Top MLB Picks and Predictions Today (Trust Yankees, Padres and One Total on Thursday, June 23)

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge.
New York Yankees star Aaron Judge. / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

There's plenty of afternoon baseball action on Thursday, June 23, so who should you bet?

BetSided's Donnavan Smoot, Joe Summers and Josh Yourish have you covered with the top plays to make, with all odds via WynnBET:

St. Louis Cardinals vs Milwaukee Brewers Prediction and Pick

This matchup is a showdown of two pitchers who must carry four-leaf clovers around all day, because both Dakota Hudson and Jason Alexander are extremely lucky.

Hudson has a strong 3.31 ERA on the season, but his 4.47 expected ERA suggests he's been mediocre. We've seen him regress a bit already, giving up six runs to the Reds before issuing five walks to the Red Sox last week, and his MLB Statcast Pitching Profile paints an uninspiring picture:

It's difficult to trust the Brewers offensively, but they draw walks at a top-10 rate in MLB and they've already seen Hudson twice this season. That familiarity will allow them to take advantage of his erratic command and put up some runs.

While the Cardinals' righty has been lucky, Hudson's good fortune pales in comparison to that of Jason Alexander. Milwaukee's 29-year-old rookie has a 2.42 actual ERA and a 5.33 expected ERA, which is an absurd discrepancy. He walks too many hitters himself, as his 3.63 walks per nine innings would be the fifth worst in baseball if he had enough innings to qualify.

St. Louis has the eighth-highest OPS against right-handed pitchers over the last three weeks, and I expect their dangerous lineup to give Alexander his first real taste of the big leagues.

With two pitchers due for negative regression and capable lineups, I'm betting the over. It's 8-3 in the Cardinals' last 11 games and 7-3 in Milwaukee's previous 10 as home underdogs. Both of those trends will improve in a high-scoring affair today.

Pick: Over 9 (-115) -- Joe Summers

Follow all of Joe Summers' betting picks here.

Philadelphia Phillies vs. San Diego Padres Prediction and Pick

Joe Musgrove has yet to allow more than two runs in any of his 12 starts and the Padres are 11-1 in his starts this season. His record is 8-0 with a 1.59 ERA, and a 4.76 K/BB ratio. He is going to be solid for San Diego and give them a chance to continue their latest run of good play. They are 7-3 in their last 10 and are looking to win their fourth in a row. 

The question for the Padres is when will Manny Machado return? He is still listed as day-to-day with his ankle sprain and has yet to be placed on the IL. Without Machado, the lineup feels much less formidable, but Jurickson Profar had a four hit game yesterday and San Diego managed 10 runs. 

They will likely have to do it with pitching and it will be close, but I like the Padres in this one regardless of what their lineup looks like. You would have to be pretty dumb to bet against Joe Musgrove. I was born at night, but not last night.

Pick: Padres -147 -- Josh Yourish

Follow all of Josh’s bets HERE

Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees Prediction and Odds

The Yankees got back on track yesterday with a win over the Tampa Bay Rays, and I think that energy continues today. New York is the best team in baseball and at times the only thing in question about the Yankees is whether they’ll cover or not. 

It will be a challenge tonight as Framber Valdez is starting for the Astros. Valdez has only allowed four home runs all season – which is the bread and butter of the Yankees offense. However, three of those four have come in the last six starts. If the Yankees can get going against Valdez, this game could open up quickly. 

Jameson Taillon will take the mound for the Yankees. Taillon comes into this matchup with a 2.70 ERA – tied for 15th best in baseball. Both pitchers are set up for success today, so I’ll back the UNDER and a Yankees win.

Lean: Yankees ML (-122)/UNDER 8.5 (-110) -- Donnavan Smoot

You can find Donnavan Smoot’s full betting record here.