Wednesday MLB Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets, Including Phillies vs. Nationals, Blue Jays vs. Braves & Twins vs. White Sox (May 12)
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images. Pictured: Jose Abreu (left), Yasmani Grandal (center) and Yermin Mercedes celebrate Grandal’s home run on Tuesday.
- Two of our MLB analysts are on the Nationals-Phillies game tonight, but which side are they on?
- Continue reading for those picks plus two more best bets for Wednesday.
It’s a full slate of MLB action on Wednesday, with only the Rangers and Giants off and the Padres and Rockies playing a doubleheader in Denver. A full slate means plenty of betting action to be found, and our analysts have found four different angles to consider.
In Washington D.C., two of our analysts are on the Phillies-Nationals tilt, with one targeting a side and the other targeting a side’s total. In Atlanta, we have a moneyline underdog worth considering in Blue Jays-Braves, and in Chicago, we’ve got a total play between the Twins and White Sox.
It’s four plays in total across three games. Continue reading to see our staff’s best bets for Wednesday’s MLB action.
MLB Odds & Picks
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals
Kevin Davis: In the NL East, the Philadelphia Phillies are only one game behind the first-place New York Mets. The Washington Nationals are in last place and are 4.5 games behind the Mets. For Wednesday night’s division matchup between the Phillies and Nats, the Phillies are only narrow -130 moneyline favorites.
Pitching for Washington is Jon Lester, who is at the tail end of his career. While Lester has been a strong pitcher over his 16-year career, he is now a below-average starting pitcher. While Lester has performed moderately well in his two starts this season, the last two years have been abysmal. Last year, Lester had a 5.16 ERA, and a 5.11 xFIP.
Opposing Lester is Zach Wheeler. Since joining the Phillies last season, Wheeler has been everything the team hoped for, averaging at least six innings per start and limiting the opposing offenses. This season, Wheeler has a 2.83 ERA and is averaging more than 6 2/3 innings per start.
Against a Washington lineup averaging only 3.58 runs per game, the fourth-fewest in the league, Wheeler should dominate, while the Phillies’ offense should have little trouble against Lester.
I like the Phillies at -130, and I would bet them up to -145.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals
Brad Cunningham: Jon Lester is still hanging around the league, but that doesn’t mean he’s still effective at age 37. Lester posted career-worst numbers with Chicago last season, including a 5.11 xFIP and only a 6.20 K/9 rate.
He’s lost all of his velocity, as none of his pitches average faster than 90 mph anymore. He gave up three runs in his last start to the Braves and will be facing a lineup that’s been solid against left-handed pitching.
The Phillies have been hitting lefties well this season with a .247 average and 97 wRC+. Lester mainly uses his cutter more than any other pitch, which is bad news because that is the pitch the Phillies have had the most success against this season, ranking seventh in baseball with 3.5 weighted runs. The Phillies’ lineup should be able to get to Lester and the Nationals’ bullpen, which has the worst xFIP in Major League Baseball at 4.87.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Atlanta Braves
Kenny Ducey: In an unsurprising turn of events, a Braves team that was around league average against left-handed pitching last year is now down in 29th place, sporting a 59 wRC+. It’s been a real struggle for those right-handed hitters, particularly Ozzie Albies, who has normally been fantastic within that split to the tune of a .355 career average. He has just four hits in 25 at-bats off of southpaws in the early going, and guys like Freddie Freeman, Austin Riley and Marcell Ozuna have somehow been even worse.
On the other hand, Toronto has woken up in a big way at the plate, checking in as one of the hottest teams in baseball with a 119 wRC+ over the past seven days and also laying claim to being one of the 11 best lineups in the league against lefties.
Max Fried’s season hasn’t gone to plan quite yet, though his return from injury against the Nationals was more like it. He’s certainly a good pitcher, but outside of last year he has been victimized by hard contact, so it’s not too hard to believe this could be the new normal for Fried.
I considered taking the under here, but there is too much here telling me that the Blue Jays should find a way through Fried, and that the Braves should keep struggling against southpaws. I love them as road underdogs.
Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox
Mike Ianniello: The Twins will send J.A. Happ to the mound on Wednesday against the White Sox. If you don’t know this already, Happ is left-handed.
Well, the White Sox absolute clobber left-handed pitchers. Chicago is batting an MLB best .300 against southpaws this season and lead the league in OPS (.849), wOBA (.368) and wRC+ (141) against lefties.
Opposing Happ will be Dallas Keuchel, who is another veteran pitcher on the wrong side of his prime. Keuchel has a 3.79 ERA and has allowed at least three runs in four of his seven starts this season. Keuchel throws his changeup 31.1% of his pitches which should be a problem against a Twins teams that is third best in the league against changeups.
These two pitchers both have the some of the lowest strikeout rates in baseball, each sitting in the bottom 10% of all pitchers. There will be a lot balls put into play today and with two lineups with plenty of pop, I like this total to go over 7.5.