MLB Betting Odds & Picks: Four Best Bets For Wednesday, Including Cubs vs. Pirates, Braves vs. Red Sox & Dodgers vs. Astros (May 26)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Dodgers fans antagonize at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday.
- Cubs-Pirates. Braves-Red Sox. Padres-Brewers. Dodgers-Astros.
- There's plenty of MLB action on Wednesday and our analysts have four picks for you.
- Below, you will find our best bets from the Major League Baseball slate.
The second of a heavyweight tilt between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros headlines Wednesday’s MLB slate. The Dodgers took the first game, 9-2 on Tuesday night, and will look for the short, two-game sweep tonight with Trevor Bauer facing Luis Garcia.
That’s the headline, but there’s plenty of other MLB action, and our analysts have their eyes on four games in total, including the aforementioned Dodgers-Astros matchup. Below, you’ll find our staff’s four best bets from Wednesday’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Sean Zerillo: I backed Wil Crowe and the Pirates last Thursday, in a dramatic 6-4 extra-innings win against the Braves, and I’m happy to back him again tonight in a game where I make Pittsburgh a slight favorite (projected 50.5%).
As I mentioned last week, Crowe’s stuff pops off the screen when he has command over his arsenal, which includes four average or above-average pitches (fastball/slider/curveball/changeup) on the 20/80 scouting scale. However, only his fastball has returned a positive pitch value so far this season.
Crowe’s level of command can vary from one inning — or even one batter — to the next. That said, Crowe is currently on his best run in two years of big league action, with 17 strikeouts against five walks over his past three starts and 16 innings.
Crowe’s expected ERA or xERA to date (5.24) generally aligns with his preseason FIP projections (range 4.72 to 5.40). Even after accounting for that data, I would bet the Pirates moneyline down to +106 (implied 48.5%) for Wednesday, at a two-percent edge compared to my projection.
Atlanta Braves vs. Boston Red Sox
Kenny Ducey: This line doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, considering how well the Red Sox have been playing and the fact that they’re home. It’s hard to imagine a world where Drew Smyly doesn’t get rocked, considering Boston has the ninth-best wRC+ against left-handed pitching and Smyly has a 6.36 FIP to go with his 5.11 ERA. He’s really struggled and will now face a Boston side slashing .259/.313/.477 over the past two weeks.
The Braves are also at a huge disadvantage here without perhaps their hottest hitter, Marcell Ozuna. The slugger dislocated his finger in Monday’s win and is heading back to Atlanta for a doctor’s visit, so he won’t be included in the lineup. Already weak in the outfield, Atlanta’s depth will be tested, and it doesn’t help that Nick Pivetta has actually looked like a competent pitcher this year.
San Diego Padres vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Mike Ianniello: Chris Paddack started the year a little shaky for the Padres but has appeared to find his form. He has a 1.38 ERA over his last three starts and has allowed just two total runs over that span. His most recent start was his best outing of the season, giving up just one run and three hits over six innings.
Milwaukee will start Eric Lauer, who has made just four starts over the last two seasons for the Brewers. The former Padre ranks in the bottom 10% of the league in xERA, xBA and xwOBA. Despite an ERA of 2.81 he has an xERA of 5.97 and teams have an xBA of .314 and xwOBA of .378 against him.
Offensively, this will be a big mismatch as the Brew Crew have struggled to hit all season. They rank just 29th in the league in batting average, 28th in wOBA and 28th in wRC+. Defensive specialist Kolten Wong leads the team with .278 average and .762 OPS.
The Padres, on the other hand, have been red-hot at the dish lately, ranking third in the league with a .346 wOBA over the last two weeks and sitting fourth in wRC+.
Since returning from the COVID list, Fernando Tatis Jr. is playing out of his mind, and is currently 12-for-20 (.600) with four home runs and 13 RBI in his last six games. He has an OPS of 2.040 since his return to the lineup.
San Diego is absolutely rolling right now. The Padres have the best record in baseball at 31-18, the best run differential in the league at +79 and are 9-1 in their last 10 games. At -124, this line is too short for how well they are playing right now and I would back them to -135.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Houston Astros
Brad Cunningham: Luis Garcia has been pretty solid for the Astros so far this season, but his 3.38 ERA is due for some negative regression because his xFIP is almost a full run higher at 4.33. He’s mainly a fastball pitcher, but he’s not very effective with it because opponents have tagged it for five homers and a .434 wOBA. That’s a real problem for Garcia since he’s throwing his fastball more than 46% of the time.
If there is one thing the Dodgers’ lineup loves, its right-handers and fastball. The Dodgers are far and away the best offense against righties, putting up a .349 wOBA and 124 wRC+. The Dodgers also have six guys in their lineup with a wOBA over .400 against fastballs, so this is a fantastic matchup for Los Angles.