MLB Odds, Picks: Wednesday Best Bets, Including Nationals vs Astros, Angels vs Rangers
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros.
- Wednesday's MLB schedule boasts a solid mix of afternoon and evening games.
- With one evening best bet wrapped up, our staff turns its attention to its two evening best bets: Angels vs. Rangers and Nationals vs. Astros.
- Check out both best bets for Wednesday night's MLB matchups below.
Wednesday's MLB slate brings us a nice mix of afternoon and evening baseball, and our staff is targeting both windows.
We have three best bets for Wednesday's MLB games, including a pick for Giants vs. Cardinals at 1:15 p.m. ET and two more in the evening for Angels vs. Rangers and Nationals vs. Astros.
Read on for all three of our Wednesday best bets — and be sure to check back tomorrow for even more MLB betting coverage.
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 Wednesday'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.|
Giants vs. Cardinals
By D.J. James
Anthony DeSclafani has started to slip a bit in his latest outings. Against the Orioles and Cubs, he allowed seven earned runs over a combined nine innings of work.
On the season, he owns a 3.89 ERA against a 4.51 xERA. He will continue to negatively regress because opponents tend to hit him hard. He ranks in the 20th percentile in hard-hit rate and in the 35th percentile in average exit velocity.
He'll now face the St. Louis Cardinals, who are one of the best-hitting teams against righties.
The Cards will throw Jordan Montgomery, who seems to be on the exact opposite trajectory as DeSclafani. Montgomery owns similar numbers (3.88 ERA, 4.33 xERA), but the major difference is Montgomery doesn't allow the hard contact that DeSclafani does. Montgomery ranks in the 56th percentile in average exit velocity and the 58th percentile in hard-hit rate.
Hitting-wise over the last month, the Cardinals own a 108 wRC+ mark with an 9.2% walk rate and .753 OPS, which ranks sixth in MLB.
The Giants do have a 116 wRC+ with a .785 OPS against lefties in the last month, but they have a brutal walk rate at only 5%. This will come into play since Montgomery walks batters only 6.1% of the time.
In relief, the Giants do have an edge over the Cardinals, but DeSclafani may leave them with a margin to make up. In that case, middle relievers will likely enter the game to play mop-up duty.
Given that the Cards can hit righties more consistently with DeSclafani tapering off after a hot start, take their team total over from 4 (-125) to 5 (+100).
Angels vs. Rangers
By Nick Shlain
One of my favorite bets on the slate for Wednesday is Texas Rangers starting pitcher Andrew Heaney to go over 5.5 strikeouts at -130 at BetMGM.
Heaney goes up against the Los Angeles Angels in this one, and it’s a great matchup for him. While he’s failed to go over this number in each of his last four starts, Heaney is a solid strikeout pitcher with a 24% strikeout percentage this season.
The Angels have struggled mightily with strikeouts against left-handed pitchers like Heaney thus far. Los Angeles’ projected lineup has a combined strikeout percentage of 26% against lefties this season. Five hitters in that projected lineup also have a strikeout percentage of at least 24% against left-handed pitchers.
Mike Trout missed yesterday’s game, but he should be back today. Despite his skills, he has a 28% strikeout percentage against left-handed pitching on the year.
Heaney should be able to take advantage of this matchup and cash this strikeout prop.
Nationals vs. Astros
Josiah Gray is a pitcher who's due for some negative regression after having some issues with his control.
His ERA sits at 3.00, but his xERA balloons up to 4.36. He also has a staggeringly high 4.63 BB/9 rate, along with a Location+ rating of 94.
What's also concerning is that Gray's stuff has been well below average. He has a Stuff+ rating of just 89, and the biggest concern is his two off-speed pitches of slider and curveball.
Last season, the Stuff+ rating on those two pitches came in above 110, which is around the MLB average. This season, his slider is sitting at 81 and his curveball is at 95, which is a major concern when his fastball is already well below average.
Gray owns a Pitching+ rating of just 90, which is the lowest among qualified starting pitchers, so this is a pitcher who's really overdue for some negative regression.
Image via FanGraphs
Framber Valdez is another pitcher due for a lot of negative regression. He has one of the lowest ERAs in baseball at 2.36, but his xERA is all the way up at 3.90.
As you can see below, he's getting hit hard right now, but opposing hitters are hitting it right at defenders.
Image via Baseball Savant
Valdez is a groundball pitcher. The sinker that he throws over 50% of the time along with a curveball allows him to live down in the zone and produce one of the highest groundball rates in baseball year after year.
However, his groundball rate this season is down to 58.9% after coming in at 66.5% last season — and the season before that, it was at 70.1%.
The Nationals are one of the best offenses in baseball against left-handed pitching, ranking fourth in wOBA. They also own the sixth-lowest groundball rate against lefties.
I have 9.1 runs projected for this game, so I like the value on over 7.5 runs at -105 for two starting pitchers who are due for negative regression.