MLB Underdog of the Day (Lance McCullers Jr. has Been Getting Lucky)

Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. (43)
Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. (43) / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Last night was a great night of College Football. Week 1 kicked off on Thursday night and lived up to the hype, but we didn’t get that huge underdog win that we love in sports. We are still waiting on it in football, but we can definitely get an underdog to cash in the MLB. We have been cashing underdogs all year. 

Today we are going to rely on a little bit of good old fashioned regression to make our pick, so let's head out west and check out the odds. 

Astros vs. Angels Odds, Run Line and Total

Best MLB Underdog Pick Today

On the surface, Lance McCullers Jr.’s return to the Houston rotation has been fantastic. He has a 1.69 ERA in three starts while the Astros are only 1-2 that is due to a lack of run support. However, if you dig deeper, that 1-2 record with McCullers on the mound could get even worse. 

He has a great ERA, but beyond that his numbers are alarming. The one start where he did not have great BAbip luck, he allowed three runs in five innings. Other than that he has been very lucky with BAbip well below .300 in his two scoreless starts. His expected ERA is reflective of this luck at 4.60. His strikeout rate is well below league average, 19%, and he has as many hits allowed as K’s, 13 each. Plus he has issued 10 walks for a walk rate of 14.9%. 

His go-to pitch is his curveball and that is still missing bats, but his sinker is getting hit often and getting hit hard. He throws it almost 30% of the time, the most of any pitch in his arsenal and he allows an .824 slugging percentage. 

If McCullers continues to pitch this way, then it is only a matter of time before he gets shelled in an outing. I think it could happen today against the Angels. 

Reid Detmers on the other side has been solid with a 3.47 ERA and 5-4 record, and in his last start against the Astros he went six and allowed just two. 

On the surface it seems like a stretch, but when you dig in you see that regression is coming for McCullers and there is value on LA at home. 

Pick: Angels ML +136

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