MLB Odds, Best Bets: Our Top Picks for Wednesday Evening, Including Rockies vs. Padres & Cubs vs. Cardinals (Aug. 3)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images. Pictured: Jake Cronenworth at Petco Park.
- Wednesday has been filled with baseball all afternoon, but it's not over yet.
- With plenty of games still on the docket, our staff sees betting value in Cubs vs. Cardinals, Athletics vs. Angels and Rockies vs. Padres.
- Check out our best MLB bets for Wednesday night.
It's been a full day of afternoon baseball, but it's not over yet. Six games begin after 6:30 p.m. ET, and our staff sees betting value on half of them.
From the Cubs vs. Cardinals rivalry to two nightcaps in A's vs. Angels and Rockies vs. Padres, our writers attempt to close out the day on a high note with their three bets.
Check out all three picks below, and be sure to check back tomorrow for even more action.
MLB Odds & Picks
Cubs vs. Cardinals
Brad Cunningham: The Cubs sold away their bullpen at the deadline, but their lineup stayed intact.
Justin Steele takes the mound for Chicago tonight and has been far and away their best starter this season, posting a 3.72 xERA and 3.88 xFIP. He allows one of the lowest hard-hit rates at 33% and one of the lowest barrel rates at 2.5%, so that has allowed opposing hitters to only have a .302 xwOBA against him.
He's a lefty who primarily relies on a fastball/slider combination with his slider being extremely deadly, allowing only a .169 xBA and producing a 32% whiff rate. The Cardinals have a -6.4 run value against sliders this season, and Steele held them to one earned run in seven innings the only time he's faced them this season.
Miles Mikolas only has a slightly better xERA than Steele at 3.68. Mikolas has a four-pitch arsenal of fastball, sinker, slider and curveball. That really isn't going to work against the Cubs, who have a combined +50.9 run value against those four pitches. He's also faced Chicago twice this season, giving up a combined 12 hits and five earned runs in 11 innings pitched.
I only have the Cardinals projected as -118 favorites for the first five innings, so I like the value on the Cubs at +145 and would play it down to +135.
Athletics vs. Angels
Tony Sartori: We have the second matchup of this three-game AL West series with the Los Angeles Angels hosting the Oakland Athletics. We're getting some great value in backing the Athletics offense in this game, as they're slated to go against fan favorite Shohei Ohtani.
While Ohtani has been very good on the mound once again this season, the Athletics have registered at least three runs scored in five of their six career outings against the Angels superstar (83%). Additionally, Ohtani has not shown his sharpest stuff recently.
Over his last two starts, Ohtani is 0-2 with a 5.84 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. Even if Ohtani has a better outing this time around, the bullpen following him has been poor.
Since July 1, the Angels' relief pitching ranks just 22nd in the league in ERA, 23rd in WHIP, 21st in BA, 19th in SLG, 20th in wOBA and 17th in hard-hit percentage. Meanwhile, Oakland has scored at least three runs in eight of its last 11 games (73%).
While Oakland's lineup definitely doesn't put up any special numbers against right-handed pitching, racking up just three runs over nine innings should not be too difficult.
With a poor bullpen following Ohtani, I trust Oakland to get over this number even if it just has one or two runs scored entering the last couple of innings.
I would play this number up to -120.
Rockies vs. Padres
Jules Posner: It remains to be seen if Juan Soto and Josh Bell will make their San Diego debuts tonight, but the Padres seemed to be doing just fine without them against the Rockies.
Blake Snell gets the ball for the Padres and despite his subpar overall numbers, he's seemed to turn things around over his last five starts. Over that span, Snell has amassed a 2.81 ERA with a 3.27 FIP while pitching deep enough to go 3-0 in those five starts.
He also gets the benefit of facing a Rockies offense that struggles against lef-handed pitching on the road. Over the past month, the Rockies own one of the lowest team wRC+ marks in the league, and with Snell rounding back into form, the Rockies may have a tough time getting things going.
Chad Kuhl will get the start for the Rockies, and he's also struggled on the road. Additionally, he's really struggled over his last five starts, posting an ERA and FIP north of 8 over that span. He'll take on a Padres offense that has the fifth-best wRC+ over the past few weeks at home against right-handers.
JulesyBoy Labs liked the Padres run line at -1.5 on Tuesday, and now the Padres run line is listed at -2.5 in plus money.
If you want to play it conservative, -1.5 is going for about -155 odds. It's not the best value but probably a safer play. However, this looks like it could be a blowout — especially if Soto and Bell are in the lineup.
Take -2.5 to -115 or better.