MLB Predictions Wednesday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (May 15)

MLB Predictions Wednesday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (May 15) 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 of my bets in the Action Network App and get live alerts every time I log a new bet.

You can also find expert projections for every MLB game 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, May 15.

MLB Predictions Wednesday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (May 15)

Pirates vs. Brewers

Wednesday, May 15
1:10 p.m. ET
MLB.TV
Pirates Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
+118
8.5
+100o/ -122u
+1.5
-182
Brewers Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-138
8.5
+100o/ -122u
-1.5
+150
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Martin Perez (PIT) vs. Robert Gasser (MIL)

Robert Gasser impressed in his debut, flashing a 102 Stuff+ rating — 121 on his slider, 102 on his sinker, 91 on his changeup — while retiring 18 of 20 hitters.

Gasser carried high strikeout rates in the minors (28% strikeout rate across 34 starts in Triple-A) but he has struggled with command (9.4% walk rate over the same span).

If he continues to limit walks at the MLB level, Gasser can outpitch his projections (projected FIP range of 4.19 to 4.47; projected K-BB% range of 13.6% to 15.5%).

I view him as a better pitcher than Martin Perez (5.07 xERA, 4.17 xFIP, 11.9% K-BB%) and project Milwaukee around -155 in both halves.

The split isn't ideal — Pittsburgh ranks 11th against left-handed pitching this season, compared to 30th against righties.

However, Milwaukee also has a superior bullpen and is the better team both defensively and on the basepaths.

Bet: Brewers Full-Game Moneyline (-145 or better)

Nationals vs. White Sox

Wednesday, May 15
2:10 p.m. ET
MLB.TV
Nationals Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
+118
7.5
-122o/ +100u
+1.5
-184
White Sox Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-138
7.5
-122o/ +100u
-1.5
+152
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Patrick Corbin (WSH) vs. Garrett Crochet (CWS)

Garrett Crochet leads all qualified starters with a 29.4% K-BB% this season. Among the same group of 80 pitchers, Patrick Corbin ranks 78th at 6.6%, which is the lowest K-BB% of his career.

Since the 2021 season, Corbin has had xERA indicators of 5.62, 6.41, 6.16 and 5.92, alongside actual ERA marks of 5.82, 6.31, 5.20 and 5.92. He's started 102 games over that span and recorded 53 losses — 12 more than any other pitcher (Jordan Lyles, 41).

Crochet had a minor blip in April — permitting 17 runs across three starts with a 96 Location+ rating — but he appears to have righted himself in his past three outings (combined 17 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 24 K) alongside a 104 Location+ figure.

Perhaps most impressively, he's been tough on both righties (2.60 xFIP) and lefties (2.29 xFIP)

Bet: White Sox F5 Moneyline (-167 or better)

Reds vs. Diamondbacks

Wednesday, May 15
3:40 p.m. ET
MLB.TV
Reds Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
+122
8.5
-108o/ -112u
+1.5
-176
Diamondbacks Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-144
8.5
-108o/ -112u
-1.5
+146
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Andrew Abbott (CIN) vs. Brandon Pfaadt (ARI)

Brandon Pfaadt has been my most-bet pitcher this season, with excellent CLV but mixed results. Past recipients of my unofficial "model's favorite pitcher" award include Kutter Crawford (2023) and Justin Steele (2022).

Pfaadt owns a 4.60 ERA this season, thanks to a 60.8% strand rate. His underlying indicators (3.36 xERA, 3.67 xFIP, 17.1% K-BB%), pitch modeling metrics (104 Stuff+, 107 Location+, 106 Pitching+), and projections (projected FIP range of 3.68 to 4.37) all show No. 2 starter potential.

Nobody gets ahead of hitters more frequently than Pfaaft, who has an MLB-best 74.4% first-pitch strike rate.

Andrew Abbott (3.35 ERA, 2.88 xERA, 4.53 xFIP, 14% K-BB%) is a more difficult pitcher to handicap.

Neither projections (projected FIP range of 4.29 to 4.70) nor pitching models (93 Stuff+, 98 Location+) think highly of him, and he's been fortunate this season (.258 BABIP, 85.8% strand rate), but he seemingly limits hard contact.

Bets: Diamondbacks F5 Moneyline (-151 or better) |Diamondbacks Full-Game Moneyline (-149 or better)

Royals vs. Mariners

Wednesday, May 15
4:10 p.m. ET
MLB.TV
Royals Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
+120
8
-104o/ -118u
+1.5
-176
Mariners Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-142
8
-104o/ -118u
-1.5
+146
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Alec Marsh (KC) vs. Bryan Woo (SEA)

Bryan Woo missed the first six weeks of the season with right elbow inflammation and left his first MLB start with forearm soreness following three rehab starts in the minors. Woo recorded a 113 Stuff+ figure in his four-inning MLB sample (114 fastball, 116 sinker, 125 Slider, 97 changeup) — an improvement on his 103 rating from 2023.

He projects extremely well (projected FIP range of 3.87 to 3.97) for a relatively unheralded prospect and former sixth-round draft pick. I doubt the Mariners would let him pitch on Wednesday if there were any lingering concern about his arm.

Alec Marsh (99 Stuff+, 100 Location+, projected FIP range of 4.34 to 4.68) is a serviceable innings eater for the Royals, but a league-average arm who ranks a tier below a pitcher like Woo.

Bet: Mariners F5 Moneyline (-143 or better)

Rays vs. Red Sox

Wednesday, May 15
7:10 p.m. ET
MLB.TV
Rays Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
+116
8.5
-102o/ -120u
+1.5
-184
Red Sox Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-134
8.5
-102o/ -120u
-1.5
+152
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Taj Bradley (TB) vs. Tanner Houck (BOS)

Like many of Boston's pitchers, Tanner Houck has modified his approach this season, scrapping his four-seamer and cutter in exchange for more splitters and sliders. His Stuff+ is up from 101 to 109, year over year, but his command has also improved (Location+ up from 100 to 103), and his walk rate is at 3.8% — less than half his rate over the past two seasons (8.9%).

Houck is pounding the zone (20.2% called-strike rate; 16.8% career and 46.9% zone rate vs. 41% career), but it has led to a decrease in walks without a severe increase in strikeouts. His hard-hit rate remains stable compared to 2023 (5.01 ERA, 4.21 xERA). We'll see if opposing hitters get more aggressive against him.

Taj Bradley posted a 118 Stuff+ figure in his 2024 debut (152 fastball, 111 curveball, 104 splitter, 87 cutter) — up from 110 last season. His curveball looks significantly improved. I like Bradley to outpitch his projections (projected FIP range of 3.92 to 4.18) this season.

Josh Lowe's presence has also lifted the Rays' offense. He (131 wRC+, 3.6 WAR in 2023) was their third-best position player last season.

Bet: Rays Full-Game Moneyline (+125 or better)

Guardians vs. Rangers

Wednesday, May 15
8:05 p.m. ET
MLB.TV
Guardians Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
+126
9
-105o/ -115u
+1.5
-162
Rangers Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-148
9
-105o/ -115u
-1.5
+132
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Carlos Carrasco (CLE) vs. Jon Gray (TEX)

Carlos Carrasco has a 28-start sample with replacement-level indicators over the past two seasons. He posted a 6.77 xERA, 4.93 xFIP and 6.7% K-BB% in 2023 and has a 5.24 xERA, 4.67 xFIP and 7.9% K-BB% in 2024, compared to marks of 4.08, 3.45 and 17.2% in 2022 for the Mets — all of which aligned with his career averages (4.08 ERA, 3.44 xFIP, 17.7% K-BB%).

Since that 2022 campaign, Carrasco's fastball velocity has fallen by 2 mph (92.9 mph to 90.9 mph).

After a down 2023 campaign (4.48 xERA, 4.36 xFIP, 13.4% K-BB%), Jon Gray (3.79 xERA, 3.39 xFIP) is having a renaissance for the Rangers. He is posting a career-best 19.3% K-BB% (16% career average) while throwing his slider 46% of the time — more often than ever before (33.3% career; previous high of 39.7% in 2023) — and harder than last season (+0.6 mph).

Bet: Rangers F5 Moneyline (-178 or better)

Zerillo's Bets for Wednesday, May 15

For additional bet notifications, follow me in the Action Network App.

  • Arizona Diamondbacks F5 (-140, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to -151)
  • Arizona Diamondbacks (-134, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to -149)
  • Baltimore Orioles (-125, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to -130)
  • Chicago Cubs / Atlanta Braves, Under 9 (-120, 0.5u) at Caesars (bet to 8.5, -102)
  • Chicago White Sox F5 (-160, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -167)
  • Detroit Tigers F5 (-145, 0.25u) at FanDuel (small to -155)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers / San Francisco Giants, Over 7.5 (-120, 0.5u) at DrafKings (bet to 8, -105)
  • Milwaukee Brewers F5 (-135, 0.5u) at Superbook (bet to -145)
  • Seattle Mariners F5 (-138, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -143)
  • Tampa Bay Rays (+128, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +125)
  • Texas Rangers F5 (-178, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -178)

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