Wednesday MLB Picks, Betting Predictions & Odds: 5 Bets, Including Rays vs. Yankees, Nationals vs. Braves (June 2)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images. Pictured: Colorado’s Ryan McMahon celebrates while scoring the winning run in the 11th inning on Tuesday.
- Our MLB analysts have bets to recommend from five different games on Wednesday's slate.
- We have moneyline underdogs, first five innings props, and team totals to play.
- Read on for our best MLB bets for Wednesday, June 2.
Here are our five best bets from Wednesday’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees
Tanner McGrath: In a battle between lefty pitchers Shane McClanahan and Jordan Montgomery, I’d much rather ride with McClanahan and the Rays’ offense.
McClanahan has come firing out of the gates in his rookie season. Behind a slider with an incredibly high whiff rate (close to 50%), he’s striking out about 30% of batters faced. He’s posted a 3.29 ERA and a 2.98 FIP with expected statistics that are even lower.
Meanwhile, Montgomery’s been serviceable but not excellent. His curveball has been very effective, but the rest of his arsenal has been average at best. He’s made three starts against the Rays this year, pitched 17 total innings and allowing nine earned runs.
Given how the Rays’ offense has been hitting recently, I have a good feeling about Tampa’s lineup against Montgomery today.
Over the course of the season, the Rays and the Yankees are both hitting below average against lefties. However, over the past two weeks, the Rays rank 11th in wRC+ vs. LHPs (113) while the Yankees rank second-to-last (70).
While I’d like to fade Montgomery, I don’t want to bet against the Yankees’ bullpen. Therefore, I’m looking for the Rays to lead after the first five. And at plus money or better, I think that bet provides a lot of value.
Miami Marlins vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Jeff Hicks: Pablo López has been excellent in his second full season in the Marlins’ rotation, but he has been abhorrent on the road in 2021. He has a 5.13 ERA away from Miami and has allowed more hits, extra-base hits, and runs in 10 1/3 fewer innings pitched on the road than at home. He also has a slash line against of .304/.351/.480. The Blue Jays scored four runs against Miami’s staff ace Sandy Alcantara Tuesday night, so Lopez is in trouble.
The Blue Jays hit well at “home” in Buffalo last season. Toronto finished top 10 in average, slugging, OPS, ISO, BABIP (eh), wRAA, Hard Hit percentage, and Home Run-to-Flyball ratio at home in 2020.
Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves
Brad Cunningham: This is one is going to be a slugfest, but the Nationals have the better matchup. Despite being 37-years-old, Jon Lester hasn’t been that terrible this season, posting a 4.15 xERA and 4.65 xFIP. His main two pitches of cutter and fastball have been pretty below average, but the Braves are 13th against fastballs and 16th against cutters, so Lester has a decent matchup tonight.
Drew Smyly has been awful for the Braves this season, posting a 5.49 xERA and a shockingly high 2.76 HR/9 rate. He’s giving up a ton of hard contact to opposing hitters, as his hard hit % is close to 40%. He’s mainly a fastball pitcher, throwing it more than 56% of the time and it’s just getting shelled, allowing a .280 average to opposing hitters along with a .367 wOBA. The Nationals rank fifth in MLB with a .338 wOBA against left-handed pitching and 11th against fastballs. So Washington should be able to get to Drew Smyly.
Texas Rangers vs. Colorado Rockies
Collin Wilson: Coors Field continues to be a nightmare for pitchers, currently ranking second in park factors for runs scored. Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela has been hit for at least four earned runs at home against the Padres, Phillies and Dodgers already this season. His go-to pitch of a four-seam fastball will be a welcome sight by Rangers hitters who are +7 cumulative in run value versus that pitch.
Rangers starter Jordan Lyles has had his own struggles, but other circumstances will help this Over. First, the Rangers’ bullpen is bottom 10 in strikeouts and xFIP. The Rockies’ bullpen is dead last in left on base rate. Combine all this with umpire David Rackley, who is 119-90 to the Over, good enough for +28 units lifetime.
Oakland Athletics vs. Seattle Mariners
Sean Zerillo: Chris Flexen has seemingly returned as an improved pitcher after a one-year stint in the KBO, and the righty has made significant changes to his pitch usage this season.
Flexen now throws a cutter more than 30% of the time. He has also increased his curveball usage (from 3.6% in 2019 to 16% in 2021) quite dramatically, and now throws his cutter, curveball, and changeup a combined 64% of the time, comparable to a pitcher like Corey Kluber (combined 69.6% usage).
Flexen isn’t generating many strikeouts — his 14.9% strikeout rate ranks 143rd out of 153 qualified starters (min. 20 innings pitched) — but he has limited walks (5%, 31st out of 153) and allowed the Mariners’ defense (13th in Defensive Runs Saved, 17th in Outs Above Average) to clean things up behind him.
Flexen has pitched to a 4.34 ERA, with expected indicators right around that mark (4.53 xERA, 3.93 FIP, 4.52 xFIP, 4.65 SIERA), and projection systems call for a FIP between 4.27 and 4.67 over the remainder of this season.
I projected the Mariners at 45.4% for Wednesday’s home game against Oakland, and I would play their moneyline down to +133 (implied 42.9%) or better, at a 2.5% edge relative to my projection.