MLB Picks: Underdog Value Key In Yankees vs. Padres Late Game

Jason Lake

Friday, July 1, 2016 11:00 AM UTC

Friday, Jul. 1, 2016 11:00 AM UTC

The baseball odds are with the New York Yankees for Friday night's encounter with the San Diego Padres. The analytics, on the other hand, say it'll be a coin flip.

At some point, they're going to have to break up the New York Yankees. It's been four years since they last won the American League East, and this year's team doesn't look like it'll get the job done, sailing into July at an even 39-39 for a loss of 4.29 betting units. The Yankees are No. 25 in the majors in hitting at .704 OPS. They're No. 10 in pitching at 4.02 FIP, but most of that goodness comes from New York's No. 2-ranked bullpen (3.54 FIP).

Meanwhile, the San Diego Padres (33-46, –3.12 units) are in Year Two of their rebuild under GM A. J. Preller, and things haven't gotten much better since Year One. But the Padres could be a value MLB pick when they host the Yankees Friday night (10:40 p.m. ET) in the first of a three-game set at Petco Park. San Diego is a +108 home dog at press time; there's also a total of eight runs on the MLB odds board if we want to go down that road.


Rea Hurlman
Which we might. The Padres should have at least some betting value here – FiveThirtyEight projects Friday's game as a toss-up. But is +108 a good enough price for our purposes? We were getting +153 when we took a chance on San Diego starter Colin Rea (4.28 FIP) this past May against Kenta Maeda and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Rea did his job, but the Padres bullpen blew up and lost the game 9-5.

So the next time we had Rea on the mound, we bailed and took Over 7 last month against Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals. Too bad. We got paid when San Diego won 7-3, but we could have gotten +231 on the moneyline. Rea is now 6.92 units in the black despite a team record of just 8-6. Why don't we just take him?

Especially with the Yankees sending Nathan Eovaldi (4.87 FIP) to the hill on Friday. His season is quickly going south; Eovaldi was on a tear before June arrived, but his last five starts have all been disappointing. New York lost four of those games to fall to 8-7 behind Eovaldi for a loss of 0.48 units. Kick him while he's down, says the heel color commentator.


Fantasy Corner
Nobody on the Yankees has ever faced Rea, so that's another plus for the Padres. Eovaldi has given up a reasonable .704 OPS to current San Diego batters, but the way he's pitched recently, we expect a little more pop from the Fathers this time around. Sophomore OF Travis Jankowski (.664 OPS) is worth a speculative add; he's got 10 steals this year, including five in his last seven games, and he's virtually unclaimed in ESPN leagues. We'll buy that for a dollar.

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Free MLB Pick: Padres +109
Best Line Offered: at Heritage
Record: 14-13 ML, 5-1-1 Totals (+5.14 units)

Needing some more picks? MLB Picks Of The Day: Value Lies On Home Favorite Moneylines

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