Wednesday MLB Odds & Picks: 3 Best Bets, Including Red Sox vs. Braves, Rangers vs. Astros & Phillies vs. Dodgers (June 16)
Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Taylor slides home in front of the tag by J.T. Realmuto.
- Wednesday brings another loaded day of MLB action with 15 games on the docket.
- Our staff is focusing on three games on the night's slate, including Red Sox-Braves, Rangers-Astros and Phillies-Dodgers.
- Find out which ways our analysts are leaning on these games, below.
Another day, another full slate of Major League Baseball games on which to wager. With 15 games scheduled for Wednesday, a host are taking place throughout the afternoon.
MLB Odds & Picks
Boston Red Sox vs. Atlanta Braves
Kenny Ducey: The Braves’ offense has been cool as a cucumber — in a bad way — over the past week. It’s all the way down in 21st with an 82 wRC+, and though it’s produced 14 runs over the past two games, the pitching it’s done up against has hardly been great. On top of that, there’s just too great of a sample size to work off of in the past few weeks which would point to this lineup slumping big time.
Garrett Richards isn’t the perfect pitcher, but I think he could be good enough here to give the Red Sox a chance against a pretty lackluster offense. He allowed three runs on six hits over 5 ⅔ the last time he ran into the Braves, and hasn’t allowed more than four earned in a start since his Opening Day disaster. He’s giving up a lot of hard contact, but the majority of it is going right into the ground. That’s good news considering the Braves’ groundball rate is up to 44.6% over the past week.
The truth about this line, though, is that Ian Anderson doesn’t deserve to be a favorite of this magnitude. As a card-carrying member of his fan club, I can tell you he’s destined to be a solid starter in this league, but that it’s been hard to watch him at times this year. The tremendous strikeout stuff he flashed last year hasn’t quite been there this year, and his 38.5% hard-hit rate is quite concerning. Boston’s offense is considerably better than Atlanta’s at the moment, and with no real difference in the pitchers, I don’t see how I can lay -160 with the favorites.
Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros
Brad Cunningham: Jordan Lyles has been terrible this season and this Astros lineup is a horrible matchup for him. Lyles has one of the worst xERAs in baseball this season at 5.47 and his xFIP isn’t much better at 4.69. The main problem is two-fold: First, he’s giving up way too much hard contact, as his hard hit % is a 39.4%, which is the highest of any starting pitcher in baseball. Second, his fastball is getting smoked to the tune of a .323 average and a .439 wOBA. The Astros’ lineup drills right-handed pitching, as they’re top-five in both wOBA and wRC+ and they’re also eighth against fastballs.
Zack Greinke has been pretty average this season, as his xERA and xFIP are both over four. He’s not getting many swings and misses like he did last season, as his K/9 rate has dropped from 9 in 2020 to 6.51. He’s really struggling with his fastball that has no velocity left on it this late in his career. He’s only averaging 88.9 mph and allowing a .367 wOBA on it this season. Fastballs are the only pitch that the Rangers lineup has positive run values against this season. Also, the Astros’ bullpen is in the bottom-10 of MLB in ERA and xFIP, so the Rangers could plate a few runs in this game.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Tanner McGrath: The Dodgers seem to be back on track. The team is 7-3 in their last 10 while the offense is top 10 in wOBA (.334) and wRC+ (116) over the past two weeks. Plus, they’re now just a game back of the Giants for the division lead and Clayton Kershaw is pitching tonight.
Despite all that, I think it’s worth it to spike a little on Phillies’ first half tonight. Mostly because of Zack Wheeler.
Wheeler has been Philadelphia’s best player this season bar none, as he leads the team in WAR at 3.9. He’s also having a career year, as he’s posted a 2.29 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP through 13 starts.
What really stands out about Wheeler’s season is his expected statistics. Behind a career-high strikeout rate (11.16 per nine), a career-low walk rate (1.79 per nine) and fairly low batted ball rates (31.9% hard-hit, 86.2 mph average exit velocity), Wheeler’s xERA is just 2.42 while his xwOBA is only .248 — both of which rank 11th among all qualified pitchers.
Kershaw has been excellent, but he hasn’t been as good as Wheeler. Also, the Phillies offense jumps against southpaws, as they’ve posted a .728 OPS against that side vs. a .678 OPS against righties.
The Dodgers will probably be in front after five most of the time, but I believe this game is closer than the books say. I played Phillies F5 ML at +125 on BetMGM, where it definitely still holds value. I’d also be willing to split that bet with Phillies F5 +0.5 at -130.