MLB Odds & Picks: 3 Best Bets For Wednesday, Including Braves vs. Nationals & Brewers vs. Phillies (May 5)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Brewers SP Freddy Peralta
- First 5 innings moneyline. First 5 innings run line. Full game moneyline.
- Find out why Brewers-Phillies features three of our five favorite MLB picks for Wednesday's full slate.
- Our baseball betting analysts run through all five angles below.
We have a loaded MLB slate on Wednesday, but our analysts have done the hard work to identify the best betting values on the board — including three angles for Brewers-Phillies.
Find their five best bets outlined below.
MLB Odds & Picks
Mets at Cardinals
|Marcus Stroman vs. Kwang Hyun Kim|
Tanner McGrath: The Mets have had an underwhelming season.
At 11-12, they’re third in the NL East and boast a run differential of -13. Plus, their prize offseason acquisition is hitting well below the Mendoza Line. However, there is one bright spot to this lackluster start (excluding Jacob deGrom due to his recent injury and lack of run support): Marcus Stroman.
Stroman has been awesome since coming to Flushing from Toronto, but he’s really taken a step forward this season. Through five starts, Stroman has posted a 1.84 ERA, a 2.7 FIP and a .95 WHIP. And, compared to last season, his walk rate is down (1.84 BB/9) while his ground ball rate is up (60%).
The Cardinals should struggle against Stroman, especially since they’ve posted just an 83 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers over the past 14 days.
On the other hand, the Cardinals are starting southpaw Kwang Hyun Kim. Through three starts, his posted a 3.29 ERA with a high strikeout rate (10.44 K/9) and an incredibly low walk rate (1.7%), but his underlying numbers are concerning.
Kim has a 17.1% barrel rate, a .400 xwOBA and an unsustainable 80% strand rate. Meanwhile, his ground ball rate is just 36% — way down from his mark last season. All this leads to a bunch of tough outs and a high expected ERA (6.47).
Kim is due for serious regression, and ironically, this Mets team is the perfect team for that. Against left-handed pitchers over the last 14 days, the Mets boast the fifth-highest OPS (.848), the fourth-highest wOBA (.371) and the third-highest wRC+ (190).
All-in-all, I’m looking for the Mets to blow up Kim while the Cardinals get stifled by Stroman. The Mets should have a slightly larger advantage in a seven-inning game, and therefore I’m looking to bet them up to -115.
Braves at Nationals
|Max Fried vs. Erick Fedde|
Brad Cunningham: Once again, this is a fantastic matchup for the Braves against a weak right-hander in Erick Fedde, who was a disaster in 2020. He had a whopping 5.41 xERA and 5.22 xFIP, but it gets even worse — his K/9 was embarrassingly low at 5.01 and he gave up home runs left and right (1.79 HR/9).
Fedde is mainly a sinker-ball guy, but he’s not even close to being effective with it this season: Opponents are hitting .367 against it with a .482 wOBA, per Baseball Savant. And the top four guys of the Braves’ lineup — Ronald Acuña, Freddie Freeman, Marcell Ozuna, and Ozzie Albies — have better than a .400 wOBA against sinkers over the past two seasons.
Max Fried has been somewhat of a disaster through his first three starts with an ERA higher than 11, and he did give up five earned runs to the Nationals a few weeks ago. However, his xFIP is all the way down at 4.21, meaning that his first three starts were not as bad as they seem.
I have the Braves projected as -177 favorites, so there is value on Atlanta.
Brewers at Phillies
|Freddy Peralta vs. Chase Anderson|
Sean Zerillo: Among pitchers who have thrown 50 or more innings since the start of the 2020 season, Freddy Peralta ranks fourth with a 38.8% strikeout rate — that’s behind Jacob deGrom (41.7%), Shane Bieber (40.5%), and teammate Corbin Burnes (39.4%) but ahead of Tyler Glasnow (38.3%), Gerrit Cole (36.4%) and Trevor Bauer (35.4%).
Peralta is in elite company.
Within the same group of qualified pitchers, he ranks 16th with a 3.28 xFIP and 5th with a 2.90 SIERA.
His breakout is partially the result of increased reliance on a signature pitch. Peralta started throwing a slider 24% of the time in 2020, and has ramped up that usage to 35.5% this season. Combined with his fastball, Peralta has thrown one of two pitches more than 90% of the time in 2021.
He’s a flyball pitcher who generates a high number of popups (12.4% career), so Peralta generates an increased number of low-impact plate appearances for the opposition. And I don’t think the betting market is properly evaluating his current skillset.
Meanwhile, Chase Anderson has had a journey-man like career — 172 career starts (4.60 FIP, 4,52 xFIP, 4.42 SIERA) across four different clubs — but he’s had difficulty settling into the Phillies’ rotation this season (6.57 xERA, 5.16 xFIP, 4.91 SIERA) due to some command issues (9.2% K-BB% vs. 12.5% career).
Anderson has always had an issue with the longball (career 1.41 HR/9, 13.4% HR/FB rate), and if anything, he’s due for some negative regression in that area throughout the summer.
Otherwise, there’s nothing to suggest that Anderson can’t fill out the back-end of a rotation with some better sequencing in the future. Indicators like swinging-strike rate (career-high 11.4%) and CSW% (career-high 27.6%), in addition to a stable fastball velocity, don’t raise any red flags.
However, the most optimistic public projection (4.86 ERA from Steamer; range up to 5.10) still places Anderson among the worst starters in baseball over the rest of the season. There’s a significant skill gap relative to his opponent (projected range 3.51 to 4.08).
I project Peralta and the Brewers as 68% favorites in the first five innings (F5) on Wednesday. I would bet their F5 moneyline up to -182 — a 3.5% edge.
Brewers at Phillies
Mike Ianniello: The Brewers enter this game losing three in a row, but this is a great spot for them to stop the bleeding with a very lopsided pitching matchup.
Peralta is on the mound and he’s dazzled this season as part of one of the best rotations in baseball. He’s 3-0 with 2.25 ERA, has allowed just seven runs in 28 innings, and has racked up 45 strikeouts. He also has a 14.46 K/9 rate, which is tied for fourth in the league with Shane Bieber (the reigning AL Cy Young winner).
Formally nicknamed “Fastball Freddy” when he was throwing his fastball around 80% of time, Peralta now throws the heater only about 50% of the time and is working in his sider way on 35% of pitches. The Phillies’ lineup ranks just 21st in the league hitting sliders this season.
Peralta ranks in the top 10% of baseball in xERA, xBA, xWBO, xSLG, K% and HardHit% and has been excellent this season.
On the other side will be Anderson, who has struggled to a 5.40 ERA and allowed 13 runs over 21 innings this season. He ranks in the bottom 10% of baseball in xwOBA and xERA this season
While the Brewers’ lineup has been shaky this season, I like them to be able to get a couple runs across the plate against Anderson, and for Peralta to continue his success to allow the Brewers to lead after five.
Brewers at Phillies
Kenny Ducey: It’s about time that we have an honest conversation about the Phillies.
Are they a good team? Well, in short, not really.
Their bullpen ERA is sixth-worst in baseball, their offense is in a huge rut, and they’re throwing out run-down starters on a near-nightly basis. One of them, Anderson, gets the ball on Wednesday and we can fade him at an incredible price.
Anderson carries a .402 xwOBA and just a 19% strikeout rate into this one, and I don’t care how bad of an offense Milwaukee may seem — even the Brewers will be able to hit this stuff. Anderson’s leaning on a fastball that struggles to hit 92 mph, and as a result sports a 43.4% hard-hit rate.
On the other side of things we find Peralta, who is a forgotten man in this day and age of dominant starting pitching, particularly on this Brewers team. He is giving Corbin Burnes a real run for ace of the staff by striking out 40.1% of the hitters he faces and coupling that with a stupid-good 27.5% hard-hit rate and a .137 expected batting average against him.
The Phillies got two solo shots from Andrew McCutchen on Tuesday night and a three-run shot from Brad Miller, but other than that, they were largely ineffective at the dish.
I’m going to keep fading these bats, especially in a spot as great as this one, with no pitching to back them up.