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Wednesday Night MLB Picks: How We’re Betting Rays vs. Red Sox, Twins vs. Brewers, More

Wednesday Night MLB Picks: How We’re Betting Rays vs. Red Sox, Twins vs. Brewers, More article feature image

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Martin Perez.

  • Looking for some quick MLB betting picks for Wednesday? Our staff's got you covered with four best bets.
  • Two of our experts are targeting over/under plays based on field conditions and umpiring. Meanwhile, BJ Cunningham is incredulous that Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks is listed as an underdog.
  • Read on for a complete breakdown on each of our favorite Wednesday night MLB bets.

Wednesday’s MLB slate gets going early, as three games will start by 4:10 p.m ET. So if you’re looking for some early action, check out our White Sox-Tigers and Diamondbacks-Rockies previews.

If you’re looking for our best bets on Wednesday’s slate, though, look no further. Our baseball crew has assembled their four top spots for this evening below.

Odds as of 11 a.m. ET.

Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.

BJ Cunningham: Cubs F5 (+100) & Full Game Moneyline (+105) vs. Indians

Why is Kyle Hendricks an underdog on Wednesday?

Hendricks is one of the best tacticians in the game. None of his pitches top out at over 90 mph, but it doesn’t matter. He’s so good at mixing up his three-pitch combination of sinker/changeup/fastball that hitters haven’t been able to touch him up at all so far this year, posting a 3.21 xFIP in his first three starts.

You know Hendricks is on when his fastball (averages 87 mph) is generating a 22.2% whiff rate. Also, the Indians have struggled against pretty much every pitch type this season, so Hendricks should have no trouble carving up their slumping lineup.

The Cubs picked up right where they left off on Tuesday and now have a .332 wOBA and 113 wRC+, which ranks fourth in baseball.

Carlos Carrasco typically uses a fastball/slider combination, but has been going to his slider more in the 2020 season. The reason for that is because his fastball has been getting shelled to the tune of a .571 wOBA on 72 pitches.

The Cubs have been decent against fastballs this season (2.5 weighted fastball runs), so look for Carrasco to utilize his slider a lot as the Cubs do struggle against that pitch.

The Indians’ offense was pretty anemic last night, which has been the story of its 2020 season. It ranks 29th with a .279 wOBA and 75 wRC+. The biggest issue for the Indians has been the bottom of their lineup not producing. Their top four hitters have combined for 60 of their 103 hits for the season. That has led to the bottom of their lineup hitting .151 through their first 18 games.

I have Hendricks projected as a -122 favorite and a -147 favorite for the first five innings, so I am going to double up and ride the Cubs for the first five innings and full game.

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Danny Donahue: Twins vs. Brewers F5 Under 5 (-110)

Two reasons for this pick:

  1. The weather
  2. The umpire

Hats won’t be flying off players’ heads, but there still will be enough wind at Miller Park this evening for bettors to take notice, mainly because of its direction. Blowing straight in from centerfield and meeting our profitable threshold of 5 mph or more, the strong breeze fits this game into our “Wind Blowing In” PRO System.

Such games have seen the under hit at a 55.0% clip on a sample of more than 1,700 games, returning 105.0 units for a 6.1% ROI.

As for the umpire, Jordan Baker’s 238 games in our database have similarly resulted in an under 55.4% of the time, returning 18.6 units for an 8.2% ROI.

I’ll trust that the pair of stars aligning should only increase the under’s chances tonight, but because the wind is expected to be strongest in the first couple hours of the game I’m putting most of my eggs in the first-five-innings basket.

Collin Wilson: Rays vs. Red Sox Under 9 (-110)

The biggest piece of news for an MLB gambler over the past couple of days came off the field. The installation of an exit-speed-suppressing humidor was installed at Fenway Park, Citi Field and T-Mobile Park prior to the season.

If you are new to the term humidor, this was previously installed at Coors Field and Chase Field in an attempt to affect exit velocity and cause batted balls to slow down faster. This may not be the reason hitting is down league-wide, but it may explain the sharp dip of home runs at Fenway per Park Factors.

Umpire Victor Carapazza will call balls and strikes at Fenway, with a lifetime record of 143-115 (55.4%) for +26.75 units to the under. Carapazza has an average runs per game set at 7.9 while our projections have the Rays and Red Sox targeted for 8.3 runs on Wednesday.

Although Boston is hitting lefties at a decent rate, Blake Snell has returned to form for the Rays. Snell did not allow an earned run in three short innings against the Yankees and had five punch-outs.

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