Our Staff’s Wednesday MLB Betting Picks, Including Yankees vs. Indians
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Masahiro Tanaka
- Looking for MLB betting picks on Wednesday's MLB slate, including tonight's marquee matchup between the Yankees and Indians?
- Our staff has tackled several games on today's 8-game slate, including the Carlos Carrasco vs. Masahiro Tanaka showdown.
- Find all of our betting picks below, including some favorites, underdogs and an over/under.
On monster 8-game Postseason slate, you had to know our baseball experts would be finding some value.
Check out the picks we’re making below on the following games.
- Marlins vs. Cubs (2:08 p.m. ET)
- White Sox vs. A’s (3:10 p.m. ET)
- Cardinals vs. Padres (5:08 p.m. ET)
- Yankees vs. Indians (7:08 p.m. ET)
Michael Arinze: Cubs Moneyline (-165) vs. Marlins
I’m a sucker for pitchers who can still get the job done despite not throwing with a lot of velocity. These are not throwers or hurlers, but rather pitchers in every sense of the word. Maybe it’s because I’m partial to Greg Maddux who could move the ball in and out of the strike zone with precise control.
If I had to pick a pitcher with some of those Greg Maddux qualities, Kyle Hendricks would be at the top of the list.
Hendricks’ fastball tops out at around 87 mph and yet he’s been an above .500 pitcher every year he’s been in the big leagues. He’ll face a Marlins team that has a .225 AVG / .279 OBP / .300 SLG slash rate against him plus an ISO of .075. And even with the wind blowing out to right field at Wrigley Field, he has the experience to navigate those winds especially when you consider his 0.89 HR/9 ratio.
Hendricks has also pitched in the postseason and won a World Series with the Cubs whereas his opponent, Sandy Alcantara will be making his first ever postseason start.
Cubs hitters have a .278 AVG. / .422 OBP / .417 SLG slash rate against Alcantara in addition to a .139 ISO which is just under the .140 targeted average.
Alcantara continues to struggle with his command as evidenced by his 3.21 BB/9 rate compared to Hendricks who finished the season with a 1.94 BB/9 rate.
Chicago is 5-2 against the Marlins in Hendricks’s starts while the Marlins are 1-1 when Alcantara gets the nod.
Sean Zerillo: White Sox F5 (-105), Full Game (+110) Moneyline
After their Game 1 win, the White Sox are now listed at -255 (implied 72%) to win one of their next two games and advance, and I see a 10% projection edge relative to that price, personally setting the line at 82% or -455.
I see Chicago as a favorite in each of the next two games, and you will likely get them at a plus-money price in both contests, so you might as well stick to playing them straight — especially if you jumped in on their -110 series price before Game 1.
As I mentioned on Tuesday, the new-look White Sox finished with a 112 wRC+ (sixth in MLB) in the regular season, compared to a 101 wRC+ for the A’s, who were below average (97 wRC+) after the season-ending injury to Matt Chapman.
Furthermore, Chicago played significantly better defense than Oakland, recording +23 Defensive Runs Saved, compared to -19 for the Athletics, who have major holes in the infield defensively (-9 at 2B; -8 at SS; injury to best defensive 3B and player in the game) outside of Matt Olson (+5).
I have heard a couple of analysts tout Oakland’s bullpen advantage — but it doesn’t really come across in the metrics.
Chicago finished eighth in bullpen xFIP (4.22), one spot ahead of the A’s (4.27), who owned slightly better command of the zone (+1.9% in K-BB%), but who also had an outlier strand rate (82.2% — about 10% above league average) which is likely to regress.
The White Sox also got their best reliever, Aaron Bummer (career 3.55 xFIP), back just in time for the playoffs and added fireballing 2020 first-round pick, Garrett Crochet, to their bullpen late in the year:
I project the White Sox as F5 and full game favorites on Wednesday, and I would play those lines to -105 and -112, respectively.
BJ Cunningham: Cardinals F5 (+138), Full Game (+145) Moneyline vs. Padres
Kwang-hyun Kim has been a fantastic surprise for the Cardinals after coming over from the KBO. He’s posted some really good numbers in 2020, including a 1.62 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. However, he’s been a tad fortunate to this point in the season, as his xFIP is all the way up at 4.52.
Kim mainly uses a fastball/slider combination, and so far it’s held opposing hitters at bay. Both pitches have combined to allow only a .183 average to opponents. Even though he’s been on point with those two pitches, he’ll have a tough matchup against this Padres lineup that is top-five versus both fastballs and sliders.
Chris Paddack hasn’t lived up to expectations in 2020. However, it’s mainly due to the fact that he’s been pretty unlucky. He’s posted a 4.73 ERA, but his xFIP is almost a full run lower at 3.77. His main issue this year, though, has been giving up the long ball, as he’s surrendered 14 home runs in only 59 innings.
Paddack has struggled with his fastball in 2020, allowing a .309 average to opponents. That is a big issue since he throws his fastball over 58% of the time. The only pitch that has been effective for Paddack is his changeup, allowing only a .215 wOBA to opponents. Paddack wasn’t San Diego’s first choice due to injuries to their top two starters, so the Padres may be in a bad spot in Game 1.
I think the pitching matchup in Game 1 is a lot closer than the current line suggests. Paddack’s struggles shouldn’t warrant him being a -165 favorite, especially given how good Kwang Hyun-kim has been this year.
I have the Padres favored at only -115, so I think there is plenty of value on the Cardinals in Game 1 for the first five innings at +138, and the full game at +145.
Danny Donahue: Yankees vs. Indians Under 8 (+100)
Following a 15-run output in a Gerrit Cole vs. Shane Bieber matchup, a total of 8 may not seem like much for Masahiro Tanaka vs. Carlos Carrasco. And perhaps for that reason, two-thirds of bettors playing this total have taken the over.
But, in part for that reason, I’m finding value on the other side.
In our database (since 2005), simply going contrarian by taking the under in a matchup between two good teams has been a profitable strategy. To be more specific, games between two above-.500 teams in which 65% of bettors take the over have hit the under at a 55.1% clip on a sample of more than 2,600 games.
On top of that, Progressive Field is expected to be hit with some heavy wind — 18 to 21 mph worth — blowing toward right field, which has somewhat surprisingly been an under recipe, historically speaking. Such games (15+ mph wind to right) have gone 108-83-7 to the under since ’05, and for two starting pitchers who rely on movement, I’m betting on that to only boost the effectiveness of their pitches.