Wednesday MLB Betting Odds & Picks: Our 4 Best Bets for Athletics vs. Mariners & Red Sox vs. White Sox (May 25)
Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Trevor Story (left) and Xander Bogaerts.
All day, all night, we’re going to be betting on baseball.
On Wednesday, we have full slates of games in the afternoon on each coast, and then there are games throughout the night. It’s a baseball bettor’s paradise.
For our favorite picks on Wednesday, four betting analysts have highlighted a pair of games. One is on the West Coast in the afternoon, and the other is a matchup of playoff hopefuls in Chicago.
MLB Odds & Picks
Athletics vs. Mariners — Total
Kenny Ducey: Let’s just be honest with ourselves for a second here. Seven runs is a rather insane number to hang on a game pitched by Robbie Ray and Paul Blackburn. Sure, both offenses have had their issues in the first couple of months, but both pitchers have offered some hope to opposing lineups.
Let’s start with Ray, who is looking more like Robbie Ray these days. No, I don’t mean he looks like the Cy Young Award winner he was a year ago, I mean he looks like the guy we’ve watched struggle with consistency for the last five or six years. His strikeout rate is back down to 25.8% which is trouble because he’s never stopped giving up an abundance of hard-hit balls.
If you can make contact off of Ray, good things will generally happen for you. The A’s should be able to, considering they rank 11th in contact rate over the last two weeks. They’re also sporting a 98 wRC+ against lefties, which is pretty good when compared to their 81 wRC+ in general this year.
Not only are the A’s presented a good matchup here, they’ve also scored 13 runs in the last two games. I don’t know if they’ll win, though, considering Blackburn’s expected .261 batting average against his sinker and .392 xBA on his changeup suggest regression is ready to set in. Seattle has also scored 12 runs in its last two and is heating up at the dish. I’ll take the bait here.
Athletics vs. Mariners — Player Prop
Jules Posner: Although he did not receive any hype, the argument can be made that Kevin Smith was the headlining prospect of the Matt Chapman trade. In terms of offensive productivity, Smith hasn’t been much worse than Chapman. Smith has posted a 79 wRC+ so far this season compared to Chapman’s 86 wRC+.
One thing Smith has excelled at is hitting LHP on the road. So far this season Smith is hitting .409 against LHP on the road and .636 on the road vs LHP in May.
Tonight he’s facing Robbie Ray who is stronger at home this season allowing only a .216 batting average against RHH at home, he’s given up 5 or more hits to teams that have a more RH dominant line up.
Considering how hot Smith is, and how much better the A’s offense is overall on the road- especially against LHP- Robbie Ray is going to be up for a challenge against a gritty Oakland road offense.
Smith’s overall numbers are not particularly impressive, but he seems to have a very clear platoon advantage against LHP. Most books have him at +100 to record at least one hit, so if you can get his hits or total bases at 0.5 in plus money, jump on it.
Red Sox vs. White Sox — Moneyline
Tanner McGrath: Lucas Giolito is a firecracker. He’s striking out over 12.50 batters per nine innings through his six limited starts this season, and that’d be a career high if he keeps up.
But the Red Sox have a firecracker lineup too. No team in MLB has a higher wRC+ (145), OPS (.860) or ISO (.232) over the past two weeks than Boston. Trevor Story has been the star, but don’t forget about JD Martinez (1.005 OPS), Rafael Devers (10 home runs) or Xander Bogaerts (.323 batting average).
Even the bottom of the order is rebounding, with guys like Franchy Cordero and Jackie Bradley Jr. saving games in the late innings over the last week.
Meanwhile, the White Sox bats are also rebounding after a brutal start. But, less so. Chicago has posted a league-average wRC+ since the start of May (103) and hasn’t improved too much on its bottom-of-the-barrel launch angle (its 10.4-degree average is fifth worst in MLB).
I think the ancient Rich Hill could keep the White Sox at bay enough for the Red Sox to stay competitive in this one. Obviously, the 42-year-old Hill will never be the same pitcher he once was, but he’s shifted to a curveball-heavy approach and it’s kept him in games. His 87 mph average exit velocity allowed ranks above the 75th percentile of qualified pitchers.
You may think the bullpen advantage is with Chicago, but these two relief corps have posted nearly identical xFIPs so far this season (Boston 3.81, Chicago 3.85).
Red Sox vs. White Sox — Team Total
DJ James: The White Sox can still hammer left-handed pitchers. This has been a trend for multiple years now. Yes, Luis Robert has landed on the COVID-19 List, but there are still plenty of bats who will be able to hit Rich Hill and the Red Sox pitching staff.
This team owns a 110 wRC+ off of southpaws in May, and they have not quite fully hit their stride yet, even if they stole two of three in Yankee Stadium over the weekend.
Now, Rich Hill may induce weak contact regularly, but this is likely due to how often he throws his curveball. His Barrel Percentage still sits in the 37th percentile of the MLB, so this is concerning considering the batters he will face on Wednesday evening.
In 2022, Tim Anderson, Yoán Moncada, and Andrew Vaughn all hold a .400+ xwOBA. Yasmani Grandal, José Abreu, Jake Burger (who was recalled to fill in for Robert), Adam Engel and A.J. Pollock also are all above the .330 mark. This should be more than enough, considering Abreu and Pollock look far better than they did to start the season.