MLB Best Bets: 3 Picks & Predictions (5/15)

MLB Best Bets: 3 Picks & Predictions (5/15) article feature image
Credit:

Getty Images. Pictured: Marcus Stroman (left) and Framber Valdez.

Half of Wednesday’s 16-game MLB slate will take place while most of the country is at work, while the latter half starts at 6:40 p.m. ET with Mets vs Phillies.

Our team of betting analysts has identified its favorite picks for the day. Let’s dive into our Wednesday MLB best bets, picks and predictions for Wednesday, May 15.

MLB Best Bets: 3 Picks & Predictions (5/15)

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
7:40 p.m.
8:10 p.m.
3:10 p.m.
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.
Phone With the Action App Open
The must-have app for MLB bettors
The best MLB betting scoreboard
Free picks from proven pros
Live win probabilities for your bets

Nationals vs. White Sox

Wednesday, May 15
3:10 p.m. ET
MLB.TV
White Sox -1.5 (+146)

By Tony Sartori

It's that time of the week again: Happy Patrick Corbin day to all who observe!

Through eight starts this season, Corbin is 1-3 with a 5.91 ERA and 1.78 WHIP. His underlying metrics suggest that positive regression is unlikely, given that he ranks in the eighth percentile or lower in xERA, xBA and hard-hit rate. These woes are likely to continue against the White Sox, a team Corbin has an 8.18 ERA against the South Siders in two career meetings.

Meanwhile, the White Sox will hand the ball to left-hander Garrett Crochet, who's one of the best pitchers in baseball according to the analytics. He ranks in the 96th percentile in xERA and 95th in xBA.

Chicago has won in each of Crochet's last two starts, with both wins coming by at least a three-run margin. Crochet is also likely to get plenty of run support as this current White Sox lineup boasts a .262 BA, .524 SLG and .379 wOBA through 52 career plate appearances against Corbin. Chicago's underlying metrics are even stronger across that sample size, producing a .316 xBA, .631 xSLG and .450 wOBA.

Pick: White Sox -1.5 (+146)



Yankees vs. Twins

Wednesday, May 15
7:40 p.m. ET
MLB.TV
Twins ML (-112)

By Tanner McGrath

I’m worried about Marcus Stroman. His 3.80 ERA looks fine but he's been a replacement-level pitcher according to the advanced metrics — he literally has a 0.0 WAR this season according to FanGraphs.

Stroman's Stuff+ marks have fallen drastically across his arsenal (101 in 2023, 94 in 2024), and he’s become increasingly erratic (100 Location+ in 2023, 94 in 2024), nearly doubling his walk rate from two years ago (6% in 2022, 12% in 2023).

Following two shutout performances to open the season, the right-hander has allowed 18 earned runs and 19 walks across his past six starts, 30 2/3 total innings. Stroman looked lost against Houston last time out, scattering nine hits and allowing four earned across 5 2/3 innings.

Stroman is a sinkerballer, and that pitch is still working and fueling his 56% ground-ball rate. However, he’s lost almost two ticks of fastball velocity, which has forced him to nibble around the edges more. Even worse, he can’t locate any of his secondary pitches. The two issues combined explain why his zone rate has fallen 10 percentage points over the past two seasons (from 41% to 31%).

That could hurt against the Twins, who have become more disciplined and deadly at the plate during their furious winning streak – Minnesota has won 16 of 19 since April 22.

Over the past two weeks, Minnesota’s lineup pairs the league’s 10th-lowest strikeout rate (21%) with the second-highest zone contact rate (86%). Even better, the Twins are hitting the ball in the air, posting MLB’s third-lowest ground-ball rate during the fortnight (39%). Combine that with their ability to hit sinkers (fifth in Weighted Sinker Runs Created, 1.9), and this is a brutal matchup for Stroman – he needs to induce sinker ground balls, and the Twins won’t oblige.

Conversely, Pablo Lopez is pitching like an ace, despite what the 3.89 ERA will tell you. His 27% strikeout minus walk rate ranks fifth among qualified starting pitchers, headlined by a fastball-sweeper combination forcing a swinging-strike rate over 15%.

As a result, his expected ERA and FIP are in the mid-2.00s. Lopez can flat-out pitch, and he’s finally starting to settle down, obliterating Seattle (6 1/3 IP, four hits, one earned run, 10 Ks and zero walks) and Boston (6 1/3 IP, five hits, one earned run, eight strikeouts and one walk) in his past two starts, both Minnesota wins.

It’s worth mentioning that Lopez faced New York at Yankee Stadium last April and pitched six innings of two-run ball with seven strikeouts and only one walk. He’s also much better after sleeping in his own bed, with a 3.27 home ERA (22 innings) and a 4.50 road ERA (22 innings).

I also believe the Twins bullpen is on the up-and-up with Jhoan Duran back in the mix, who has made seven perfect appearances since returning to the field. Conversely, I think the Yankees bullpen is due for some negative regression, given their 2.69 reliever ERA (second in MLB) is backed up by a 4.20 expected FIP (19th). Look, Clay Holmes will give up a run eventually.

I make the defensive matchup a wash, so I believe the Twins have a considerable run-prevention advantage across all nine innings on Wednesday afternoon in the Twin Cities.

It’s always tough fading Juan Soto, Aaron Judge and the Bronx Bombers’ hard-hitting offense, but I really want to put my money behind Lopez and against Stroman.

Based on this starting pitching matchup, BallParkPal projects the Twins win around 61% of the time, implying around -155 fair odds. So, I’d bet Pablo and the Twinkies at -130 or better.

Pick: Twins ML (-112)



Athletics vs. Astros

Wednesday, May 15
8:10 p.m. ET
MLB.TV
A's ML (+205)

By D.J. James

The Athletics have been a surprise and will have Aaron Brooks on the mound on Wednesday. Brooks has been effective in the minors with an xwOBA against him under .280, but this play is more about how well the Oakland lineup has hit lefties in the last month.

The A’s will face Framber Valdez, who induces a ton of grounders, but his Average Exit Velocity is up to 92.7 mph, which is a career-high. Sure, Valdez limits barrels, but he strikes out far fewer hitters, which means he is allowing harder contact more often than he used to.

Now, the Oakland lineup can hit both sides of the pitching rubber but has a 115 wRC+ against lefties over the last month with a 20.1% strikeout rate and OPS over .750. Brent Rooker, Abraham Toro and Shea Langeliers have been on fire and could continue the streak here.

The Houston lineup has been about average against righties with a 98 wRC+ in the last month, so Oakland holds the edge in this one at the plate.

In relief, the A’s have a 3.50 xFIP in the last month with a sub-9% walk rate and strikeout rate above 25%. Houston’s bullpen owns a 3.74 xFIP in the last month in relief with a higher walk rate.

The A’s should not be as large of underdogs in this game with Framber not looking like he has in the past. I'd bet the Oakland moneyline down to +160.

Pick: A's ML (+205)



How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.