MLB Best Bets Today | Odds, Picks for Cubs vs Reds & More
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- The trade deadline has come and gone, making Wednesday's MLB slate an intriguing one.
- Our MLB writers hand-picked five best bets for Wednesday, including picks for Mariners vs. Red Sox, Cubs vs. Reds and more.
- Check out all five of our MLB best bets for Wednesday's games below.
The trade deadline has come and gone, which means baseball's final stretch has arrived.
There are two months left in the regular season, and the pressure is starting to mount. That increased pressure will be present on Wednesday, Aug. 2, with all 30 teams in action.
There are 15 games and numerous betting opportunities on today's slate.
Our MLB betting experts have looked over the odds and found the best betting value on the board. They've got their eyes on four games, including Angels vs. Braves, Red Sox vs. Mariners, Rays vs. Yankees and Reds vs. Cubs.
Continue reading for our best MLB bets for Wednesday, Aug. 2.
Wednesday's MLB Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our MLB betting staff is targeting from today's slate of games. Click the team logos for one of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our MLB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.|
Angels vs. Braves
By D.J. James
The Los Angeles Angels and their litany of injuries are underdogs to the Atlanta Braves, which — in a vacuum — makes sense and typically wouldn't cause bettors to give the line a second look. However, on Wednesday afternoon the Angels will send the newly acquired Lucas Giolito to the mound against Yonny Chirinos.
Giolito doesn't have the most encouraging peripherals, but he holds a sub-4.00 ERA against a 4.49 xERA, which is mostly inflated by a 10.4% Barrel Rate. That said, he is striking out 25.7% of hitters and has an average walk rate.
Meanwhile, Chirinos is far worse with a 4.02 ERA against a 6.08 xERA. His Average Exit Velocity and Hard-Hit Rate are far worse than Giolito's, and Chirinos is only striking out 12.1% of hitters.
The bats are relatively even, at least lately. Against right-handed pitching since the beginning of June, the Angels have a 110 wRC+ with a .776 OPS and a 9.4% walk rate. Meanwhile, the Braves hold a 119 wRC+ with a .825 OPS and a 8.3% walk rate.
Taylor Ward hit the injured list with a facial fracture, but the Angels added C.J. Cron and Randal Grichuk to help offensively.
Outside of Nicky Lopez, the Braves didn't add much to an already great lineup.
Atlanta clearly has the edge in relief with a 3.95 xFIP against the Angels’ 5.07 mark since July 1, but Giolito can offset that and pitch deep into this game.
If he's able to do so, the Angels are a reasonable bet here. Take them to +105.
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Angels vs. Braves
By Tony Sartori
The Angels will hand the ball to newly acquired right-hander Lucas Giolito for the rubber match of this interleague series.
Giolito's debut for Los Angeles didn't go as planned as he surrendered three runs on six hits en route to a loss. However, he has put together a strong campaign and this could be a good spot to buy low.
Atlanta's lineup will surely be an obstacle, but the Angels could certainly put up a crooked number of their own against Yonny Chirinos. Atlanta claimed Chirinos off waivers after Tampa gave up on him, and he's yet to have any success with the Braves.
Through 16 appearances this season, Chirinos is 4-4 with a 4.34 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. His underlying metrics suggest further regression is likely, as he ranks in the 12th percentile or lower in Average Exit Velocity, Hard-Hit%, xERA/xwOBA, xBA and xSLG.
Statistically speaking, the Angels' lineup isn't that far behind Atlanta's. So, with the better starting pitcher, let's take a chance on the Angels at plus money.
Red Sox vs. Mariners
This is a sneaky good pitching matchup as Logan Gilbert, who remains one of the most promising young pitchers in the game, goes against Kutter Crawford, who is building a decent resume of his own.
Gilbert pounds the zone and sports one of the best walk rates in the league. The Red Sox are an aggressive offense and sport a top-five rate of swinging at pitches inside the zone.
However, they're merely average against the curveball and below average against the slider, so I'm not expecting a lot of hard contact against Gilbert. Nor am I expecting much loft when they do make contact, in a park that has suppressed home runs pretty well.
Crawford is coming off one of the better starts of his career, striking out seven and allowing just one run on three hits in 5 2/3 innings against the Giants. The Mariners' offense has struggled all season, particularly in the strikeout department, and Crawford has improved his ability to generate whiffs with his five-pitch mix.
I don't want to have to worry about the bullpens, but I trust these starting pitchers to get through the first half of the game unscathed. I like the first five under 4.5 at -110 and would bet that to -115.
Rays vs. Yankees
By D.J. James
The New York Yankees didn't do much at the deadline aside from adding bullpen depth, but they have Gerrit Cole on the bump yet again.
They've hit left-handers well this season, and their opponent on Wednesday will be the Tampa Bay Rays with Shane McClanahan.
McClanahan has a 3.00 ERA, but his xERA is much higher at 3.91. Both are still solid and under 4.00, but his average exit velocity of 89.5 mph and hard-hit rate of 41.3% are driving these expected numbers. He's also walking 9.1% of hitters, which isn't too encouraging.
Cole has a higher xERA at 3.56 against a 2.64 ERA. However, his average exit velocity of 89 mph is a touch below McClanahan’s, as is his hard-hit rate of 40.1%. Cole strikes out 27.3% of hitters while walking only 6.6%, so this is a clear edge for the righty.
Even though Tampa will bounce back, it has a 94 wRC+ against righties since July 1, accompanied by a 25.1% strikeout rate.
The Yankees own a 106 wRC+ with a 9.3% walk rate and .756 OPS off of lefties since July 1, which is another area where New York should carry the edge.
Finally, adding bullpen depth should help New York, but Tampa has the bullpen edge overall. That said, Cole can pitch deep into games and clearly walks fewer hitters.
With that being the case, take the Yanks to -135.
Reds vs. Cubs
Give me more Cubs.
I’m in love with the Cubbies right now. I love the deadline moves they made for Jeimer Candelario and Jose Cuas. I love that they’re leaning into a lineup led by Dansby Swanson and Cody Bellinger and a rotation boosted by the best defensive infield in baseball.
I think the Cubs could get even better. Seiya Suzuki’s batted-ball profile is better than his statistics. Marcus Stroman should bounce back. Kyle Hendricks has made only 13 starts.
Give me the Cubs to win the NL Central. Give me the Cubs on the ML yesterday. Give me them on the ML today.
I’ll probably bet the Cubs tomorrow, too.
But back to today’s matchup.
Cincinnati starting pitcher Brandon Williamson isn’t a player you should trust. His xERA sits in the mid-5.00s, and his xwOBA allowed comes in over .360. He’s pitched well over his past four starts (2.18 ERA), but he should regress to the mean behind a 14:9 K/BB ratio (5.26 xFIP).
The Cubs are destroying the baseball, posting a .837 OPS and 127 wRC+ in July. They’re a top-five team against left-handed four-seamers and cutters during that stretch (.903 OPS, .337 xwOBA) — and those are Williamson’s top two pitches.
I’m worried about Chicago starting pitcher Drew Smyly, as he’s been giving up more hard contact lately.
But the Cubs have a significant bullpen advantage and can out-hit the Reds over nine frames, as Cincy owns a wRC+ of 94 over the past 30 days.
I’m simply looking to buy the Cubs in any way, shape or form — they’re going to win a ton of games down the stretch, so book your tickets and strap in.