MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our 4 Best Bets for Phillies vs. Brewers, Padres vs. Mets, More (June 8)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Bassitt.
There is action on the diamond around the country throughout the afternoon and evening today, and we have you covered for all of it.
For your convenience, our staff of MLB betting analysts have focused on Wednesday night’s slate of games for their favorite picks. We’ll start in Cincinnati, where the Diamondbacks will look to bounce back against the Reds.
Then, the Twins host the Yankees in a first-place battle, while the skidding Brewers take on the Phillies. Finally, former A’s teammates face off when Sean Manaea (Padres) starts opposite Chris Bassitt (Mets).
MLB Odds & Picks
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Cincinnati Reds
Anthony Dabbundo: Remember all of the jokes about the Reds when they began the 2022 season with a 3-22 record? Cincinnati has played to a 17-13 record since that start, including a winning record in May.
Now, the Reds have got a chance to win a third consecutive game against the Diamondbacks. Unlike the more favorable pitching matchups against Madison Bumgarner and Tyler Gilbert of the last two days, the much-improved Merrill Kelly takes the mound for Arizona on Wednesday.
Kelly was a pitcher I highlighted at the beginning of the season as a pitcher I was looking to bet on. He’s largely been successful as a part of an improved Arizona pitching staff under the direction of new pitching coach Brent Strom.
Kelly has improved his fastball velocity by almost a full mph and while it hasn’t translated to more strikeouts — his K rate is the same as 2021 — his fastball isn’t getting barreled nearly as much. Kelly has a career low in hard-hit rate as he’s throwing fewer curveballs and sinkers in lieu of focusing on his changeup and cutter.
Kelly sits with a respectable 3.66 ERA. His expected indicators all sit comfortably under 4.00 with a 3.79 xERA and 3.41 FIP.
Kelly is opposed by Mike Minor, and I’m not sure what the lefty has left to get major league hitters out anymore. His first start registered a 65.8 Stuff+ rating, per Eno Sarris of The Athletic’s model. League average is 100, and there’s only one regular starter that has a lower metric than that. Stuff+ examines the physical qualities of the pitch from movement to spin to velocity.
The 34-year old left-hander was barreled three times in 14 batted balls. His hard-hit rate in his first start was 50%. That first start came against Washington, a decent lineup but not one of the league’s best.
I’d play Arizona in both the full game and first five innings at -110 or better. I think the Snakes should be favorites given the clear pitching edge and uncertainty of whether Minor is still good enough to be a MLB starter.
New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins
Jules Posner: The New York Yankees are on a tear (again) and have won seven straight games (again). Nestor Cortes has overtaken Gerritt Cole as the Yankees’ statistical ace this season, and he’s facing a Minnesota Twins team that is 4-6 over its last 10 games.
Cortes has also placed himself squarely in the American League Cy Young Award discussion, but what’s really incredible is how good his home/road splits are. Over 30 road innings, Cortes has posted a 1.50 ERA with a 2.60 FIP.
The Twins’ offense has fared well against LHP at home over the past month, but the volatility of their starter Chris Archer against an elite Yankee road offense paired with a stumbling bullpen gives the Yankees a huge edge in this match up.
The Yankees’ offense is third in MLB with a 131 team wRC+ against RHP on the road over the past three weeks and Chris Archer’s 5.00 home ERA does not give me much faith the Twins can keep this game close.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Charlie DiSturco: The Phillies have looked like a different team with Joe Girardi in the rearview mirror and Wednesday night is yet another opportunity to keep rolling.
I may sound like a broken record at this point, but Aaron Nola remains one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball this season. Every start he’s gotten one unlucky bounce or a couple bad batters in a row and it’s inflated his ERA to 3.92.
But his advanced metrics are stellar. He’s in the top 5% of all pitchers in walk rate and his xERA (2.80) and xFIP (2.88) both sit over a run lower than his actual ERA. Opponents have just a .213 xBA against the right-hander.
The opposite can be said about his Wednesday night counterpart Adrian Houser. The 29-year-old has a 3.51 ERA but has been incredibly fortunate.
Opponents have a .285 xBA against Houser, which stands as a career-worst, and his xERA sits a run higher at 4.53. His ground-ball rate is also down over 10 percent this season, a bit alarming considering he is a ground ball pitcher.
All this to say Houser has been able to consistently escape threats without giving up runs despite being hit hard.
I’m looking to back Philadelphia on the first five moneyline on Wednesday night. The Phillies should have no problem getting to Houser, riding Nola’s positive regression en route to yet another win without Girardi.
New York Mets vs. San Diego Padres
DJ James: Typically, Chris Bassitt vs. Sean Manaea would be deemed a relatively even matchup, but the Padres have not been able to hit right-handers lately, while Bassitt is a sharp pitcher who reduces the opponent’s chances of hitting the ball hard. The Mets starter ranks in the 92nd percentile with an Average Exit Velocity of 85.7 mph. This is down from last season’s 87.6 mark, so being able to improve on that number in a season where he held a 3.15 ERA and 3.42 xERA is phenomenal.
On the other side is Manaea, who has a better xERA than Bassitt (3.48 versus 3.68), although that does not quite tell the whole story. His Average Exit Velocity against is 90.2 mph, in line with last season’s with a Hard Hit Rate over 40%.
The Mets rank sixth in the last month off of lefties at a 123 wRC+ mark, while the Padres own a second-worst 74 wRC+ in that same timeframe off of righties. Look for Bassitt to take full advantage and pitch deep into this game.
The differences in these two bullpens are negligible, so the edge lies on the Mets offense and Bassitt’s ability to navigate tough innings. Take the Mets from +105 to -125.