Top MLB Picks and Predictions Today (Back These Aaron Judge, Frambler Valdez Props on Thursday)

Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez.
Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez. / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

There are a pair of Game 2s in the ALDS on Thursday, and the BetSided team has picks and props for each game.

The Seattle Mariners are looking bounce back from a dreadful loss in Game 1, while the New York Yankees and Cleveland Guardians hope the rain holds off enough for them to get in Game 2.

Here are some of our team's top picks for Thursday's MLB playoff action:

Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros Odds, Prediction and Pick

Framber Valdez upped his strikeout totals through the latter portion of the season, but still finished the year right around 23.6% for his K-rate in 2022.

The Mariners as a team strike out 23.1% of the time against left-handed pitching, but where they hold an advantage is in their walk rate. No team has walked more times against lefties than Seattle, which could force Valdez to work a bit harder to clear this prop, knowing the Mariners are not as likely to chase.

I also wonder how long Houston will let its star lefty go in his first outing of the playoffs, considering he hasn't pitched above 5.1 innings over his last three starts. -- Ben Heisler

Cleveland Guardians vs. New York Yankees Odds, Prediction and Pick

Realistically NRFI bets are more likely to hit in the playoffs with some of the best pitchers in the league on the mound. However, the books also know this so you have to lay the juice for most of the playoffs.

Does that mean they're still a valuable bet?

Well, I think so, because I love this NRFI bet today. The Guardians were 28th in the league in OPS against left-handers and Nestor Cortes Jr. is taking the mound for New York. 

Nasty Nestor finished the year with a 2.44 ERA and 12-4 record. He did allow a 3.21 first inning ERA, but a .591 opponent OPS in the first inning points to that being something of an aberration. Plus, you get Shane Bieber on the other side, who allowed just six runs in the first inning all season.

Pick: NRFI (-156) -- Josh Yourish

Best Aaron Judge Prop Bet for Guardians vs. Yankees Game 2

Aaron Judge OVER 0.5 Walks 

Aaron Judge worked a walk and came around to score on an Anthony Rizzo homer in Game 1, and I’m going back to the well with this prop in Game 2

It's no secret that teams have been extra careful pitching to Judge, and rightfully so, as he’s been the best hitter in MLB for essentially the entire 2022 season. Just in the month of September, Judge worked 33 walks in 29 games.

“We’re going to attack him with respect,” Guardians pitching coach Carl Willis said prior to the series. “But we are going to attack him and hopefully not get in situations where he can be -- we don’t want that, but certainly we respect Aaron and the remainder of their lineup.”

Even with Shane Bieber on the mound, I think Judge is able to work the count and finds himself on base via the free pass in Game 2. -- Peter Dewey

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.