Monday MLB Picks, Best Bets, Predictions for June 3, 2024

Fernando Tatis Jr
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 15: Fernando Tatis Jr #23 of the San Diego Padres gestures skyward as he crosses the plate after hitting a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on August 15, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

One Charlie Morton strikeout away from a sweep. Instead, we drop about 0.1 units. Morton was cruising, with four strikeouts in his first two innings and five over three innings. He started to lose his command and fell under 6.5 strikeouts. The rain didn’t help him grip that curveball either.

While that was a bad beat, we were saved on the under in Chicago. The Reds got an early 4-0 lead, but the under 7.5 still found a way to hit. That’s baseball.

I’m going to keep grinding to find us winners. I have one for you today. I’ll also be back with the daily TikTok lives. Feel free to follow here; we’ll start it up at 12:30 pm EST

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

2024 Record: 56-66 (-12.60 U)

San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Angels @ 9:38 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Matt Waldron vs. Tyler Anderson

Fading Tyler Anderson might start becoming a weekly occurrence. I’ve done it twice this year, winning once and losing once. I pick my spots, and this feels like a good time to bet against him. The Padres own every advantage in this game outside of home field.

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Tyler Anderson might be baseball’s luckiest pitcher so far. If we look at the difference in ERA (2.47) to xERA (4.62), he is the luckiest pitcher in baseball. That’s a difference of 2.14 runs, absurdity. His SIERA is even worse, sitting at 5.03. His FIP and xFIP are also sitting above 4.50.

How has he done it? Well, when you only surrender a .211 BABIP, you will be successful. It makes no sense that opponents only post a .211 batting average on balls in play against the southpaw. He’s never had a BABIP even close to this low; last year, it was .301. It’s just a matter of time before his luck runs out.

If he were getting all his contact on the ground, I wouldn’t be as aggressive in fading. Ground-ball pitchers can get away with hard contact and a lack of strikeouts. The average ground-ball rate is around 41%, and Anderson is in the 20th percentile at 35.6%. His strikeout and walk rates are also far below average. He’s surviving on fly-ball outs. That’s not sustainable.

The Padres should be able to reach him. They only had a little success when Anderson was with the Dodgers two years ago. Anderson kept the ball on the ground in 2022, allowing far less contact and his walk rate was half of what it is now.

In the last 30 days, the Padres have been a middle-of-the-pack offense against left-handers, with a 99 wRC+ and ranking 15th in the league. This Padres offense is so much better than that. They have many right-handed bats with a preferred split against lefties and left-handed bats with no trouble with southpaws. From the start of last season to now, this is the fourth-best offense against lefties by wRC+, only behind the Braves, Dodgers, and Orioles.

I bet the Padres will win the pennant and the World Series because I looked at their schedule in June and thought they would rattle off plenty of wins to put them in a spot to buy at the deadline. It started earlier than I thought, as they took two of three from the Royals, and it should have been a sweep.

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The Angels are going in the opposite direction. They are 2-8 in their last ten games and losers of five in a row. They are also 7-21 at home, much worse than the 14-17 mark on the road.

Today, they face Matt Waldron. He’s the hardest pitcher in baseball to project on a game-to-game basis because he’s a knuckleballer. We know that the Angels are the second-worst offense against righties since last season, fifth-worst this season, and second-worst over the previous month.

Waldron is also much more challenging on right-handed bats (.562 OPS) than lefties (.914 OPS). The Angels typically feature three left-handed bats: Luis Rengifo, Mickey Moniak, and Willie Calhoun. Seeing a predominantly right-handed lineup should allow Waldron to perform at a high level.

Waldron’s ERA is 4.26, but every underlying metric tells us it will come down. He had a 3.53 xERA and a 3.75 SIERA. His FIP and xFIP are all under four, as well. He’s better than Anderson in every way; he allows softer contact, more strikeouts, fewer walks, and more balls on the ground.

Both bullpens are in a fine rest spot, but the Padres are objectively better. The Padres have the ninth-best ERA this past month and rank in the upper half of baseball. The Angels rank 29th in ERA and in the bottom ten in the past month. The Padres have the better starter, offense, and bullpen.

The Angels own the home field but can’t win at home. The Padres are also 19-11 (+9.20 U) in their last 30 games on the road. I’m taking the Padres up to -145.

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The Pick: Padres ML (-130) Risk 0.65 U to win 0.5 U