MLB Picks, Predictions, Odds | Picks for Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks & More (Wednesday, August 9)

MLB Picks, Predictions, Odds | Picks for Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks & More (Wednesday, August 9) article feature image

Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images. Pictured: Bobby Miller (Dodgers)

  • Astros vs. Orioles Picks
  • Blue Jays vs. Guardians Picks
  • Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks Picks

The wild-card races in the National and American Leagues are starting to heat up as we enter the stretch run of the baseball season.

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.

MLB Predictions & Picks for Wednesday, August 9

Astros vs. Orioles

7:05 p.m. ET · Cristian Javier vs. Jack Flaherty

Cristian Javier is having a terrible season and has really fallen off in terms of his effectiveness.

Javier has two pitches that he throws over 90% of the time: a fastball and a slider. Last season, those pitchers were incredibly effective, as his fastball had a Stuff+ rating of 139 and his slider was at 141. This season, the Stuff+ rating on those two pitches has dropped to 97 on his fastball and 105 on his slider.

The decrease in the effectiveness of those two pitches has seen his expected ERA rise from 2.43 last year to 4.72 this season. It should also be no surprise that his K/9 rate has dropped significantly to 8.55.

It's gotten so bad that Javier has given up three or more earned runs in six of his last seven starts. The one start he didn't? It was against the A's.

Jack Flaherty may have had a good start in his Orioles debut, but he's been well below average this season. In fact, we're going on four years now where he's been not only outperforming his expected metrics, but he’s been above a 4.5 xERA pitcher.

This season, he hasn't been great, as he has a 4.56 xERA because his BB/9 rate is up at 4.36.

The Stuff+ for Flaherty is really concerning (only 93 through those eight starts) and his Pitching+ rating is 99, both of which are the 14th-worst among qualified starting pitchers. The Astros have a .332 wOBA and 112 wRC+, which is in the top 10 in baseball over the past month.

I have 9.8 runs projected for this game, so I like the value on Over 9 runs at +100 (Caesars).

Pick: Over 9 Runs (+100)

Blue Jays vs. Guardians

7:10 p.m. ET · Kevin Gausman vs. Merrill Kelly

Kevin Gausman has been great this season, posting a 3.63 xERA. Here's the thing with Gausman, though: he does get a ton of swings and misses (his K/9 rate is up at 12.07), but when he does get hit, he gets hit hard.

Gausman is below the 30th percentile in average exit velocity allowed, hard-hit rate allowed and most importantly, barrel rate allowed.

Gausman's best pitch is by far his split-finger, which is garnering a 42.8% whiff rate and is only allowing a .220 xwOBA to opposing hitters.

However, his fastball — which he throws 50% of the time — hasn't really been that effective because its allowing a .359 xwOBA.

The Guardians have been hitting the ball better lately, putting up average wOBA and wRC+ numbers by MLB standards.

Logan Allen is a negative regression candidate. His ERA is sitting at 3.65, but his expected ERA is a full run higher at 4.50.

The problem with Allen is he's a little too reliant on his fastball. He’s throwing it 46% of the time and opposing hitters have over a .387 xWOBA on it.

Additionally, the Stuff+ on that pitch is only 82. He does have a good sweeper, but his changeup is well below average, so he’s not going to maintain that type of ERA with just one pitch.

I have 9.2 runs projected for this game, so I like the value on Over 8 runs at -105 (BetMGM).

Pick: Over 8 Runs (-105)

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Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks

9:40 p.m. ET · Bobby Miller vs. Merrill Kelly

The Dodgers have pretty sizable advantages in the starting pitching matchup and offensively.

Bobby Miller has been excellent through his first 12 starts in the big leagues, putting up a 3.65 xERA and 3.93 xFIP. If you're an opposing hitter and you're not ready for 99+ mph, then you have no chance against Miller.

He's in the 98th percentile among MLB starting pitchers for fastball velocity (averaging 99.1 mph), and then he brings a sinker averaging 98.8 mph with 19 inches of run on it.

His fastball has a crazy high Stuff+ rating of 129.

Bobby Miller, 101mph ⛽️

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 5, 2023

Then Miller has two outstanding off-speed pitches in a slider that has a Stuff+ rating of 155, a curveball producing a 42.2% whiff rate and a changeup that opposing hitters only have a .188 xwOBA against.

Overall, he has a Stuff+ rating of 124 and a Pitching+ rating of 111. Only Spencer Strider and Zack Wheeler have a better Pitching+ rating than Miller this season; that's how good he's been.

Image via Fangraphs

The Diamondbacks' offense has gone cold. Over the past 30 days, Arizona has a .302 wOBA and 87 wRC+. It also has only scored 85 runs over that time frame, which is the third-lowest mark in baseball.

The Diamondbacks haven't been great versus velocity this season, only posting a .300 xwOBA against fastballs and sinkers 98 mph or faster.

Merrill Kelly is a negative regression candidate. His ERA is sitting at 3.21, but his xERA is all the way up at 4.32. Kelly is having some control issues, with his BB/9 rate getting up to 3.38.

Kelly is getting one of the highest chase rates in baseball, but that isn't really going to work against a Dodgers lineup that's one of the most patient in baseball (the highest BB% and the second-lowest chase rate).

The Dodgers have also been on fire recently — putting up the second-best wOBA over the past 30 days — and is one of the best offenses against right-handed pitching.

I have the Dodgers projected at -148 for the full game and -152 for the first five innings, so I like the prices on taking them for the first five innings at -125 and for the full game at -120 (BetMGM).

Pick: Dodgers F5 -125 & Full Game -120

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