MLB Odds & Picks: 5 Best Bets for Wednesday, Including Mets vs. Phillies, Cardinals vs. Marlins & Diamondbacks vs. Rockies (April 7)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan McMahon
Today’s schedule includes an early doubleheader between the Nationals and Braves, and elsewhere you mostly get series’ wrapping up as teams get set to fly to their next destination.
Our experts have picks on five games from Wednesday’s slate, including two on the Mets-Phillies, one on White Sox-Mariners and moneyline plays in both Miami and Denver.
MLB Odds & Picks
New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Tanner McGrath: With injuries to Noah Syndergaard and the newly acquired Carlos Carrasco, the Mets’ rotation lacks depth right now.
So New York is throwing out David Peterson as its third starter Wednesday against Philadelphia.
Peterson became an important part of the Mets’ rotation in 2020, and he played well. He posted a 6-2 record with a 3.44 ERA and 1.21 WHIP while finishing better than the 50th percentile in xBA and xSLG, per Baseball Savant.
However, he also got shelled in his one start against the Phillies last season. At Citi Field, Peterson allowed five runs on three hits and four walks through only two innings.
That was predictable, given the Phillies hit well against lefties. But the Phillies hit even better against left-handers at Citizens Bank Park. Against left-handed at home in 2020, Philadelphia finished in the top five in OPS, wOBA and wRC+.
Therefore, I think Peterson could struggle even more today.
For the Phillies: Aaron Nola finished Spring Training strong (one run on four hits and 14 Ks over his final 13 innings) and had a very impressive 2021 debut against the Braves. Plus, Nola pitched great at home last season, posting a 2.50 ERA and 0.81 WHIP in 39 2/3 innings at Citizens Bank Park in 2020.
Nola did struggle in his previous two starts against the Mets, allowing eight runs on 10 2/3 combined innings while walking six. However, he’s pitched very well against the Mets otherwise, as he allowed just two total runs in the four starts before that.
All in all, I’m banking on Nola building on his momentum today while the Phillies’ offense continues to hit well against southpaws.
New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Kenny Ducey: The Phillies were finally slowed by the tantalizing new arsenal of Marcus Stroman on Tuesday, but they won’t be facing nearly the same level on Wednesday.
David Peterson gets the ball for the Mets. Peterson is a tall, soft-tossing left-hander whose expected ERA was almost a full run higher than his actual ERA last season. Not only was he living on the edge, the Phillies absolutely destroyed left-handed pitching in 2020 with a 118 wRC+, the sixth-best mark in the league.
Philadelphia’s important bats are either hot or heating up at the moment; J.T. Realmuto (.360 wOBA) and Rhys Hoskins (.368) have been beastly while Didi Gregorius hit a homer on Tuesday and Alec Bohm continued to make hard contact, ranking in the 81st percentile in hard-hit rate.
These bats should be more than enough to find a way through Peterson early, and the Phillies will have the sweet stylings of Aaron Nola backing it up, a pitcher with plenty of experience navigating this lineup. I like the Phils to hold the lead through five innings.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Miami Marlins
Brad Cunningham: Jack Flaherty may have gotten shelled in his first start of the season, but he is still one of the best pitchers in baseball. He posted an xFIP under 3.5 with a K/9 around 11, which is up there with some of the elite pitchers in the game.
He’ll have a great matchup against Marlins lineup that struggles versus right-handed pitching, ranking 26th in wOBA last season. In addition, Flaherty mainly uses a fastball/slider combination, which are two pitches the Marlins struggled against last season.
In addition, the Cardinals have a better bullpen than the Marlins, since Miami finished in the bottom five of MLB in ERA, xFIP, and batting average allowed in 2020. St. Louis is also projected to be the best defensive team in MLB in 2021, so I think this game sets up really nicely for the Redbirds.
Chicago White Sox vs. Seattle Mariners
Jeff Hicks: The Seattle Mariners are on track for a bullpen day while Chicago sends Dallas Keuchel to the mound. Justin Dunn is starting for Seattle, but has averaged under five innings per start for his career and threw 45-plus in 10 starts in 2020.
The Mariners’ bullpen has a 5.16 ERA during the first week of the season. Chicago has found its offensive stroke against Seattle and it should continue enough while Keuchel does his thing through the first half of the game.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies
Collin Whitchurch: It’s entirely possible that Madison Bumgarner is toast. After a forgettable and injury-prone 2020, Bumgarner made his 2021 debut on Opening Day and promptly got beat around by San Diego to the tune of six earned runs in four innings in what was ultimately an 8-7 loss.
That was the Padres, though. This is the Rockies. The Worst Team In Baseball candidate Rockies.
Colorado was the fifth-worst team in baseball against left-handed pitchers a year ago. (Hilariously, they were even worse against righties). In a 74 plate appearance sample so far this year, they’re still pretty bad, with a 92 wRC+ that means they’re 8% below league average. And that’s despite having a surprising amount of success against Clayton Kershaw on Opening Day.
The Diamondbacks have plenty of issues of their own, but they should have little trouble with Antonio Senzatela. The 26-year-old simply does not miss bats, with a pedestrian 15.6 K% for his career, and in his first start against the Dodgers he generated just seven swings and misses in 70 pitches. Arizona whiffs at what is essentially a league-average rate, so its hitters should have no issue barreling it up against the right-hander.
I’ve been pretty adamant since before the season that I think Colorado is going to wind up one of the worst teams in either league. The Diamondbacks aren’t playoff contenders, but they’re certainly a step up from that.