MLB Expert Predictions for Wednesday: Can Edwin Jackson Hold His Own?
David Berding, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Edwin Jackson
- Our MLB staffs detail their favorite bets for Wednesday, September 4 including Angels vs. Athletics (10:07 p.m. ET).
Collin Wilson: Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals
Edwin Jackson (3-8, 9.35 ERA) vs. Jacob Junis (8-12, 4.93 ERA)
- Tigers Moneyline: +200
- Royals Moneyline: -225
- Over/Under: 9.5
- First pitch: 8:15 p.m. ET
There are not many days of the year Edwin Jackson is pitching a ball game and the total falls a half run. Jackson has been lit up in three straight starts, including 8 runs in 2.2 innings against the Twins in his last outing. His last quality start came on August 9th… against the Kansas City Royals.
Jakob Junis has not endured the same struggles as Jackson and sports an xFIP at 4.57, which is lower than his current ERA. The right-hander tossed a quality start his appearance against the Tigers on Aug. 11.
Mike Muchlinski will be calling balls and strikes and that warrants an immediate look at the total. The Under is 152-133 (53.3%) and +14.66 units in Muchlinksi’s officiating career. When Muchlinski is behind the dish, an average of 8.3 runs are scored.
With an ‘Under Ump’ behind the dish I have faith that Jackson and Junis can put up some zeros.
The PICK: Under 9.5
Danny Donahue: Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Indians
Ivan Nova (9-11, 4.48 ERA) vs. Shane Bieber (12-7, 3.27 ERA)
- White Sox Moneyline: -305
- Indians Moneyline: +270
- Over/Under: 8.5
- First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
Other than Army-Navy, I’m not the biggest fan of public unders. Generally, favorites and overs draw the majority of bettors, so when the opposite is true, oddsmakers are often baiting that play which creates contrarian value to go the other way.
Today, I think the 67% of bettors on the White Sox-Indians under are correct.
For starters, we have a wind-blowing-in situation. Since 2005, when the wind blows in from center at 5+ mph, the under has won at a 55.0% clip. Progressive Field has been consistent with that win rate (54.6%).
Also pointing toward under value is the size of this moneyline. With the Indians as -300 favorites, there’s a pretty darn good chance they’ll be up at the end of the top of the ninth, which takes the bats out of their hands for the final half-inning. And since ’05, when home teams are -300 or higher with a total of 8.5 or less that did not rise (to filter out sharp overs), the under is 62-42-1 (59.6%).
With two unrelated systems on the same side, I’ll suck it up and join the public.
The PICK: Under 8.5
Sean Zerillo: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics
Patrick Sandoval (0-1, 5.24 ERA) vs. Tanner Roark (2-1, 3.30 ERA)
- Angels Moneyline: 140
- A’s Moneyline:-155
- Over/Under: 9,.5
- First pitch: 10:07 p.m. ET
I projected the Athletics fair odds for Wednesday at -125; so I actually see some moneyline value on the Angels.
That being said, I will continue to fade every left-handed starting pitcher that faces Oakland.
Since July 1, 2018, the Athletics rank fourth with a 121 wRC+ vs. lefty pitching.
Over that span, they are 41-21-2 (66%, +15.08 units) on the F5 spread vs. southpaw starters; but they do fall to 27-23 (54%, -0.73 units) on the full game spread.
I played both the F5 and full-game spreads for Wednesday, but only added the F5 play after digging deeper into the BetLabs data.
Angels starter Patrick Sandoval has outpitched his 5.24 ERA (3.31 FIP, 3.48 xFIP), and sports a .281 wOBA against right-handed hitters – likely thanks to his changeup, which he uses 31% of the time.
But he has yet to face an offense that ranks in the top 10 against lefty pitching, and the matchup against the Athletics righty-heavy offense could prove disastrous.
The PICK: Oakland Athletics (-0.5) F5 Spread