MLB Odds, Best Bets Today: Expert Picks for Pirates vs. Rays, Orioles vs. Royals Wednesday, May 3

MLB Odds, Best Bets Today: Expert Picks for Pirates vs. Rays, Orioles vs. Royals Wednesday, May 3 article feature image

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullins.

  • Wednesday's MLB slate features 16 games, and our staff came through with four best bets for it.
  • Our writers have picks for Pirates vs. Rays, Guardians vs. Yankees and Orioles vs. Royals.
  • Check out all four of our staff's best MLB bets for Wednesday night's slate.

Wednesday's MLB features 16 games, ranging from a 1:40 p.m. ET first pitch for a doubleheader all the way to a 9:40 p.m. ET start time on the West Coast.

Our MLB staff saw plenty of value on the board and came through with four best bets, including picks for Pirates vs. Rays, Guardians vs. Yankees and Orioles vs. Royals.

With 10 more games on the docket tomorrow, be sure to check back for even more MLB betting coverage.

Wednesday MLB Best Bets

The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our MLB betting staff is targeting from Wednesday night's slate of games. Click the team logos for one of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

6:40 p.m. ET
Pirates ML +155
6:40 p.m. ET
Over 7
7:05 p.m. ET
Clarke Schmidt Under 4.5 Strikeouts
7:40 p.m. ET
Over 9 · F5 Over 4.5
Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our MLB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.

Pirates vs. Rays

Wednesday, May 3
6:40 p.m. ET
Pirates ML +190

By Tanner McGrath

It sucks fading the Rays, but they’re overvalued in the markets. No team can win 80% of their games across a full season (that’s not hyperbole; the Rays are 24-6).

So, much to my chagrin, I’m willing to fade Tampa for the time being.

I’m also happy to back Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller, who is putting it all together. The uptick in his fastball velocity is finally paying off, as he’s striking out more batters than ever (26.8%) while holding hitters to a sub-.200 wOBA on his four-seam.

Shane McClanahan is one of the best pitchers in baseball, but he’s showing some cracks in the armor. His walk rate is way up (10.3%), so he’s allowing more traffic on the basepaths (1.09 WHIP, .93 last season). Combine that with his slightly-higher hard-hit rate, and he’s more vulnerable than usual.

Meanwhile, the Pirates are in their preferred split, as they’re the sixth-best run-producing team against southpaws in the league (123 wRC+).

The Pirates also rested most of their high-leverage relievers on Tuesday, while the Rays used their top-five guys to hold off the Buccos in a 4-1 win. And Pete Fairbanks is questionable, as he’s fighting an injury.

The Pirates are 20-10, and I don’t think it’s a fluke. They’ve been superb in every facet of the game (rotation, bullpen, lineup, defense, baserunning), and I could see the Pirates being competitive for the long run.

So, catching them at huge plus-money odds is worth a shot, especially against a lefty. I’d take the Buccos at +180 or better.

Raise it.

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Pirates vs. Rays

Wednesday, May 3
6:40 p.m. ET
Over 7

By BJ Cunningham

Yeah, we can’t be setting totals at 7 with the best offense in MLB involved.

Mitch Keller has taken a giant step forward to becoming the Pirates' ace, but he's nowhere near the “elite” category yet. Keller owns a 3.9 xERA and is starting to get a lot more swings and misses with his K/9 rate now above 10.

He’s added a cutter to his arsenal that's now his most-thrown pitch. Even though it’s been getting hit pretty hard, it’s helped disguise his fastball a lot better, as opposing hitters have just a .193 xwOBA against it. However, it has a Stuff+ rating of only 100.

Every other pitch of Keller’s is allowing a xwOBA over .300.

The Rays are the best team in baseball against right-handed pitching with a .372 wOBA and 145 wRC+. They also are far and away the best fastball-hitting team in baseball with a +48.5 run value.

Shane McClanahan is once again putting up incredible numbers with a 2.84 xERA through six starts. His changeup and curveball have been unreal, as opposing hitters are averaging under a .190 xwOBA on both pitches. Meanwhile, both have a Stuff+ rating of over 112 Stuff+.

However, his fastball hasn’t been that dominant, allowing a .387 xwOBA. Pittsburgh is sixth in MLB with a +11.2 run value against fastballs this season. It also has a combined +15.6 run value against changeups and curveballs, which is the best mark in baseball.

I have 8.4 runs projected for this game so I like the value on over 7 runs at -110.

Guardians vs. Yankees

Wednesday, May 3
7:05 p.m. ET
Clarke Schmidt Under 4.5 Strikeouts

By Nick Shlain

Clarke Schmidt hasn’t exactly been what the New York Yankees had hoped he’d be while filling in for injured starters Carlos Rodon and Luis Severino so far this season.

Schmidt, the 16th overall pick of the 2017 MLB Draft, owns a 6.84 ERA after six starts this year. One of my favorite bets on the slate for Wednesday is Schmidt to go under 4.5 strikeouts at +105 at BetMGM.

Schmidt has struck out eight batters in his last two starts, but those are the only starts this season in which he’s completed at least five innings.

He faced the Guardians earlier this season and lasted only four innings while striking out just three batters. The Guardians aren’t a strikeout-heavy team. Cleveland’s projected lineup tonight has combined for just a 20% strikeout percentage against right-handed pitching this season.

Cleveland will also have six left-handed hitters in its lineup, and while Schmidt has been getting strikeouts against left-handed hitters, he has also allowed a .415 ISO to left-handed hitters this season.

At Yankee Stadium, with the short porch in right field, these left-handed hitters aren’t just going to pose a problem for Schmidt; they’re likely to be his undoing in this start.

Take his under here.

Pick: Clarke Schmidt Under 4.5 Strikeouts

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Orioles vs. Royals

Wednesday, May 3
7:40 p.m. ET
Over 9 · F5 Over 4.5

By Sean Zerillo

At age 39, Zack Greinke might finally be nearing the end of the line.

He was repeatedly rocked in his first six starts (6.10 ERA, 6.00 xERA) and seemed particularly vulnerable without the shift and while pitching in front of one of the worst defensive teams in the league.

Kyle Gibson hasn’t performed much better than Greinke over the past two seasons (4.86 xERA in 2023, 4.46 in 2022), and maybe the Royals‘ league-worst offense against righties (61 wRC+) can finally put together some runs against a lesser starter.

The Royals were better against lefties than righties last season, too, but they were 25th against right-handed pitching (89 wrC+); not historically bad like this season.

Kauffman Stadium should see fairly typical hitting conditions on Wednesday (72 degrees at first pitch, 2.2 mph winds blowing out), and I like the over in both halves, up to 5 (-110) in the F5 and 9 (-111) for the full game, compared to my projections of 5.29 and 9.56, respectively.

Pick: Over 9 · F5 Over 4.5

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