Wednesday MLB Odds, Top Picks: Our 7 Best Bets, Including Giants vs. Diamondbacks and Cardinals vs. Braves (July 6)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images. Pictured: Ketel Marte.
- Wednesday's MLB slate includes 14 MLB games, ranging from the afternoon all the way through the night.
- With games rolling on through midnight on the East Coast, our MLB staff came through with seven best bets for Wednesday, including Giants vs. Diamondbacks and Cardinals vs. Braves.
- Read on for all seven best bets for Wednesday's MLB slate.
Wednesday’s MLB slate features 14 games, and our staff is all in.
Our MLB crew came through with seven (!) picks for Wednesday’s slate, running all the way from 3:37 p.m. ET to 9:40 p.m. ET. Plus, we have two experts aligned on Cardinals vs. Braves and two more playing unders in Giants vs. Diamondbacks.
Check out all seven of our top picks for Wednesday below, and be sure to check back tomorrow for even more action.
MLB Odds & Picks
Blue Jays vs. Athletics
Jules Posner: This is a battle of two fade-worthy pitchers and bullpens. Jose Berrios and James Kaprielian have struggled mightily in their respective situations.
Despite being shut down by Cole Irvin on Monday and an uncharacteristically good bullpen performance from the A’s on Tuesday, the Jays offense is still one of the best in the league. Over the past couple of weeks, they’ve still posted a 126 wRC+ against right-handed pitching on the road, which ranks seventh in MLB.
The Jays scattered eight hits on Tuesday night and scored three before getting shut down by Oakland’s pen. The A’s jumped on Alek Manoah and Yusei Kikuchi on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, en route to two upset victories.
Monday might have been more of a trap game after the Jays had to travel cross-country to take on a pitcher who has been incredibly effective at home. Tuesday was more about Kikuchi’s struggles. On Wednesday, Berrios’ road woes might be the theme.
On the other side, Kaprielian has not been able to find his footing in 2022, and with a sweep on the line, the Jays offense should come out hot after resting Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
The over is set at 8.5 at -105 odds, and if it stays there, it should be a good play. A lot of the public money has moved that way, but sharp action is on the under. However, the pitching situation for both teams in a day game seems to be a recipe for a seemingly achievable over.
Angels vs. Marlins
Doug Ziefel: The Angels were vanquished by Miami’s ace last night, but now they get to throw their own as they aim to even up the series. Shohei Ohtani has been lights out in his previous four starts.
He’s allowed just one run over his last 36 innings and struck out 36 batters as well. His stuff has been tremendous this season, as his strikeout rate is up by nearly 5% from last season and his xBA against sits at just .212.
Now, he gets to face a Miami lineup that features just one hitter in Garrett Cooper who owns an above-average exit velocity and hard-hit rate. Not to mention, the Fish have plenty of swing-and-miss in their order as they enter with the 10th-highest strikeout rate in the majors.
On the other side, Trevor Rogers has started to regain some of his 2021 form over his last few starts, but the meat of the Angels’ order has faired well against lefties.
Mike Trout and Taylor Ward are hitting over .300 versus lefties, and Ohtani and Jared Walsh have fared better against lefties than in years past. One last player who can’t be forgotten is Luis Rengifo, who has excelled against lefties and proven to be a table-setter at the bottom of the order.
Back the Angels to even up the series. Play them to -165.
Rangers vs. Orioles
BJ Cunningham: This may be one of the worst pitching matchups that we’ve seen in a while.
First, let’s start with Glenn Otto, who has posted the second-worst xERA among starting pitchers (min. 40 innings pitched) at 6.59. That’s mainly due to the fact that he’s having major control issues, as his BB/9 rate is up at 5.63. He’s also allowing one of the highest xwOBA’s in baseball at .407.
The Orioles’ lineup has been red-hot over the past 30 days, putting up a 108 wRC+, which is in the top half of MLB.
Spenser Watkins is a very interesting case. By that, I mean do you believe projections and advanced metrics?
On paper, his ERA sits at 4.61 through 10 starts, which is a little below average. However, below the surface, his xERA is at 5.97, and FanGraphs has his ERA projected to be above six at the end of the season.
He’s allowing a hard-hit rate over 40%, and much like Otto, he’s in the bottom 5% of baseball in terms of xwOBA allowed.
I have 10.52 runs projected for this game with how bad these two starting pitchers are, so I like the value on over 9.5 runs at -106 and would play it to -115.
Cardinals vs. Braves
St. Louis has the second-best offense against southpaw pitching this season (120 wrC+). The Cardinals are closer to league-average (104 wRC+, 11th) against right-handed pitching in a trend that has carried over from last season (92 wrC+ vs. righties, 115 wrC+ vs. lefties in 2021), with lefty-killers Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado in the middle of their lineup.
Similarly, Atlanta’s offense is also better against lefties (108 wrC+, 7th) as compared to righties (104 wRC+, 12th); however, it’ll face a right-handed pitcher in Miles Mikolas (3.37 xERA, 3.87 XFIP, 3.97 SIERA) on Wednesday. And Mikolas might be the Cardinals’ most dependable starting pitcher at the moment.
Fried (2.81 xERA, 2.86 xFIP, 3.13 SIERA) has improved this season, cutting his walk rate to a career-best 4% (third amongst 64 qualified pitchers), and he is undoubtedly a superior pitcher to Mikolas.
Still, the offensive splits in this matchup certainly favor the Cardinals. Their defensive advantage (10th vs. 18th in Defensive Runs Saved and 9th vs. 14th in Outs Above Average) swings the matchup a bit more toward the underdog side, too.
I projected the Cardinals at +139 for the first five innings (F5) and +136 for the full game on Wednesday night. You can play those lines down to +151 and +148, respectively, with either bet representing an edge of around 2% or better.
Cardinals vs. Braves
The Cardinals have a 121 wRC+ against left-handed pitching, which is the second-best mark in MLB. Most of the Cardinals’ top power hitters — Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and to a lesser extent Juan Yepez — have crushed southpaws all season. Fried has cut his walk rate down to 4.0%, a career-low and maintained his slightly-above-average strikeout and whiff rates.
But the Cardinals have seen plenty of good lefties this year and mashed most of them. When they saw Giants lefty Carlos Rodón, they tagged him for eight runs in May.
This game also represents an excellent buy-low, sell-high opportunity, and the price is clearly inflated on Atlanta after the Braves’ recent dominance. Not only did the Braves thrash the Cardinals in the first two games of the series, but they’re the hottest team in the league right now.
There’s a big difference in the quality of starting pitching for the Cardinals in this game too, compared to the last two. Instead of two of the worst regular starters in MLB — Dakota Hudson and Andre Pallante — Mikolas has solid underlying numbers that play well to his defense.
Even though Atlanta has the better bullpen and better starting pitcher, the handedness splits are enough for me to take a shot on St. Louis.
Giants vs. Diamondbacks
DJ James: Alex Cobb has been one of the unluckiest pitchers in baseball.
His peripherals have all been encouraging in the first part of this season, but he owns a 4.59 ERA against a 2.51 xERA. He limits hard contact at 87.5 MPH off the bat. His hard-hit percentage is only 32.6%.
He will face a Diamondbacks team that owns just an 80 wRC+ mark against righties in the past month. Their team OBP sits at just only .284 in that span.
The Giants, haven’t had much success in the last month, either, with a team 96 wRC+ off of right-handers.
These signs all point to the under because Merrill Kelly will throw for Arizona. He has a 3.56 xERA, so he’s one of the best starters on the team. He will be able to hold a team that struggles to hit righties in check.
The only concern will be the bullpens, but Cobb and Kelly can both go deeper into games. Take the under at 9 (-120), and play it to 8 (-110). Expect the starters to perform well and feed the game to the better parts of each relief corps.
Giants vs. Diamondbacks
Charlie DiSturco: One of the most underrated matchups of Wednesday night is out in the desert as the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks square off in what should be a rubber match.
Let’s start with Alex Cobb, arguably one of the least fortunate pitchers this season. Through 51 innings, he has a 4.59 ERA and has stranded just 57.8% of runners on base. That’s an unsustainable number — for the good — and expected indicators back what should be a turnaround in the month of July.
Cobb’s xERA comes in two full runs lower than his ERA at 2.51, and he ranks in the top 4% of all pitchers in both barrel rate and chase rate. He’s cut down on walks, limited hard contact and has even generated a career-best 61.8% of ground balls.
Despite that, he’s been unlucky when contact is made. Opponents have a .216 xBA versus Cobb, yet his BABIP is all the way up at .352. The 34-year-old is on my short list of pitchers to back over the next few starts as he begins to positively regress.
Opposite him is Merrill Kelly, a pitcher I’ve loved to back in 2022. While he’s by no means a strikeout pitcher, Kelly has limited hard contact and barrels, consistently turning in strong start after strong start.
He’s given up more than four runs just twice in 16 starts, and both his xERA (3.56) and FIP (3.40) sit around his actual ERA (3.46). In simpler terms, he’s pitch as expected through the first three months of the season.
Kelly has also added a mile per hour on nearly every pitch in his deep arsenal from last year, and it’s paid off significantly. Opponents have a .247 xBA against the right-hander, compared to a measly .271 xBA in 2021.
Rather than trusting the bullpens in this matchup, I think there’s a clear edge on the mound for both teams. Both pitchers should be able to find success on Wednesday night en route to a low-scoring bout.
Back the first five under — I snagged some at 4.5 (-120) — all the way down to under 4 (-110).