MLB Predictions Wednesday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (July 10)

MLB Predictions Wednesday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (July 10) article feature image
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Credit: Getty Images. Pictured: Andre Pallante (left), Yandy Diaz (center), Jeff McNeil (right).

Welcome to Opening Pitch, our daily column that you'll find throughout the 2024 MLB season.

The goal for Opening Pitch is to highlight top daily projection edges for MLB moneylines and totals, share favorite bets and provide some betting notes and analysis.

As a reminder, you can find all my bets in the Action Network App and get live alerts every time I log a new bet.

You can find expert projections for every MLB game on Friday in the Action App (on both the PRO Projections tab and the game pages) and our Projections Hub.

You can also shop for the best lines on our MLB Odds page.

Here are my favorite bets for Wednesday, July 10.

MLB Predictions Wednesday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (July 10)

Royals vs. Cardinals, Game 1

Wednesday, Jul 10
1:45pm ET
BSMW
Cardinals ML (-135 or better)

Alec Marsh (KCR) vs. Andre Pallante (STL)

The Cardinals and Royals will play a day-night doubleheader on Wednesday after Tuesday's postponement.

I had initially bet on Andre Pallante as a -115 favorite against Michael Wacha (3.83 xERA, 14% K-BB%, 91 Stuff+, 99 Pitching+), compared to a projected line of -135 – and still show an edge – although less significant – on Pallante at -130 against Alec Marsh (5.34 xERA, 13.2% K-BB%, 99 Stuff+, 100 Pitching+) compared to my updated projection of -146.

The betting market undervalues Pallante due to subpar command numbers (8.8% K-BB%) and pitch modeling metrics (94 Pitching+).

Pallante has carried the second-highest groundball rate (min. 100 innings) over the past three seasons (67.7%), just behind relievers Clay Holmes (69.9%) but ahead of Brusdar Graterol (63.9%) and Jhoan Duran (62.7%). Pallanate is a modern-day Brandon Webb (career 11.1% K-BB%, 64.3% groundball rate) — although I'd expect his ERA and FIP to settle closer to four than Webb's impressive career numbers (3.27 ERA, 3.30 xFIP).

Pallante avoids barrels (3.5% career) and keeps the ball in the yard (0.77 HR/9).

Surprisingly, Pallante throws a four-seamer far more frequently than his sinker, but the four-seam has maintained that high groundball rate (71.5% in 2022, 83.5% in 2023, 75.4% in 2024).

Oddly, Pallante has thrown his sinker more often than ever this season, but the groundball rate has halved from 75% to 34.5%, year over year, causing his overall groundball rate to dip relative to prior seasons.

Pallante will also face a Royals offense that has performed far better at home (109 wRC+, 11th) than on the road (80 wRC+, 28th).

I don't put as much stock as others into home/road splits, but I do find it odd that the Royals have the lowest strikeout rate (16.7%) at home with a league-average walk rate but rank 11th in K% on the road (21.3%) and 29th in walk rate (6.5%) — an extreme slide in plate discipline.

I'm not manually adjusting the Royals up or down — whether they're playing at Kauffman Stadium or not — but if I did, it would only give me a more substantial projected edge in this matchup.

The most significant differential in this series lies in the bullpens: Cardinals relievers rank sixth in xFIP, 16th in K-BB%, and seventh in Pitching+. Royals relievers rank 30th, 29th, and 28th by the same three data points, and I'd project the Cardinals bullpen for a near half-run advantage on a season-long ERA.

Bets: Cardinals Full-Game Moneyline (-135 or better)

Wednesday, Jul 10
6:35pm ET
MARQ
Over 8.5 (-105 or better)

Shota Imanaga (CHC) vs. Corbin Burnes (BAL)

On a weather-neutral day at Oracle Park, I'd set a total between Shota Imanaga and Corbin Burnes closer to seven runs.

With hot temperatures (92 degrees at first pitch), strong winds (15-to-16 mph blowing out to left field), and low air pressure on Wednesday, the run-scoring environment should see a 20-25% boost compared to an average day — increasing my projected total to 8.86 runs.

Independent from my projection, this matchup also triggered an Action Labs system for Hot and Windy Overs, generating a 53.8% win rate and 7% ROI since 2005 (3.7% since sports betting legalization in 2019). In a limited sample, the system is 22-18-3 at Camden Yards.

Bets: Over 8 (8.5, -105 or better) 

Pick: Cubs vs Orioles Over
FALSE
Wednesday, Jul 10
6:40pm ET
BSDET
Over 8 (+100 or better)

Tanner Bibee (CLE) vs. Reese Olson (DET)

I'd typically expect a matchup between Tanner Bibee (3.32 xERA, 22.5% K-BB%, 102 Stuff+, 107 Pitching+) and Reese Olson (3.47 xERA, 15.4% K-BB%, 92 Stuff+, 98 Pitching+) to turn into a pitcher's duel. I feel that both starters are relatively anonymous to the average fan and, thus, potentially underrated by betting markets.

On a weather-neutral day in Detroit, I would set this total around 7.15 runs, but given the wind (10-to-13 mph out to right center field), high humidity, and low air pressure, I have increased the projection to 8.24 for Wednesday.

Independent from my projection, this matchup also triggered an Action Labs system for wind speed and direction, generating a 53.9% win rate and 4.9% ROI since 2005. The system is 46-39-4 (54.1%) to the Over at Comerica Park.

Bets: Over 7.5 (8, +100 or better)

Pick: Guardians vs Tigers Over
FALSE
Wednesday, Jul 10
6:50pm ET
BSSUN
Rays F5 ML (-112 or better) | Rays ML (-105 or better)

Marcus Stroman (NYY) vs. Zach Eflin (TBR)

Marcus Stroman has carried a sub-four ERA in five of the past six seasons. Still, his underlying indicators (4.37 xERA, 7.3% K-BB%, 94 Stuff+, 93 Pitching+) have slipped significantly relative to prior years.

Stroman's command began to slip last season (9% walk rate vs. 6.3% in 2022 and 6% in 2021) and has fallen further in 2024 (10.6%).

His strikeout rate has also dipped (17.8% vs. 20% career) while pitching the lowest velocity levels of his career. Stroman's sinker (89.9 mph) and curveball (81.9 mph) are down 1.5 mph and 2.7 mph, respectively, year over year, leading to a reduction in pitch modeling metrics (101 Stuff+, 100 Location+, 99 Pitching+ in 2023).

While Stroman's command is declining, Zach Eflin (3.35 xERA, 16.6% K-BB%) has improved from a guy with good command (walk rates near 6-6.8% early in his career) to the guy with the best control in baseball (2.1% walk rate, 108 Location, 104 Pitching+).

If Drew Rasmussen and Jeffrey Springs (both rehabbing) return to the Rays roster after the All-Star break, they could form an elite second-half staff alongside Eflin, Shane Baz, Ryan Pepiot, Zack Littell, and Taj Bradley. They've discussed shopping relief arms, but I wouldn't rule out a second-half surge from Tampa Bay.

Bets: Rays F5 Moneyline (-112 or better) | Rays Full-Game Moneyline (-105 or better) | Under 8.5 (8, -110 or better)

Pick: Rays F5 & FG ML
FALSE
Wednesday, Jul 10
7:10pm ET
MASN
Mets F5 ML (-210 or better)

Patrick Corbin (WSH) vs. Luis Severino (NYM)

At most, we have 14 starts to find ways to bet against Patrick Corbin (6.23 xERA, 7.6% K-BB%, 77 Stuff+, 93 Pitching+) before his contract runs out and he likely retires.

Corbin has carried an expected ERA north of six for the past three seasons and owns a 5.70 ERA in 112 starts since 2021. He has earned the loss in more than half of those starts (58) — 17 more losses than any other pitcher (Jordan Lyles, 41) over the same span.

And if you bet $100 against Corbin on the F5 moneyline in each game, you'd have a 59-28-7 record (67.8% win rate) and a 4.6% ROI, suitable for a profit of $433.

Current Mets' hitters are familiar with Corbin — posting a .312/.365/.561 triple-slash (.926 OPS) in more than 240 plate appearances — and the Mets are 6-3-2 against Corbin on the F5 (first five innings) ML during that stretch, generating a +6.9% ROI.

Luis Severino (3.83 xERA, 10% K-BB%, 103 Stuff+, 100 Location+) is a significantly more effective pitcher. Sevvy's strikeout rate has not bounced back this year, but it partially results from increased sinker usage (28.5%) and decreased four-seam fastball focus (34.6%, down 10.3% vs. 2023), leading to an increased groundball rate (48% in 2024 vs. 42.2% in 2023).

I projected the Mets as near 70% favorites (-232 or 69.8% implied) in the first half of this contest – before the game potentially tightens in the bullpens.

Bets: Mets F5 ML (-210 or better) | Under 9.5 (-102 or better)

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Zerillo's Bets for Wednesday, July 10

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  • Arizona Diamondbacks (+107, 0.5u) at Bally Bet (bet to -103)
  • Chicago Cubs / Baltimore Orioles, Over 8 (-110, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to 8.5, -105)
  • Cleveland Guardians / Detroit Tigers, Over 7.5 (-110, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -118 or 8, +100)
  • Colorado Rockies / Cincinnati Reds, Over 9 (-110, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to -118 or 9.5, +100)
  • Milwaukee Brewers F5 (-135, Risk 0.5u) at FanDuel (flat to -135)
  • New York Mets F5 (-180, 0.5u) at Bet365 (bet to -210)
  • New York Mets / Washington Nationals, Under 9.5 (+105, 0.5u) at Caesars (bet to -102)
  • St. Louis Cardinals F5, Game 1 (-127, 0.25u) at Parx (small to -155)
  • St. Louis Cardinals, Game 1 (-130, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -135)
  • Tampa Bay Rays F5 (-110, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -112)
  • Tampa Bay Rays (-104, 0.25u) at FanDuel (small to -105)
  • Tampa Bay Rays / New York Yankees, Under 8.5 (-120, Risk 0.5u) at DraftKings (flat to 8, -110)

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