MLB Odds, Picks | Best Bets for Red Sox vs Astros & More

MLB Odds, Picks | Best Bets for Red Sox vs Astros & More article feature image

Pictured: Justin Turner celebrates with Connor Wong and Rafael Devers. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

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There are 15 MLB games on Wednesday, August 23 and eight of them start before 5:00 p.m. ET. There will be baseball on all day Wednesday and our MLB betting experts have you covered.

After digging through the latest MLB odds, our experts have found today's best MLB bets and detail them below. The bets include picks for Cubs vs. Tigers, Giants vs. Phillies, Reds vs. Angels, Marlins vs. Padres and Red Sox vs. Astros.

Wednesday's MLB Best Bets

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

GameTime (ET)Pick
1:10 p.m. ET
1:10 p.m. ET
4:05 p.m. ET
4:07 p.m. ET
4:10 p.m. ET
8:10 p.m. ET
Specific betting 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.

Cubs vs. Tigers

Wednesday, August 23
1:10 p.m. ET ET
MLB Network
Tigers Moneyline (-115)

By D.J. James

Tarik Skubal has been on one of the most impressive runs in baseball and is set to face a Cubs team that struggles against left-handed pitching. Meanwhile, the Cubs will send Jameson Taillon, who has been a bit of a disappointment, to the mound.

Taillon has been horrible this season. For a short time after the All-Star Break, he was looking like a solid, middle-of-the-rotation arm, but he's since fallen back and has a 6.00 ERA over 21 August innings. On the season, he has a 5.56 ERA against a 5.26 xERA. His Average Exit Velocity is 88.2 mph, but his Barrel Rate (10.2%) is up nearly 2% since last year.

On the other side, the Cubs haven't been able to hit lefties this month, so Skubal should have a strong outing. Chicago has an 80 wRC+ with a 29% strikeout rate and a sub-6% walk rate off of southpaws this month. The Cubs also have a .675 OPS, which isn't very good.

In relief, the Cubs have a 4.48 xFIP with a 10.7% walk rate. Michael Fulmer, Mark Leiter Jr. and Julian Merryweather are Chicago's only relievers under the 4.00 xFIP mark, so if Taillon allows runs, as he's been prone to lately, the Cubs will have to go into the weaker portion of their 'pen.

Skubal has exceled, and it looks like he's going to continue to do so. His 3.76 ERA doesn't tell the whole story as he boasts a 2.63 xERA with a strikeout rate above 28% and a walk rate below 5% — elite numbers. Yes, his Average Exit Velocity is higher than Taillon’s, but Skubal has a 2.70 ERA over 16 2/3 innings this month.

Additionally, the Tigers have shown they can hit righties. They own a 120 wRC+ off right-handers this month and boast a .799 OPS.

Detroit's relievers carry a 4.49 xFIP with an 11.8% walk rate. However, Skubal should go deep into this game and lessen the strain on the bullpen.

Expect Detroit to hit Taillon early and get to the weaker parts of the Cubs’ bullpen. Take Detroit at -115, and play it to -135.
Pick: Tigers Moneyline | Play to -135

Cubs vs. Tigers

Wednesday, August 23
1:10 p.m. ET ET
MLB Network
Tigers F5 Moneyline (-120)

By Tanner McGrath

I adore the Tigers in this spot.

Tarik Skubal is turning into a legit ace.

His fastball velocity is up two ticks from last season and he’s now sitting at 96-97 mph. Skubal’s heater has the sixth-highest swinging-strike (17.3%) rate and third-highest strike rate (76.5%) of any four-seam fastball in baseball.

Meanwhile, his changeup is forcing a 20% swinging-strike rate.

Skubal is generating a ton of strikes and allowing fewer free passes. He’s also generating more weak contact, boasts a career-low barrel rate (4%) and has a career-high ground-ball rate (55%).

Yet somehow, he's still undervalued.

Skubal had three unlucky outings this season and allowed a combined 15 earned runs against the Marlins, Royals and Red Sox. All three of those outings came on the road, and the Royals and Red Sox play in two of baseball’s most BABIP-friendly parks.

If you cut through the luck, Skubal’s xERA sits at 2.62. I project him as an ace and will be betting him in every start for the rest of the season.

That starts here.

The Cubs have a great lineup, but they’ve faltered against southpaws. Over the past month, the Cubs check in with a 133 wRC+ against right-handed pitching (fourth in MLB), but an 87 wRC+ against left-handed pitching (18th). That number is even lower away from Wrigley (73, 22nd).

Meanwhile, the Tigers are seeing breakout performances from their young core – specifically, Spencer Torkelson, Riley Greene and Kerry Carpenter. Behind the kids, the Tigers boast a top-10 offense against right-handed pitching in August (120 wRC+).

The market is valuing the Tigers as a bottom-tier lineup, but they aren't that anymore.

Meanwhile, Cubs starting pitcher Jameson Taillon is piecing together his worst year yet.

Taillon boasts a career-worst strikeout minus walk rate (13.1%), Barrel rate (10.2%), ERA (5.56) and xERA (5.26). He’s in for a tough day at the park.

The bullpen matchup is harder to project, but I love Skubal and the Tigers against Taillon and the Cubs.

So, I’ll bet the Tigers in the first five innings. I expect Detroit’s young core to cruise as long as Skubal stays on the mound.
Pick: Tigers F5 Moneyline | Play to -140

Giants vs. Phillies

Wednesday, August 23
4:05 p.m. ET ET
MLB Network
Giants F5 Moneyline (+110)

By Kevin Rogers

The Giants are in the middle of a rough stretch in their schedule as they will battle the Braves and Reds at home after the conclusion of their road trip in Philadelphia.

San Francisco and Philadelphia wrap up their series on Wednesday afternoon as Alex Cobb and Michael Lorenzen square off on the mound.

Lorenzen got off to a terrific start with a pair of wins, including his first career no-hitter, after being dealt to Philadelphia. However, in his third start, he was charged with six earned runs over 3 1/3 innings.

After trailing through five innings Tuesday, the Phillies are 2-6-1 over their past nine games in the first five innings.

Cobb is winless in his past three starts and has been hit hard, yielding 15 runs over his past 15 1/3 innings.

However, San Francisco owns a 6-1 mark in its past seven series finales in the first five innings, which includes F5 wins against Atlanta, Texas, Arizona and Boston.

Let’s back the Giants in the first five innings at +110 at FanDuel and play that to +105.
Pick: Giants F5 Moneyline | Play to +105

Reds vs. Angels

Wednesday, August 23
4:07 p.m. ET ET
Reds Moneyline (+152)

By D.J. James

I have an incredibly hard time betting against Shohei Ohtani, but here we go. Ohtani, of course, has been incredible. He is probably the best player to ever grace a baseball field, but the Los Angeles Angels have been terrible off left-handers lately and will face Cincinnati's Andrew Abbott — a lefty — on Wednesday.

Ohtani carries a 3.17 ERA and a 3.85 xERA into this game. His Average Exit Velocity ranks in the 89th percentile and his Hard-Hit Rate ranks in the 70th percentile. His strikeout rate is 31.4% against a 10.4% walk rate.

Abbott has a 2.99 ERA against a 3.74 xERA. His Average Exit Velocity is in the 10th percentile and his Hard-Hit Rate in the 33rd percentile, so Ohtani has him there. Abbott strikes out 26.9% of hitters and walks 8.3%.

Now, the kicker in this one is that Los Angeles has a 37 wRC+ off with a 2.7% walk rate and a 28.8% strikeout rate off of lefties this month.

In contrast, Cincinnati hasn't crushed righties, but is much closer to average with a 92 wRC+, a 7.5% walk rate and a 28.8% strikeout rate.

In relief, the Reds have a 4.47 xFIP against the Angels 4.84 xFIP.

The Reds should win this game, as it looks like the Angels have mailed it in on the season. Take Cincinnati to +110.
Pick: Reds Moneyline | Play to +110

Marlins vs. Padres

Wednesday, August 23
4:10 p.m. ET ET
MLB Network
Marlins Moneyline (+105)

By Tanner McGrath

Sandy Alcantara has re-established himself as one of baseball’s best pitchers.

Alcantara boasts a 119 Stuff+ mark over the past 30 days, which ranks eighth.

He’s combining that nasty stuff with his naturally uncanny ability to induce ground-balls – he’s forced double-digit grounders in eight consecutive starts – which allows him to pitch deep into games.

During this eight-start stretch, five of which came on the road, Alcantara boasts a 1.35 ERA and a 59% ground-ball rate. He’s also posted a 52:8 K/BB ratio over 56 2/3 innings.

I’m so happy that we get to back a resurgent Alcantara against the super overvalued Padres.

The Padres went ahead and bought at the deadline, but it hasn’t fixed anything. They’re 17-19 in the second half and boast MLB’s 22nd-best wRC+ (92) against righties over the past month.

Seth Lugo gets the start and there’s no reason the reliever-turned-starter with a 4.15 xERA should be favored over Alcantara.

You'd think the Padres would have a relief advantage, but they never use Josh Hader (four appearances in August). So, what good is San Diego’s bullpen?

Alcantara should continue obliterating every lineup in his path, and he should pitch seven innings here.

Meanwhile, the Padres should continue falling far short of expectations.

The end result? A Marlins win. Flip the M.
Pick: Marlins Moneyline | Play to -110

Red Sox vs. Astros

Wednesday, August 23
8:10 p.m. ET ET
Red Sox Moneyline (+102)

By Tony Sartori

The Red Sox need to start winning fast if they want to claw back into the Wild Card conversation. That is obviously not enough to justify blindly backing them, but this is a favorable matchup, at plus money, in a game where Boston has a starting pitching edge.

Boston ranks in the top 10 in hits per game, BA, SLG and OPS, and is pacing the Astros in each of those categories.

Chris Sale is set to start for the Red Sox and although this isn't vintage Sale, he still enters this game in good form. The left-hander is 4-1 with a 2.60 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP over his past eight starts.

On the other side, right-hander Jose Urquidy takes the mound for Houston. Urquidy has missed most of the summer with injury, but when he's been healthy, he's struggled.

Through nine appearances, Urquidy is 2-3 with a 5.21 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.

His underlying metrics are also far worse than Sale's as he ranks lower in xERA/xwOBA, xBA, xSLG and Barrel%. This is a big game for the Red Sox, so I'll back Boston at plus-money with the better pitcher and equally strong lineup.
Pick: Red Sox Moneyline | Play to -110

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