MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: 4 Best Bets From Wednesday Afternoon’s Slate, Including Orioles vs. Rangers, Royals vs. White Sox (August 3)
David Berding/Getty Images. Pictured: Brady Singer
Be sure to check back later for our best bets from the evening slate, but for now, here are our four best bets from Wednesday afternoon’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Orioles vs. Rangers
Jules Posner: The Texas Rangers look to avoid the home sweep at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday afternoon. Surprisingly, the Rangers will come out of the trade deadline relatively in tact.
Now that the rumors are over and the roster is set, the Rangers should be able to refocus and salvage one game of this series.
Martin Perez will take the mound for the Rangers and he’s been excellent this season. He’s gotten comfortable pitching at Globe Life as he brings a 2.83 home ERA into Wednesday’s matchup.
Kyle Bradish gets the start for the Orioles and he’s struggled so far in 2022. He does seem to fare much better on the road, however. Despite having a 7.50 ERA, Bradish has a 3.39 FIP and a 2.54 xFIP on the road this season. This is a small sample of only 18 innings, so things could change for Bradish in a hurry.
Although the Rangers have struggled at home against RHP over the past few weeks, they have one of the worst BABIPs in MLB over that span. So there is a good chance for some positive regression for the Rangers’ offense Wednesday.
Perez will have his hands full with a testy Orioles offense, but without Trey Mancini, the Orioles’ edge against LHP is slightly less significant.
The Rangers’ moneyline opened around -160, but moved to -145 pretty quickly. It seems that people are really buying the Orioles these days, but the Rangers are still the favorite for a reason.
Royals vs. White Sox
Royals First Five Innings +125
He mainly goes to two pitches, a sinker and a slider. Both pitches have been pretty effective, allowing under a .230 xBA and .315 xwOBA. The White Sox have a combined -23 run value against those two pitches this season and have been shut out by Singer in the nine combined innings he’s faced them.
Lance Lynn is starting to show his age. In nine starts this season his xERA is up at 4.65, opposing hitters have a .266 xBA against him, and he’s allowing a 40.9% hard hit rate. That’s all bad news when your main three pitches are as basic as it comes (sinker, cutter, and fastball).
Lynn has given up a combined 23 earned runs in his past five starts, but is a -150 favorite or better at most books for the first five innings.
Royals Moneyline +140
Anthony Dabbundo: Brady Singer continues to surge in underlying metrics as his increased changeup usage gives him a viable third pitch with which to go after hitters. He just had the best outing of his career on Thursday night in the Bronx and is the better starting pitcher in this matchup at the moment.
Lance Lynn has suffered from a dip in velocity and that has emerged in his below average Stuff+ metric this season, a 99 per Eno Sarris’ model from The Athletic. (100 is average)
Lynn has always been heavily reliant on his power fastball and is the kind of pitcher who may not age gracefully without it. He could recover that velocity, but until he does, he will continue to be at the top of the fade list.
Lynn’s strikeout rate is down 4%, his barrel rate allowed has risen to 8.7%, which is worse than league average. He’s not as bad as his 6.42 ERA indicates, but the White Sox right-hander is still a full run worse in xERA than Singer.
The Royals should have their A-bullpen available as well and Singer’s reduced walk rates of late should help him go deeper into the game.
Royals First Five Innings (125) and Full-Game Moneyline (+140)
Sean Zerillo: I have consistently taken positions against White Sox starters Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech, and Lance Lynn — each of whom have shown decreased fastball velocity this season.
For 73 starts from 2019-2021, Lynn’s fastball averaged 93.9 mph. In nine starts this season — after returning from injury — that same pitch has averaged 92.3 mph and has not surpassed 92.9 mph for an individual game.
While Lynn has shown excellent command this year, his strikeout rate has fallen by about five percent relative to the past three years. And his underlying indicators have increased dramatically (4.65 xERA in 2022, 2.72 in 2021, 3.25 in 2020, and 3.48 in 2019). Brady Singer (3.59 xERA, 3.22 xFIP, 3.22 SIERA) may already be a superior pitcher compared to Lynn.
As I have consistently noted, the White Sox struggle against right-handed pitching (94 wrC+, 21st) but excel against lefties (120 wRC+, 3rd). With the superior starting pitcher in this matchup, going against Chicago’s lesser offensive split, I projected the Royals as +114 underdogs (46.7% implied) for Wednesday, and I would bet their moneyline down to +124, at a two percent edge.
Furthermore, you can bet the Royals’ moneyline for the first five innings (F5) down to +116 or better, at a similar edge against my projection (+107).