Tuesday night brings us a full slate of Major League Baseball action with tons of MLB picks and MLB Underdog Fantasy plays to dive into. Our top MLB picks today on Underdog Fantasy feature Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman and Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander. Check out these MLB player picks on Underdog Fantasy for “Pick'Em” contests tonight. Don't forget to check out the latest MLB weather report and the confirmed MLB lineups when placing those MLB daily picks or setting daily fantasy baseball lineups. Plus, the MLB daily projections and MLB Batter vs Pitcher page will help you find the best matchups for MLB player props and MLB DFS lineups. Let's dive into the top MLB player picks on Underdog Fantasy for Tuesday, August 22nd.


MLB Underdog Fantasy Top Picks August 22

Adley Rutschman, Baltimore Orioles – HIGHER than 1.5 Hits+Runs+RBI

Toronto Blue Jays starter Yusei Kikuchi is on a very strong run right now with a 1.29 ERA over his past six starts since the All-Star break. Even so, the Baltimore Orioles are hitting left-handed pitching at an elite level (.377 wOBA, .268 ISO over the past two weeks) and could get to him tonight. So, let’s back Adley Rutschman to be part of that damage. The Orioles catcher has multiple splits in his favor here. Rutschman is batting .320 with a .956 OPS, .405 wOBA, and .232 ISO at home. He also has a .312 BA, .924 OPS, and .401 wOBA vs lefties. Plus, the young switch-hitter is 5-for-14 (.357) with two home runs in his career against the left-handed Kikuchi. Rutschman comes in batting .286 over his past seven games and has more than 1.5 hits+runs+RBI in 11 of 18 games in the month of August. As for Kikuchi, again, he is in great form right now – but there are a few signs of a shakier outing tonight. The Jays lefty has a career 5.40 ERA against the Orioles and a 6.00 career ERA at Camden Yards. His 4.47 FIP on the road this season is also worrisome. The cherry on top is that Rutschman, like his teammate Ryan Mountcastle, is also a Blue Jay killer with a career .324 BA and .972 OPS vs Toronto. 

Justin Verlander, Houston Astros – LOWER than 6.0 Strikeouts

We’ve successfully faded Justin Verlander’s strikeouts at different times this season and we’ll do it again tonight. First off, Verlander just isn’t the same strikeout pitcher he was years ago or even in his Cy Young season of 2022. The 40-year-old’s 20.2% K rate and 7.53 K/9 ratio are his lowest marks since 2014. Verlander has still been effective as a starter, but the swing-and-miss stuff isn’t as prevalent. Case in point: he’s only struck out 7+ in four of 19 starts this season compared to doing it in 13 of 28 last year. Tonight, he’ll face a Boston Red Sox offense that’s been tough on right-handed pitchers all season. The Red Sox have just a 21.0% K rate vs righties (6th-lowest in MLB) with a .329 wOBA in the split. Over the past two weeks, Boston’s K rate vs right-handers is even lower at 17.6% with a .338 wOBA as well. Meanwhile, Verlander’s strikeout rate in August since being traded to the Houston Astros is actually down at 16.5% through three starts. He’s been lower than six K’s in two of his three outings with Houston with only two punchouts last start. 


MLB Best Bets

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