MLB Expert Predictions for Wednesday: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets, Including Mets vs. White Sox
Photo credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jacob deGrom
- Our MLB experts examine their five favorite bets for Wednesday night, including Jacob deGrom and the Mets vs. Lucas Giolito and the White Sox (8:10 p.m. ET).
Sean Zerillo: San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies
Jeff Samardzija (7-8, 3.95 ERA) vs. Vince Velasquez (3-5, 4.46 ERA)
- Giants Moneyline: +120
- Phillies Moneyline: -130
- Over/Under: 9.5
- First pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET
I projected this total at 9.02 runs and played the under when the line opened at 10, but I still like the under at 9.5, despite losing the safety net of the push on 10.
Unders have won only 49.5% of the time in 2019, losing 69 units this season (based on consistent $100 bets), but the tides have turned in July, with under bettors winning 52.6% of the time (+9.3 units).
In July games where the temperature has been below 90 degrees and the wind speed has been less than 8 mph (the conditions in Philadelphia on Wednesday), the under has won 55.2% of the time (+15.4 units).
The under is 35-29-1 (+3.7 units) at Citizens Bank Park in 2019. It has been a profitable park for the under for each of the past four seasons (+22 units total).
Ten is an absurdly high total for this park, which typically plays about 2% below the league-average run environment.
There have been only 12 totals that opened at 10 or higher in Philadelphia over the past four years, and the under is 9-3 (6-2 in 2019).
Dating back to 2005, the under is 108-83-3 (56.5%, +20.6 units, 10.6% ROI) at Citizens Bank Park when the total opens at 10.0 or higher.
I discussed both starters in my full writeup for today, but note that they are each currently in their best form of 2019 — and for Velasquez, his best form in a few years.
These are two guys I would be looking to bet on, and not against.
Despite my projection showing value on the Giants, I’m actually more confident in Velasquez. But it’s also #SharkWeek, so I’m not at all hesitant to back Samardzija, either:
The PICK: Under 9.5
Josh Appelbaum: Houston Astros at Cleveland Indians
Jose Urquidy (1-0, 4.26 ERA) vs. Zach Plesac (5-3, 3.25 ERA)
- Astros Moneyline: -145
- Indians Moneyline: +131
- Over/Under: 10
- First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
Houston took the series opener 2-0 last night, handing public bettors a relatively sweatless win (Astros closed -138 behind 69% of bets). Tonight, Average Joes don’t know which way to go. They love betting a powerhouse like Houston but are also intrigued by Cleveland at home in a plus-money dog bounce-back spot.
But sharps have taken a clear position.
This game opened with Houston listed as a -123 road favorite. Moneyline bets are split right down the middle, yet we’ve seen the line move more than 20 cents toward the Astros (-123 to -145). In a vacuum, a line shouldn’t move more than a cent or two if the tickets are split. So we know this movement was caused by respected sharps with an edge getting down on the ‘Stros.
Houston is getting only 50% of bets but 65% of dollars, and we’ve also tracked a big steam move on Houston at -136, further evidence of pro money siding with the road favorite.
The Astros also fit a pair of profitable Bet Labs systems. So far this season, non-division road favorites are 188-119 (61.2%), winning +19.64 units with a 6.4% ROI. Conference favorites with high totals (9 or higher) are 498-295 (62.8%), winning +43.86 units with a 5.5% ROI.
It doesn’t hurt that Chris Segal is the home plate umpire tonight. Since 2005, home teams have lost -15.96 units with Segal calling balls and strikes.
The PICK: Astros -145
Collin Wilson: Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers
Wade LeBlanc (6-3, 4.79 ERA) vs. Mike Minor (8-6, 3.00 ERA)
- Mariners Moneyline: +156
- Rangers Moneyline: -174
- Over/Under: 10
- First pitch: 8:05 p.m. ET
Happy Mike Minor Day! As of this writing, Minor is still a Texas Ranger, but the deadline could have him at DFW on his way to a new team before the sun sets.
We started to fade Minor about a month ago with the extreme split in his ERA to his xFIP, which is currently 4.45. Although the pitcher has been able to sustain a K rate, he has not thrown a quality start since late June.
The Mariners lineup loves left-handed pitching. Even as the team continues to lose games, Seattle has had impressive splits against southpaws. Since June 1, the Mariners are top 11 in wRC+, wOBA and ISO. They have also finished top half of the league in HR:FB% while having the second-lowest ground-ball rate in that time frame.
The balls will be zinging through the outfield in Arlington if the trade deadline doesn’t snag our starting pitcher.
The PICK: Mariners +156
Evan Abrams: New York Mets at Chicago White Sox
Jacob deGrom (6-7, 2.86 ERA) vs. Lucas Giolito (11-5, 3.82 ERA)
- Mets Moneyline: -200
- White Sox Moneyline: +180
- Over/Under: 8
- First pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
“What are the Mets doing?”
This phrase has been used in many different ways throughout the years, but over the last week it has centered on their acquisition of Marcus Stroman when many thought the Mets were going to be sellers.
On the field, the Mets have won five straight games — their longest winning streak since April of 2018 and tied for their second-longest streak of the last three seasons.
On Tuesday, the Mets led 2-1 entering the bottom of the 9th inning and then saw Edwin Diaz blow his fifth save of the year. New York ended up winning 5-2 in extras, but run support to me is one of the keys here. The Mets really gave Syndergaard just two runs to work with; that’s also been a theme for Jacob deGrom.
In 2019, he is receiving 3.7 runs of support from the Mets, which is 71st of 74 qualified pitchers; since his first start for New York in 2014, his 4.29 runs of support is 82nd of 88 qualified pitchers.
deGrom has allowed no earned runs in his last two starts, but I think the Mets’ road line is simply too high in this spot. I will play the White Sox in a few different angles and see if we can turn a profit tonight.
The PICK: White Sox +180, White Sox -1.5 (+320) and White Sox -0.5 1st five innings (+200)
John Ewing: Milwaukee Brewers at Oakland Athletics
Jordan Lyles (5-7, 5.36 ERA) vs. Brett Anderson (9-6, 4.05 ERA)
- Brewers Moneyline: +110
- Athletics Moneyline: -120
- Over/Under: 9
- First pitch: 10:07 p.m. ET
The Brewers-Athletics total opened at 9.5. More than 60% of tickets and dollars are on the over. Yet, the total has decreased to 9.
When the over/under decreases despite a majority of ticket and dollars being on the over, it has been profitable to wager on the under.
Not only is history on the side of under bettors, but reverse line movement and steam move bet signals — an indication of sharp money — have been triggered on this under.
The public likes the over, but the pros are on the under.
The PICK: Under 9