MLB Odds, Picks Wednesday: 3 Best Bets for Cubs vs. Angels & More (June 7)
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Jaime Barria (Angels)
All 30 teams are in action in MLB on Wednesday, and there's also some day-slate action to bet on.
Dive in below to formulate your MLB betting card with odds and picks.
Wednesday MLB Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our MLB betting staff is targeting from today's slate of games. Click the team logos for one 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.|
Mariners vs. Padres
Michael Wacha is a general fade candidate here at Action Network. It’s hard to get by in the Majors as a soft-tossing righty with lackluster Stuff (90 Stuff+ across his arsenal with only one plus-pitch).
Wacha still has excellent command and location metrics, but even he falls short compared to George Kirby’s preternatural command. We haven’t seen command of an arsenal like this in years.
But don’t be fooled, Kirby has some good stuff. His sinker is good at the top of the zone, and he’s bendy with his secondary stuff, including a back-breaking slider.
George Kirby, Wicked 85mph Slider. 🤢 pic.twitter.com/Rij9SCljWe
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 10, 2023
According to Savant, that slider moves five inches more vertically and seven inches more horizontally than the average MLB slider. Sheesh.
By FanGraphs’ Pitching+ model, Kirby ranks sixth among 173 starting pitchers with at least 20 innings pitched.
Sixth! That ties him with Zack Wheeler and Gerrit Cole!
Anyway, it’s easy to see why I like the Mariners here.
Outside of the starting pitching matchup, these are two brutal offenses, especially over the past month. But the sticking point for me in this matchup is the bullpens.
I'm all in on the Mariners’ bullpen. Seattle boasts four relievers with a K-BB% above 20%, which doesn’t even include Tayler Saucedo’s 19% rate and 3.21 ERA.
Seattle has produced a new crop of relievers that is brutalizing the Majors – the Mariners are tops in reliever expected FIP (3.64) and third in reliever fWAR (2.9). I fully believe in this bullpen and think they have the depth to overcome this matchup despite using Paul Sewald and Andres Munoz in Tuesday’s win.
I’ll take the Mariners as ‘dogs with a nine-inning pitching matchup, especially in what projects as a low-scoring game (I really trust these relievers in high-leverage situations).
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Mets vs. Braves
By Kenny Ducey
Max Scherzer hasn’t been great this season, and there are a few reasons to believe he’s been anything but mediocre. His fly ball rate is over eight points higher than the league average at 31.5%, and his ground ball rate has declined for the third consecutive year, now standing at 31.5%.
Another alarming number is his 9.4% barrel rate — his worst ever tracked by Statcast — and that’s all come along with a 25.3% strikeout rate, which would be his lowest since 2011.
When gearing up to face a Braves team ranked first in home run-to-fly ball ratio, that’s not what you want to hear.
It also doesn’t help matters that the Braves are just 15th in fly ball rate; they don’t need any more help.
At any rate, I think this is a very difficult matchup against arguably the best offense in baseball.
On the other side of the coin, the Mets are seventh in ground ball rate and will run into Charlie Morton, who has recovered his ground ball rate and brought it back up to 48.4%. He struggled with the Mets last season, but this team has been significantly worse at the plate than that one was.
Take the home team here to prolong the Mets’ misery.
Cubs vs. Angels
By D.J. James
In the last two weeks, the Cubs have been one of the worst teams in MLB. They now play the Los Angeles Angels on a West Coast trip, so it doesn't get much easier.
The Angels will pitch Jaime Barria, who's been great this season. Barria holds a 1.59 ERA against a 2.70 xERA. He ranks in the 97th percentile in average exit velocity and hard hit rate.
He also has above average walk and strikeout rates.
Moving from a relief role to a rotation role doesn't seem to have given Barria any hiccups, either. He only allowed 12 hits in the month of May over the course of 17 1/3 innings pitched.
The Cubs will throw Jameson Taillon, who looks to be one of their worst contracts at the moment. Taillon ranks in the 76th percentile in average exit velocity and the 56th percentile in hard hit rate.
That's where the good news stops. His Barrel Rate is 10%. His xERA (5.09) is lower than his ERA (7.05), so it will get better, but these numbers are still amongst the worst on a bad pitching staff, especially with the loss of Justin Steele to the IL.
Since May 7, the Cubs have a 81 wRC+ off of righties. The Angels have a 110. This is a notable difference. Since May 27, the Cubs have a 53 wRC+ off of righties, while the Angels have a 120 wRC+.
In relief, the Cubs have a 4.50 xFIP in the last month, while the Angels have a 4.41 xFIP, so this may be negligible.
The Angels should win this matchup. Take them to -170.