MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions for Wednesday: 4 Bets For Yankees vs. Rays, Reds vs. Cubs, More (July 28)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyler Mahle
- A first-five innings under. A first-five favorite. A first-five underdog.
- Find our how our MLB analysts are finding value on Wednesday night's baseball slate with their top picks below.
Our rotation of baseball betting analysts continue to grind through the second half of the season, with an eye on value for Wednesday’s MLB slate.
Find their four favorite bets below, including three first-five inning angles and one full-game favorite.
MLB Odds & Picks
Marlins at Orioles
Kenny Ducey: On Tuesday night, we backed the Marlins’ bats. And on Wednesday night, we’re going back to fading them.
I realize it hasn’t been much fun backing Jorge Lopez this season, but you need to recognize the talent in the veteran righty. He still throws pretty hard and has an effective sinker, and early in games has been rather dominant. It’s when he reaches the second and third time through the order when he’s really run into trouble, but over his last three outings that really hasn’t been the case. Lopez has turned in effective outings against the White Sox and Nationals, with a so-so performance against Kansas City.
Miami — a team down in the bottom 10 in wRC+ all year long and over the last two weeks as well — shouldn’t bother him. It also helps that the Marlins are 28th in weighted runs per 100 pitches against the sinker, which Lopez loves to throw.
Baltimore’s offense has been similarly incompetent over the last couple weeks and will take no joy in facing Jordan Holloway, a touted Marlins prospect who has pitched very effectively out of the rotation. His xwOBA on contact is an impressive .289, and he mixes that in with a 28.9% hard-hit rate.
The Marlins have struggled to make contact, so I don’t see any reason Lopez can’t navigate this one relatively unscathed, seeing as he’s usually burned by an abundance of hits. Holloway, on the other hand, has the stuff to neutralize Baltimore’s scariest power bats.
I don’t know if this total should be as high as it is, so I’m taking the under.
Yankees at Rays
Sean Zerillo: Nestor Cortes Jr. (and his mustache) has been a revelation for the Yankees since this season. The diminutive southpaw had had a tremendous season (2.59 xERA, 3.46 xFIP, 3.29 SIERA) after balancing his pitch mix.
Cortes is using his curveball (22.3%) and changeup (12.4%) more frequently in 2021 while dialing back his slider usage (down from 40% to 21.8% year over year), and his fastball velocity has also seen a slight bump (up a tick vs. his career average).
Michael Wacha sits on a 6.07 xERA and has posted marks of 5.09, 5.86, and 4.58 the past three seasons. His xFIP (4.36) and SIERA (4.33) tell a bit of a different story, and he’s attempted to throw his cutter more frequently this season (34.2%, up 18% vs. career average) to combat a declining fastball. However, Wacha still doesn’t have an above-average pitch in his arsenal.
I projected the Yankees as 57% favorites for the first five innings on Wednesday, and I would bet their moneyline up to -125. I would also place a smaller play on their full game moneyline (projected 50.2%) down to +110.
Blue Jays at Red Sox
Mike Ianniello: Robbie Ray is one of those pitchers I keep expecting the wheels to fall off for, but he just might be a pretty good pitcher.
After being named an All-Star back in 2017 with Arizona, his ERA had continued to rise for each of the next three seasons. He posted a 6.62 ERA in 2020. Well, he’s really bounced back this year and been Toronto’s best pitcher. Ray is 8-5 with a 3.12 ERA through 19 starts. And since June 1, he has a 2.54 ERA and a 12.23 K/9 rate with teams batting just .201 against him.
Garrett Richards has seen his production fall off a cliff recently. Since June 1, he has an ERA of 6.44 and his K/9 is just 6.44. Since the MLB started cracking down on sticky stuff his ERA is 7.04 with a 7.89 FIP. His K/9 rate has dropped even lower to 5.48.
Toronto leads the league in wOBA and sits second in wRC+. The Blue Jays have crushed Richards this season. In four meetings they’re batting .299 with a .875 OPS against him and have put up 14 runs and 26 hits in 22.1 innings. Richards has a 5.64 ERA against Toronto this season and has allowed four runs in three of the four meetings.
Anybody who has watched this Blue Jays team this year should know to want nothing to do with this bullpen, but with Wednesday night’s matchup being a seven-inning game as part of a doubleheader, that should really benefit Toronto with the starting pitching advantage.
Reds at Cubs
Brad Cunningham: Tyler Mahle has been one the best pitchers for the Reds this season, posting a 3.73 xERA and 3.71 xFIP. He’s also been a strikeout machine with a K/9 rate at 11.16, which will be a problem for Cubs, who have the highest K% against right handed pitching.
Mahle is mainly a fastball/slider pitcher and will have a good matchup against the Cubs, who are 17th against fastballs and 23rd against sliders.
Zach Davies is a big time negative regression candidate — his ERA is currently sitting at 4.30, but his xERA is all the way up a 5.69. His main problem is that he’s walking way too many guys, as his BB/9 rate is all the way up at 4.73. On Wednesday night, he faces one of the best right-handed hitting teams in baseball, because not only are the Reds top five in wOBA, but they also have hit the fourth most HRs against righties.
Also, the Reds have had success against Davies’ main two pitches of sinker and changeup, because they have a +11.1 run value against sinkers and a +11.4 run value against changeups.
I have the Reds projected at -187 for the first five innings, so there is plenty of value on them at -125 and would play it up to -160
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