MLB Odds, Expert Picks, Predictions for Wednesday: 4 Best Bets, Including Rays vs. Phillies, Dodgers vs. Padres & More (August 25)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Turner and Corey Seager.
- There's plenty of value to be found on tonight's MLB betting slate.
- Our staff has angles on four games, including the NL West showdown between the Dodgers and Padres.
- Here are our four best bets from Wednesday night in Major League Baseball.
Our analysts have found angles on four games from the evening slate, including Rays vs. Phillies, White Sox vs. Blue Jays, Twins vs. Red Sox and Dodgers vs. Padres.
Here are our staff’s best bets from Wednesday’s Major League Baseball slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
|10:10 p.m. ET|
Rays vs. Phillies
Michael Arinze: The Phillies will aim for a split against the Rays after a 3-1 loss in the first game of their two-game series. Zack Wheeler is scheduled to start for Philadelphia, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa Bay left-hander Ryan Yarbrough. This is a rematch of an earlier meeting featuring both pitchers in May, which the Rays won 5-3.
In fact, Tampa Bay swept Philadelphia in that two-game series. We had a total of seven in the first game and eight in the second. This time around, with the Phillies as the home team, there’s no designated hitter, yet we had a total of nine for Tuesday’s game and 8.5 games for today’s contest.
I have to admit that I was surprised to see higher totals in a National League park. Some of that might be due to the perception of Citizen’s Bank Park as a bandbox, but the Phillies are actually 31-26-2 to the under this season.
In fact, they’re 10-5 to the under at home with Wheeler as a starter and 8-1 to the under in his last nine outings.
Both pitchers show signs of positive regression coming into this matchup. Yarbrough has a 4.20 xERA and 4.32 FIP compared to his 4.57 ERA, while Wheeler has a 2.71 xERA and 2.53 FIP are lower than his 2.77 ERA.
Furthermore, neither team has hit the opposing starter particularly well.
In 52 at-bats, Philadelphia has a .212/.268/.346 line while Tampa Bay has a .226/.281/.302 line in 53 at-bats against Wheeler.
White Sox vs. Blue Jays
Brad Cunningham: Lucas Giolito has been pitching really well this season, posting a 3.39 xERA and 3.69 xFIP. He’s somewhat struggled with his fastball, but his two main off-speed pitches of slider and changeup have been incredibly effective, allowing a xwOBA under .245 and have a whiff rate over 36%.
He’ll need to use those two pitches often tonight because the Blue Jays are one of the best fastball hitting teams in baseball.
Robbie Ray has been amazing for the Blue Jays this season, as his xERA is 3.54 and 3.37 xFIP. He’s been a strikeout machine, as his K/9 rate is at 11.08 and his massive improvement from last season is due to the fact that he’s not walking as many guys, as his BB/9 rate is at 2.29, when last season it was all the way up at 7.84.
The problem for Ray in this matchup is he is a fastball heavy pitcher (59.5% usage) and the White Sox are one of the best fastball hitting teams in baseball with a +30.7 run value.
The White Sox bullpen also has been solid since the trade deadline with a 3.82 xFIP and a 11.48 K/9 rate.
Twins vs. Red Sox
Anthony Dabbundo: The Twins opened as big as +160 underdogs, but Minnesota has the starting pitcher edge in this one and is way undervalued. Bailey Ober has an above-average strikeout rate with 9.2 Ks per 9 and an excellent walk rate for a rookie at 2.3 walks per 9.
He got hit hard in his first few starts, but Ober has allowed three or fewer runs in seven of his last eight starts, and that includes multiple games against the White Sox and one start against the Astros. His 4.69 xERA is hurt by a poor start, but Ober has really improved in the last month.
The Twins will see Red Sox righty Nick Pivetta, who was hit hard with regression in June and July after a stellar start to the year. Pivetta walks too many batters and allows too much hard contact to be anything more than a 4.5 ERA-type pitcher. He’s allowed three or more runs in five of his last seven starts and his ERA has risen from 2.81 in May to 4.43 currently.
Boston started the year unsustainably hot with runners in scoring position and hitting in the clutch, but the last month has shown that no one can outrun the regression monster forever. The bullpen has fallen off, the lineup isn’t producing as much, and anything +135 or better is good on Minnesota as the Twins look to continue the Red Sox recent woes.
Dodgers vs. Padres
|10:10 p.m. ET|
DJ James: One of the best pitchers in baseball over the last two months takes on the ailing San Diego Padres lineup and Blake Snell. Walker Buehler has a 1.68 ERA and has accrued 2.2 fWAR since the beginning of July. He is striking out more than 10 batters per 9, and he is inducing grounders on close to half of his batted balls allowed. He has been spectacular.
Blake Snell cannot say the same. Sure, his August has been pretty solid, but his walk rate ranks in the sixth percentile. His barrel percentage also ranks in the seventh percentile. His peripherals are weak this year, which is indicative of that 4.82 ERA.
In addition, the Padres’ lineup has been below average in August. Their combined 94 wRC+ will not be able to compete with one of the best pitchers in the league. Getting Fernando Tatis, Jr. back from the injured list has helped, but they have since fallen behind the Cincinnati Reds in the wild-card race in the National League.
The Padres’ bullpen is about league average. This will not compete with the Dodgers or Buehler in this matchup. Take the Dodgers at -145 and play to -165. They should be heavier favorites than they are now.