MLB Predictions Wednesday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (June 12)

MLB Predictions Wednesday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (June 12) article feature image

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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, June 12.

MLB Predictions Wednesday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (June 12)

Wednesday, Jun 12
2:10pm ET
Blue Jays Odds
-118o / -104u
Brewers Odds
-118o / -104u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Chris Bassitt (TOR) vs. Tobias Myers (MIL) 

Chris Bassitt has posted a 2.51 ERA (3.78 xFIP) in seven starts since a seven-run shellacking against the Dodgers in April. Otherwise, his underlying indicators, velocity and pitch modeling metrics align with his past few seasons.

The difference between Bassitt's 3.8 ERA this season and his career-average mark of 3.51 (3.6 in 2023, 3.42 in 2022, 3.15 in 2021) is most easily explained away by an outlier .320 BABIP (.280 career; .282 or below every season since 2018). He's been a more effective pitcher over the past six weeks than during the season's first month.

Bassitt had a similarly rough April last season (5.18 ERA, 5.14 xFIP, 8.5% K-BB%) before rounding into form, posting a 3.29 ERA over his final 27 starts as his K-BB% and xFIP improved each month.

Projection systems aren't exceptionally high on Tobias Myers (projected FIP range of 4.65 to 4.90). He's performed closer to a league-average arm through eight appearances (seven starts), with a 4.44 xERA, 4.3 xFIP and 13.2% K-BB%.

His pitch modeling metrics are slightly below average (93 Stuff+, 100 Location+, 97 Pitching+). Still, Myers has a trio of above-average offerings (117 changeup, 108 sinker, 102 cutter) and has put away his curveball (70 Stuff+) and is throwing it aggressively in his MLB debut.

I believe that projections are underselling Myers, and I expect him to maintain an ERA in the low-to-mid fours and provide No. 4-starter quality innings for the NL Central-leading Brewers.

We have bet on and cashed the under in the first two games of this series.

The Blue Jays and Brewers rank among the top defensive teams in my model. On the season, Toronto ranks first in Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and fifth in Outs Above Average (OAA); Milwaukee ranks 10th and second, respectively. Both bullpens remain relatively well-rested, too.

I modeled Wednesday's total closer to eight runs.

Bets: Under 8.5 (-110 or better)

Pick: Under 8.5 (-110 or better)
Wednesday, June 12
3:45 p.m. ET
Astros Odds
-100o / -122u
Giants Odds
-100o / -122u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Framber Valdez (HOU) vs. Logan Webb (SF)

The Giants are staying close to .500 and could be a dangerous team in October — if Blake Snell, Alex Cobb and Robbie Ray all return from the IL and join Jordan Hicks, Kyle Harrison and Wednesday afternoon's starter, Logan Webb.

That would represent one of the league's deeper and more talented rotations — the Giants also have an upper-tier bullpen.

They must add some left-handed bats to bolster their offense (99 wrC+ vs. righties). Still, they hit southpaws just fine (114 wRC+, eighth) and have crushed left-handed pitching over the last 30 days (151 wRC+, second). I project Wednesday's expected lineup for a 119 wRC+ against a left-handed starter.

Houston's lineup (113 wRC+ vs. righties this season) isn't nearly as potent with Kyle Tucker on the IL and Yainer Diaz nursing an injury. There is a significant drop-off in quality after the top three or four spots in their order.

Webb has a 4.62 xERA this season, thanks to a 52.7% hard-hit rate. His K-BB% was nearly half his career average through April but has returned to 18.5% since (16.5% career). He still has one of the highest ground-ball rates in the league (55.8%), ranking fifth among starters who have tossed at least 50 innings this season.

Framber Valdez (63.9%) ranks first among that same group of 124 pitchers — but both his sinker velocity (down 1.6 mph year over year) and strikeout rate have dipped (19.8% vs. 24.8% in 2023 and 23.1% career), which are red flags alongside an IL stint for elbow inflammation.

Projection systems view Webb (projected FIP range of 3.11 to 3.18) as about a half-run better than Valdez (projected range of 3.46 to 4.70) on a season-long FIP. I'd set the gap closer to two-tenths of a run.

Still, the Giants are in their more potent offense split, and I give them a slight bullpen advantage on Wednesday, too.

Bets: Giants F5 Moneyline (-115 or better) | Giants Full-Game Moneyline (-115 or better)

Pick: Giants F5 Moneyline (-115 or better)
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Wednesday, June 12
6:35 p.m. ET
Braves Odds
102o / -124u
Orioles Odds
102o / -124u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Spencer Schwellenbach (ATL) vs. Cade Povich (BAL)

With the season-ending injury to Spencer Strider, the Braves are beginning to call up their top pitching prospects, including Spencer Schwellenbach, Hurston Waldrep, and AJ Smith-Shawver, to compete for rotation spots.

Schwellenbach has permitted nine runs in his first 10 MLB innings. Still, he's shown a competent profile, including a plus fastball (119 Stuff+) and slider (107 Stuff+) with above-average command (106 Location+).

He was a shortstop at Nebraska before becoming a two-way player in 2021, underwent Tommy John in 2022 after getting drafted in the second round and then flew through Atlanta's Minor League system over the past two years (110 innings combined).

Atlanta will see if he develops into a high-end reliever with two-plus offerings, or rounds out his arsenal with improved secondary stuff. Schwellenbach is still early in his developmental curve — he's only tossed 151 1/3 combined innings as a pitcher between college and the pros since 2021.

Cade Povich was Schwellenbach's teammate at Nebraska and a third-round pick in the same draft class. Pitching models hate his fastball (65 Stuff+), but love his cutter (125) and slider (127). He posted a high strikeout rate (31.6%) over four seasons in the Minors, with average-to-below average command (9.8% walk rate).

Projections prefer Schwellenbach (projected FIP range of 3.93 to 4.04) to Povich (projected 4.19 to 4.39), which aligns with their differential in pitch modeling data. Regardless, I view both starters as effective arms, and I think Wednesday's total is a bit inflated.

The wind, which is blowing out to left field, shouldn't have as significant an impact at Camden Yards with that deep left-field wall as it might in other parks.

Given the weather, I still upgraded the park factor by nearly 10% compared to an average day in Baltimore, yet I projected the total at 8.62 runs.

Bets: Under 9.5 (9, -105 or better)

Pick: Under 9.5 (9, -105 or better)
Wednesday, Jun 12
7:45pm ET
Pirates Odds
-110o / -110u
Cardinals Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Bailey Falter (PIT) vs. Sonny Gray (STL)

Weather should benefit the offenses in this matchup. With temperatures at 87 degrees at first pitch and winds blowing out to the left field, Busch Stadium's park factor (typically -2% vs. the league-average run-scoring environment) should play slightly higher Wednesday evening, closer to a league-average park.

Bailey Falter (3.69 ERA, 5.00 xERA, 85 Stuff+, 95 Pitching+) has blowup potential. He has no above-average offering in his arsenal and has maintained a .212 BABIP (.280 career) — the second-lowest mark among qualified starters (Luis Gil at .185). Falter's strand rate is also 5% higher than his career average.

Sonny Gray is posting career-best numbers (3.19 xERA, 25.2% K-BB%, 105 Pitching+), and I have upgraded his model projection closer to that xERA mark than his pure market projections (projected FIP range of 3.40 to 3.66).

Yet, I still projected this full game total at 8.25 runs.

Both teams used their key relievers on Tuesday after off-days on Monday. I could see either team deploying their "B" bullpen if the Cardinals hit Falter and opened up a sizable lead.

Bets: Over 7.5 (-122 or 8, +100 or better) | Cardinals F5 Moneyline (-171 or better)

Zerillo's Bets for Wednesday, June 12

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  • Arizona Diamondbacks (-140, 0.5u) at BetMGM (bet to -145)
  • Atlanta Braves / Baltimore Orioles, Under 9.5 (-118, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to 9, -105)
  • Colorado Rockies / Minnesota Twins, Over 7.5 (-115, 0.25u) at DraftKings (bet to 8, -105)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates / St. Louis Cardinals, Over 7.5 (-115, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to -122 or 8, +100)
  • San Francisco Giants F5 (-110, 0.25u) at FanDuel (small to -115)
  • San Francisco Giants (-105, 0.5u) at Superbook (bet to -115)
  • St. Louis Cardinals F5 (-160, 0.5u) at Bet365 (flat to -171)
  • Tampa Bay Rays F5 (-112, 0.25u) at FanDuel (small to -118)
  • Tampa Bay Rays (-108, 0.25u) at FanDuel (small to -120)
  • Tampa Bay Rays / Chicago Cubs, Under 8 (-105, 0.25u) at Caesars (small to -115)
  • Toronto Blue Jays / Milwaukee Brewers, Under 8.5 (+100, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -110)

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