MLB Predictions Wednesday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (May 29)

MLB Predictions Wednesday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (May 29) article feature image
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Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: Luis Gil.

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 29.

MLB Predictions Wednesday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (May 29)

Dodgers vs. Mets

Wednesday, May 29
4:10 p.m. ET
SNY
Dodgers Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-1.5
+114
8.5
-124o / 102u
-136
Mets Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+1.5
-137
8.5
-124o / 102u
+116
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

James Paxton (LAD) vs. David Peterson (NYM)

One of my favorite fade targets this season, James Paxton has permitted as many walks (28) as strikeouts and owns a 5.47 xERA compared to an actual mark of 3.49.

Paxton has been fortunate with a .243 BABIP (.300 career) and an 84.7% strand rate (73.8% career). Otherwise, his indicators (5.46 xFIP, 5.87 SIERA) are at career-worst levels.

Paxton's fastball velocity is down 1.8 mph, year over year, and he owns a 74 Stuff+ (80 Stuff+ on his fastball), compared to a mark of 89 last season (95 Stuff+ on his fastball).

After missing the entirety of the 2022 and 2023 seasons due to injury, Paxton returned in May of 2023 throwing gas in line with his career average. However, his velocity and effectiveness have slipped with each subsequent outing:

David Peterson will make his first MLB start of 2024 after undergoing left hip surgery over the winter.

Peterson was dominant in his minor league rehab stint (23 2/3 IP, 35 K, 3 BB, 19 H, 4 R) and hopes to return to his 2022 form (3.83 ERA, 3.94 xERA) after a down 2023 season (5.03 ERA, 4.96 xERA) while dealing with that hip issue.

Just 28 years old, Peterson has league-average skills (career 14.7% K-BB%, 3.80 xFIP), a first-round pedigree and time to blossom into a reliable MLB starter. More importantly, it seems like he's healthy.

I set the Mets as slight home favorites in both halves of this matchup — still, it's difficult to trust their bullpen, which has blown four saves in the past week.

Bets: Mets F5 Moneyline (+100 or better) | Mets Full-Game Moneyline (+102 or better)

Pick: Mets Full-Game Moneyline
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Nationals vs. Braves

Wednesday, May 29
7:20 p.m. ET
BSSO
Nationals Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+1.5
-146
8.5
-122o / -100u
+136
Braves Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-1.5
+122
8.5
-122o / -100u
-162
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

MacKenzie Gore (WSH) vs. Spencer Schwellenbach (ATL)

The Braves will call up 23-year-old former second-round pick Spencer Schwellenbach — a two-way player in college at Nebraska — from Double-A to make his MLB debut on Wednesday.

Schwellenbach has posted a 51:10 strikeout-to-walk ratio (23.4% K-BB%) across 45 innings and two levels (High-A and Double-A) this season. He's aggressive with his fastball up in the zone, which overpowered minor-league hitters. We'll see if it works at the MLB level.

Scouts like Schwellenbach's stuff (55-grade fastball, 55/60 slider, 50/55 changeup) but have concerns about his command (30/50) after he underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entirety of the 2022 season.

I view Schwellenbach as a No. 4 starter (projected mid-4's FIP) with upside.

MacKenzie Gore (3.62 xERA, 20% K-BB%) has had a breakout season and is the superior starting pitcher in this matchup.

However, I give Atlanta a significant bullpen advantage despite these relievers' similar season-long results (12th and 13th in xFIP; 12th and 20th in K-BB%). Atlanta's bullpen ranks second in Pitching+ (103), whereas Washington ranks 25th (99) — closer to my projected differential.

Bets: Braves Full-Game Moneyline (-155 or better)

Cubs vs. Brewers

Wednesday, May 29
7:40pm ET
BSWI
Cubs Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-1.5
+122
7.5
-112o / -108u
-134
Brewers Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+1.5
-146
7.5
-112o / -108u
+114
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Shota Imanaga (CHC) vs. Bryse Wilson (MIL)

Shota Imanaga (0.84 ERA, 2.62 xERA, 23.4% K-BB%) should continue to trouble opponents when facing them for the first time.

He's due to give up some runs (93.8% strand rate) but he still rates as a significantly better pitcher than Bryse Wilson (4.43 xERA, 11.7% K-BB%), who has been similarly lucky to carry a 2.86 ERA (.235 BABIP, 90.3% strand rate vs. .285 and 72.6% career).

Milwaukee has a significantly better bullpen (9th in xFIP, 13th in K-BB%, 5th in Pitching+) than Chicago (17th, 14th, and 28th, respectively, by the same three measurements). However, I projected Imanaga closer to a 60% favorite in the first half of this contest.

Bets: Cubs F5 Moneyline (-143 or better) 

Yankees vs. Angels

Wednesday, May 29
9:38 p.m. ET
BSW
Yankees Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-1.5
-111
8.5
-110o / -110u
-188
Angels Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+1.5
-108
8.5
-110o / -110u
+158
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Luis Gil (NYY) vs. Tyler Anderson (LAA)

Let's play another edition of "Can Tyler Anderson take my money?"

The Angels southpaw has been another of my favorite fade targets this season as he's drastically outperformed his underlying indicators (2.62 ERA, 4.61 xERA, 4.86 xFIP).

Like Paxton, Anderson has benefitted from a low BABIP (.209 vs. .284 career) and a high strand rate (85.4% vs. 72.2% career).

His strikeout minus walk rate (8.2%) aligns with last season's mark (8.2%). He has the same pitch mix as last season, at the same velocity level and his pitch modeling metrics are unchanged.

In other words, Anderson is the same pitcher he was in 2023 (5.43 ERA, 4.96 xERA, 5.52 xFIP); he's just gotten very fortunate results.

Conversely, Luis Gil has been a bet-on pitcher for me, with a 2.78 xERA and elite pitch modeling metrics (114 Stuff+, 96 Location+, 102 Pitching+).

Gil has turned it up of late, too, with a 105 Location+ and 111 Pitching+ across his past two outings (combined 3 BB, 22 K in 12 1/3 IP against the Mariners and White Sox).

Gil ranks in the 90th percentile or higher in fastball run value, offspeed run value, xERA, xBA, K% and hard-hit rate. So long as he retains average command, he's a top-of-the-rotation arm.

Bets: Yankees F5-Game Moneyline (-205 or better) | Yankees Full-Game Moneyline (-180 or better)

Pick: Yankees F5 Moneyline

Zerillo's Bets for Wednesday, May 29

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  • Atlanta Braves (-150, 0.5u) at Superbook (bet to -155)
  • Chicago Cubs F5 (-138, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -143)
  • Houston Astros / Seattle Mariners, Under 7 (+100, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -102)
  • New York Mets F5 (+105, 0.5u) at BetMGM (bet to +100)
  • New York Mets (+116, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to +102)
  • New York Yankees F5 (-172, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -205)
  • New York Yankees (-170, 0.5u) at Superbook (bet to -180)
  • Philadelphia Phillies F5 (-120, Risk 0.5u) at BetMGM (flat to -130)
  • Philadelphia Phillies / San Francisco Giants, Under 8 (-105, 0.5u) at Caesars (bet to -105)

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