MLB Odds, Expert Picks, Predictions for Wednesday: 3 Best Bets, Including Braves vs. Cardinals & Giants vs. Diamondbacks (August 4)
Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Gausman
- Wednesday brings another loaded day of MLB action with 15 games on the docket, including 11 at night.
- Our staff has picked their three favorite bets for Royals vs. White Sox, Braves vs. Cardinals and Giants vs. Diamondbacks.
- See how they're betting these games, below, as the season rolls on into August.
Our analysts have found plenty of value on the slate, with three picks on evening games, including Royals-White Sox, Braves-Cardinals and Giants-Diamondbacks.
Here are our three best bets from Wednesday’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Royals vs. White Sox
Tanner McGrath: The under has now hit in eight straight games between the Royals and White Sox.
I’m going back to the well again tonight.
Firstly, because if you put the Royals against a righty on the road, they are awful. Against RHPs away from Kansas City this year, the Royals have posted a .637 OPS and a .279 wOBA — good for a 76 wRC+.
These Royals get to face Lucas Giolito (3.31 xERA, 3.80 xFIP) and a revamped White Sox bullpen. They scored just two total runs in the first game of this series, and I don’t expect the bats to wake up tonight.
Secondly, while the White Sox offense is scary, KC’s Carlos Hernández might know something they don’t. Hernández’s most recent start came against the White Sox, where he pitched six shutout innings while allowing just four hits, walking one and striking out four.
The White Sox might put up a few runs tonight, but with Hernández on the mound, I’m not confident in their ability to cash over 8.5 by themselves.
Thirdly, umpire Ron Kulpa is hitting the under at almost a 60% clip, going 263-196 lifetime to the under. If you had bet $100 on the under every time Kulpa calls a game, you’d be up more than $4,000.
Finally, our Action PRO model makes the total just 8.25, meaning there’s some value on the under 8.5 number DraftKings is offering us at even money.
Braves vs. Cardinals
Collin Whitchurch: I can’t figure out why this total is so low, but any time I get a chance to fade J.A. Happ I’m going to take it.
The 38-year-old veteran will make his Cardinals debut tonight after performing like one of the worst starting pitchers in baseball in 19 starts for the Twins. His 98 1/3 innings aren’t enough to qualify for the leaderboards, but if you lower the qualifications to 90 innings, he has the worst ERA in baseball, with a 6.77 mark that’s significantly worse than the next two on the list (Matt Harvey 6.20, Chi Chi Gonzalez 6.06).
You can call Happ a bit unlucky, as his xERA is ONLY 5.79 and xFIP is ONLY 5.28, but there’s no stat that would make you think he’s been even a little bit good this season.
This total is likely lower than it should be because the Braves aren’t great against lefties, with a 94 wRC+ that ranks just 21st in baseball. In fact, the Braves and Cardinals rank 21st and 22nd against lefties with both facing southpaws tonight.
I’m not too worried about that tonight, however, as Atlanta hasn’t faced a lefty as hittable as Happ all season, and the St. Louis offense — disappointing all season — has been slightly above league average (101 wRC+) since the calendar turned to July.
Giants vs. Diamondbacks
Brad Cunningham: Kevin Gausman has been a big reason why the Giants are currently in first place in the NL West, posting a 3.21 xERA and a 3.51 xFIP. His control has been fantastic: a 10.61 K/9 rate and only a 2.78 BB/9 rate, and if you haven’t seen his split finger yet, go look it up because it’s one of the nastiest pitches in all of baseball. He throws it more than 36% of the time and opponents only have a .109 batting average against it and it has a 48.8% whiff rate.
The Diamondbacks just traded their best hitter, Eduardo Escobar, to the Brewers, and the Diamondbacks are 29th in terms of wOBA and wRC+ against right-handed pitching.
Zac Gallen has been one of the few bright spots for the Diamondbacks this season, but has just gotten no help whatsoever. He’s due for some positive regression because his ERA is currently sitting at 4.61, but his xERA is almost a full run lower at 3.82 and he’s a big time strikeout guy like Gausman with a K/9 rate of 10.96.
He’s a fastball dominant pitcher and he’s been pretty effective with it as opponents are only hitting .196 against it, and he will need it to be on point because the Giants are one of the best fastball hitting teams in baseball.
I only have 3.65 runs projected for the first five innings and I would really like to avoid the Diamondbacks’ bullpen, which is one of the worst in Major League Baseball. So, I am going back Under 4 runs for the first five innings and would play it down to +100.