MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions for Yankees vs. Mets & More

MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions for Yankees vs. Mets & More article feature image

Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees.

  • Wednesday's MLB slate is another big one, so BJ Cunningham came through with his top picks for the day.
  • Cunningham sees value in three games: Yankees vs. Mets, Rockies vs. Red Sox and Nationals vs. Astros.
  • Check out all three of Cunningham's top picks for Wednesday's MLB games below.

Welcome back to the Wednesday MLB slate breakdown. We have only five day games on Wednesday, with most matchups scheduled for the evening.

Be sure to check out our MLB odds page for up-to-the-minute odds changes across multiple sportsbooks, as well as our MLB Projections page, which helps you find the best value across the board.

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Yankees vs. Mets

7:10 p.m. ET · Gerrit Cole vs. Justin Verlander

Gerrit Cole's underlying metrics have been a tad shaky this season. He does have a 2.84 ERA, but his xERA is up at 4.01, which would be the highest of his career.

The problem is he's not striking out as many batters as he used to, with his K/9 rate dipping below 10 for the first time since 2017. Meanwhile, his BB/9 rate has ballooned up above three.

His Statcast data grades him out as an average starting pitcher, as he's around the 50th percentile in average exit velocity allowed, barrel rate allowed and hard-hit rate allowed. However, his fastball velocity still sits in the 92nd percentile.

Cole has become even more reliant on his fastball this season, throwing it over 55% of the time, and opposing hitters have had success against it with a .323 xwOBA.

The good news for Cole is the Mets have been very average against right-handed pitching and own just a +5.1 run value against right-handed fastballs.

Justin Verlander is regressing hard as he reaches the age of 40. His xERA is sitting at 4.1, his HR/9 rate is up at 1.62, and he's in the 19th percentile for average exit velocity allowed.

The velocity on his fastball is down almost a full mph, and the xwOBA allowed on it has gone up from .299 last season to .378 this season.

Verlander is also struggling with his curveball, which is a pitch that has typically brought him success over the years. Last season, opposing hitters had just a .182 xBA against it, as it had a 25% put-away percentage. This season, opposing hitters have a .285 xBA against his curveball, and it has a 12.1% put-away percentage.

At this stage of their careers, Cole is a superior pitcher to Verlander, and with the Mets and Yankees having essentially the same metrics against right-handed pitching, I like the value on the Yankees for the first five innings at -105.

Rockies vs. Red Sox

7:10 p.m. ET · Austin Gomber vs. Garrett Whitlock 

How Austin Gomber is still in the Rockies' rotation is quite puzzling.

He's currently sitting with a 7.57 ERA, and the underlying numbers suggest he's just that bad. His xERA sits at 7.60, with one of the highest xwOBAs in baseball at .413.

Here's the problem: Gomber is a fly-ball pitcher who at Coors Field normally pitches in the worst environment for fly balls. But looking at his splits between pitching at Coors Field versus on the road, it doesn't get much better. His xFIP on the road this season is actually higher than at Coors Field.

Gomber is way too reliant on a below-average fastball that averaged only 90.7 mph. He throws it 42.2% of the time, and opposing hitters have over a .500 xwOBA against it. Then he offers a well-below-average changeup and curveball that have both been shelled as well.

The Red Sox are very good versus left-handed pitching with a .336 wOBA and 109 wRC+, which ranks seventh in baseball. They're also hitting left-handed fastballs well, putting up a .387 xwOBA and 6.9 run value.

The Rockies' bullpen has also been dreadful this season, owning the fourth-highest xFIP and third-highest walk rate.

I have the Red Sox projected for 6.1 runs tonight, so I like the value on their team total over 5.5 at -110.

Pick: Red Sox Team Total Over 5.5 (-110)

Nationals vs. Astros

8:10 p.m. ET · Josiah Gray vs. Framber Valdez 

Josiah Gray is a pitcher who's due for some negative regression after having some issues with his control.

His ERA sits at 3.00, but his xERA balloons up to 4.36. He also has a staggeringly high 4.63 BB/9 rate, along with a Location+ rating of 94.

What's also concerning is that Gray's stuff has been well below average. He has a Stuff+ rating of just 89, and the biggest concern is his two off-speed pitches of slider and curveball.

Last season, the Stuff+ rating on those two pitches came in above 110, which is around the MLB average. This season, his slider is sitting at 81 and his curveball is at 95, which is a major concern when his fastball is already well below average.

Gray owns a Pitching+ rating of just 90, which is the lowest among qualified starting pitchers, so this is a pitcher who's really overdue for some negative regression.

Image via FanGraphs

Framber Valdez is another pitcher due for a lot of negative regression. He has one of the lowest ERAs in baseball at 2.36, but his xERA is all the way up at 3.90.

As you can see below, he's getting hit hard right now, but opposing hitters are hitting it right at defenders.

Image via Baseball Savant

Valdez is a groundball pitcher. The sinker that he throws over 50% of the time along with a curveball allows him to live down in the zone and produce one of the highest groundball rates in baseball year after year.

However, his groundball rate this season is down to 58.9% after coming in at 66.5% last season  — and the season before that, it was at 70.1%.

The Nationals are one of the best offenses in baseball against left-handed pitching, ranking fourth in wOBA. They also own the sixth-lowest groundball rate against lefties.

I have 9.1 runs projected for this game, so I like the value on over 7.5 runs at -105 for two starting pitchers who are due for negative regression.

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