MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Juan Soto #22 of the New York Yankees celebrates with Aaron Judge #99 on a solo home run in the eighth inning of their MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 17: Juan Soto #22 of the New York Yankees celebrates with Aaron Judge #99 on a solo home run in the eighth inning of their MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on April 17, 2024 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

I’m back! Apologies for the delay in picks, I was at my best friend’s wedding in Mexico for five days.

I’m rested and ready to rock. Last time we spoke, my picks went 2-0. We hit Kyle Bradish’s over on strikeouts at a +145 price. He had six in five innings, and then a rain delay hit. That was awesome.

We also hit Yusei Kikuchi under 5.5 hits allowed. He allowed five hits, and it got a bit sweaty at the end, but he held it down.

We still have a lot of work to do, starting with these two picks. Let’s roll.

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

2024 Record: 54-62 (-10.52 U)

New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels @ 9:38 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Nestor Cortes Jr vs. Griffin Canning

This Yankees offense needs to slow down, especially against right-handed pitching. They destroy lefties also, but facing Canning puts them in their better split. I love Nasty Nestor as a Yankee fan, but it’s hard to look past his troubles on the road. You add a hot Angels offense and a bad Angels bullpen, and we should see plenty of runs today.

Griffin Canning has a few glaring issues; some tell me he’s not 100%, and some don’t match up well against the Yankees. We’ll start with the overarching problem; velocity.

His 5.05 xERA and 5.05 SIERA are identical to his 5.05 ERA. Quick side note: isn’t that crazy? I wonder if I’ve seen a guy with the exact ERA estimators as his ERA. This means he’s not due for any positive regression; this is what he is.

The velocity on his pitches is down across the board, especially his fastball, which is down from 94.7 MPH last year to 93.3 this year. His strikeout rate has dropped nearly 10% from last year, and his walk rate has risen by 3%. His Stuff+ has also fallen to 87, which is the same as Taijuan Walker for comparison. He’s not in a good spot, especially against the Yankees.

Canning gives up the long ball. He’s posted three straight seasons with a HR/9 over 1.5. He’s facing the number one slugging offense, with Aaron Judge being the number one power hitter. He could be the one to hit the long ball, or it’s Stanton and Soto. Maybe it’s all three.

As you can see below, the Yankees are the best team in baseball against righties. They rank number one in just about everything, and in the last two weeks, they have a 141 wRC+ against righties. That’s the best mark in the game.

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Nestor Cortes Jr lines up for the Yankees. He’s been excellent this year, but his dominance has been in Yankee Stadium. Opponents are slashing .292/.359/.509, which has hurt him in the run prevention department (6.75 ERA). Nestor Cortes has exceeded 2.5 earned runs in five straight games on the road (3.8 earned runs/game average).

Can we put some respect on this Angels offense? They’ve been fantastic, as you can see above. The Angels have a higher wRC+ against lefties over the last two weeks than the Yankees, putting up a 157 wRC+. With or without Trout, this Angels lineup has demolished left-handers.

I was headed for the first five under, but the Angels bullpen has been so bad that I wanted to include them. They rank 26th in ERA this season, and I like the Yankees to soak up innings against everyone, especially considering how good they are against both sides of the plate. We could always get a late-inning home run to put us over.

The Yankees’ bullpen has been performing well, but I still don’t love them as a unit. While they rank second in ERA, they rank 13th in FIP, 19th in xFIP, and 20th in SIERA. I think the Angels can get to them.

We have a slight breeze blowing out, which should only help the offense. It’s supposed to be 70 and sunny in Anaheim today. You could pay the juice on 8.5, but I’m rolling with nine at a plus price.

The Pick: Over 9 Runs (+100) Risk 1 Unit

Player Props

Jake Irvin Under 4.5 Strikeouts (+115) Risk 1 Unit

I think Jake Irvin is a ticking time bomb, and the only time he faced the Braves, it didn’t go well. He had six strikeouts in his last game, and Mitchell Parker struck out six Braves yesterday. That’s why I think we have an inflated strike-out line.

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Irvin is in the bottom 30th percentile in chase, whiff, and strikeout rates. He fills the zone with below-average stuff, and because he’s in the zone so much, he can record strikeouts due to the length of his outings. I don’t see that happening today, especially when I see a 16.5-outs line juiced towards the under after a six-inning outing in his last start.

He faced the Braves once last year, allowed five earned runs in 2.2 innings, and only struck out one batter. The Braves offense is struggling more than last year, but it’s all the same players outside of Acuna. Riley and Murphy are back, and it’s still the Braves at the end of the day.

Irvin’s best pitch to generate whiffs is his curveball. Even though they’ve struggled this year, the Braves rank fourth in xwOBA against that pitch. This is a good matchup for this team. The Braves love righties who fill up the zone with below-average stuff.

Irvin is over this number in ten of his last 20 starts and five of his previous ten. He’s been under in three of his last five starts. Both teams that Irvin went over this number against (Twins and Red Sox) strike out more than the Braves against righties.

The last reason this line is inflated is that the Braves have been striking out more lately—the fifth-highest rate in baseball over the last 30 games and the tenth-highest in the previous two weeks. Considering Irvin’s below-average stuff and matchup, that doesn’t mean he gets five or more today. I love this at a plus number; take it down to +100.

I’m going to find a lot of value going forward by trusting the Braves to turn it around, and it starts today by not striking out.

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