Wednesday MLB Odds & Picks: 5 Best Bets, Including Nationals vs. Blue Jays, Cubs vs. Braves & Padres vs. Diamondbacks (April 28)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Eric Hosmer tags out Asdrubal Cabrera during Tuesday’s Padres-Diamondbacks tilt.
- With all 30 teams taking the field on Wednesday, there's no shortage of action to choose from on a loaded MLB slate.
- Our staff has zeroed in one three games in particular: Nationals vs. Blue Jays, Cubs vs. Braves & Padres vs. Diamondbacks.
- See which bets they are making in those games, below.
There’s a full slate of MLB games on this Wednesday, with two afternoon tilts and a solid 13 taking place under the lights. The slate includes top pitchers like Jacob deGrom, Tyler Glasnow and Clayton Kershaw, as well as some pivotal early-season divisional matchups.
Our analysts have bet recommendations from three games on tonight’s card, with five bets total. Those bets include a total on Nationals-Blue Jays, first five and full-game dueling picks on Cubs-Braves, and an underdog and total play on Padres-Diamondbacks.
Below, you’ll find our staff’s five bets bets from Wednesday’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Washington Nationals vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Brad Cunningham: Erick Fedde is a below-average starting pitcher and will be a perfect matchup for the Blue Jays offense. Fedde was a disaster in 2020. He had a whopping 5.41 xERA and 5.22 xFIP. But it gets even worse: His K/9 was embarrassingly low at 5.01 and he gave up home runs left and right (1.79 HR/9).
Fedde is mainly a sinker pitcher, but he’s not even close to being somewhat effective. Opponents hit .275 with a .359 wOBA off of his sinker. In his three starts this season, he’s been slightly more effective with a xERA of 4.39 and a xFIP of 4.13. However, the Blue Jays’ prowess against right-handed pitching presents a daunting challenge for him, as Toronto was 10th in wOBA against righties last season.
Steven Matz is pitching really well to begin 2021 with a 3.29 xERA and 3.59 xFIP. However, he’s likely going to regress since those are his best marks since his rookie year. He’ll be going up against a Nationals lineup that has been crushing left-handed pitching so far this season, hitting for a .302 average with a .368 wOBA. Additionally, the wind is going to be blowing 8 mph straight out to center field, which is not good news for Matz, who had a fly ball rate of almost 40% last season.
I have 11.06 runs projected for this game, so I think there is some value on Over 9.5 runs at -105 odds.
Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves
Sean Zerillo: Huascar Ynoa has an electric arm (average fastball sitting at 96.8 mph in 2021, +0.8 mph vs. career average) but until he develops a more reliable third pitch (5.7% changeup usage this season) to pair with his fastball (51.3%) and slider (43.1%) it’s going to be difficult for Ynoa to get through a lineup multiple times as a starting pitcher.
Kyle Hendricks has served up seven home runs over his first four starts and 19 innings this season (31.8% HR/FB rate, vs. 11.6% career) and has struggled a bit with his command, too (9.3% walk rate, vs. 5.4% career) but nothing about his underlying arsenal or plate discipline metrics indicates that something is “off.” I’m expecting thee Cubs’ ace to see some regression toward established career norms.
I have the Cubs projected at 51.1% over the first five innings (F5) on Wednesday. I would bet Chicago’s F5 moneyline down to +105, and/or their F5 spread (+0.5) up to -130.
Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves
Kenny Ducey: Where have the groundballs gone for Kyle Hendricks? The once-dominant pitch-to-contact righty has induced grounders at a career-low 36.8% this season, and has seen his flyball rate rise to 38.6%. As a result, a guy who rarely saw his home runs per nine rise above one has allowed an unsightly 3.32.
It’s time to admit that this could be the beginning of the end for Hendricks, who has started off his age-31 season with a 5.68 ERA in four starts. His fastball velocity ranks in the bottom-1% of the league, seeing 1 mph come off an already-slow sinker and four-seamer. He’s in the bottom-15% of whiff rate, as well, and the contact he’s given up has been bad; he’s allowed nine barrels in 19 innings.
So I think the Braves should be in good spot here, and it doesn’t hurt that in the Braves’ lineup, there are six homers to go around off of Hendricks since the start of 2015, led by Marcell Ozuna’s two, which have come with a .382 batting average in 34 at-bats.
As for Huascar Ynoa, well, he’s been a great strikeout pitcher, and he will be facing one of the whiff-happiest teams in the league. The splits for Chicago are pretty damning — they are far better against left-handers — so I think that’s what has led to some scattered offensive outbursts over the last few weeks. This team is still, on the whole, bad at hitting, and I think a righty with good swing-and-miss stuff should match up well. I love the Braves as short home favorites.
San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Tanner McGrath: I absolutely love betting home underdogs, and I think the Diamondbacks present great value as a home ‘dog today.
Ryan Weathers is a special young pitcher who I believe has a bright future in the league. However, his dominance against the Dodgers in his most recent start presents a situation where he may be overvalued.
The Dodgers’ lineup does not hit great against lefties, and Weathers took advantage. Today, however, he faces the best southpaw-hitting lineup in baseball, as the Diamondbacks have posted a league-leading .943 OPS and 154 wRC+ against lefties this season.
Moreover, the Diamondbacks have been hot in general lately, as they boast the second-best team wOBA over the past seven games (.362). Meanwhile, the Padres rank 20th in team wOBA over that stretch (.292).
Not to mention that Arizona’s starter today, Taylor Widener, is no slouch himself. He’s posted a 2.82 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP through four starts this season, and he pitched six shutout innings against the Padres back on April 4th.
And while the Padres may have the advantage in the bullpen, the Diamondbacks’ relievers will be fresh following Madison Bumgarner’s recent no-hitter. In fact, the Diamondback relievers have pitched just three innings over the past three games, as opposed to the 13 1/3 that the Padres’ relievers have pitched over that stretch.
The Diamondbacks won the first game of this series Tuesday night, but I believe they offer value again tonight given the matchup. I played the Diamondbacks at +148 at PointsBet, and I’d be willing to play it down to +120.
San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Mike Ianniello: This game has the makings of a pitcher’s duel between two young pitchers. Ryan Weathers will make his third start for the Padres, and the former first round pick has yet to allow a run in either start. Over 15 1/3 total innings this year, he has allowed just one run (in relief) and four hits while notching 16 strikeouts.
Opposite Weathers will be 26-year old Taylor Widener. The former South Carolina Gamecock has allowed seven runs over 22 1/3 innings this year and held his opponent scoreless in two of his four outings. Widener also throws a solid slider, allowing just a .154 batting average against and generating a 30.8 K%.
While Arizona has hit the ball well, the Padres’ bats have struggled early in the year. San Diego ranks in the bottom half of the league in wOBA and wRC+. It sits just 26th with 3.76 runs per game.
I think the series against the Dodgers took a lot out of the Padres, and it will take them a couple days to get their legs back under them. They scored just one run on four hits in Tuesday night’s game.
I like both of these pitchers, especially Weathers, and think they can do enough to keep these offenses at bay and keep the total under 9.5. I’d play that number to -115.
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