinal has a rich history against Pittsburgh. Through 78 PA, the Pirates are hitting .206 with a .283 xwOBA. They aren’t hitting for any power (.319 xSLG), and the average launch angle against is -0.3. That means the average ball hit against Hudson is 90.1 MPH groundout. We’ll take that. He can outduel whatever the Pirates have on tap for today.

Beyond Hudson is a terrible bullpen from a numbers standpoint, but they are in a much better rest spot than the Pirates. Only two pitchers have thrown over 25 pitches in the last three days. I’ll take a rested Rockies bullpen that’s used to being at home over a tired Pirates bullpen in an environment they aren’t used to.

Let’s talk offense because the Rockies also have the advantage here. The Rockies have the seventh-best OPS in baseball at home. It’s easier to boost that number at the best hitter’s park in the game, but still, they can put up runs against anyone at home. Against righties overall this season, both teams have an 81 wRC+, but the Rockies have the higher OPS by 50 points (.637 vs .687).

Over the last month, the Pirates have had a slightly better offense, ranking 23rd in wRC+ compared to the Rockies at 27. It’s a bit closer over the past two weeks, but generally, it’s the same story. The point is that the Pirates on a neutral playing field have a slightly better offense against righties, but this is at Coors Field, where the Rockies are more comfortable.

I prefer the Rockies’ offense in this game, and I’d rather back Dakota Hudson than a mystery bag the Pirates are touting out there. I’m tempted to go first five, but I’m happy to fade the Pirates’ bullpen in the game. These teams should be -110 on both sides today, so I’m taking the Rockies as +100 or better.

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The Pick: Rockies ML (+120) Risk 0.5 Units