MLB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Wednesday, May 24th

By Adam Burke  ( 

May 24, 2023 12:25 PM

MLB schedule today has 15 games

Five day games and 10 night games are on the card for Wednesday, as all three interleague series wrap up with matinees and we’ll have early starts in Philly and Cleveland. The rest of the action will be later tonight in advance of a busy Thursday card, so there is plenty to talk about as we dig into the Hump Day slate.

Not only do we have a lot of pitchers getting called up or making spot starts, but teams are also manipulating the rotation to push guys back and give them an extra day of rest, so there will be some days in which there is a pitching change. As I’ve mentioned before, be sure to select Listed Pitchers Must Start at the sportsbook of your choice. Don’t get stuck with a bet on a game where you didn’t handicap the scheduled starters.

Latest MLB betting splits | MLB odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Follow me on Twitter, @SkatingTripods, to get the article right as it goes live.

Catch a new edition of VSiN Daily Baseball Bets this afternoon.

Here are some thoughts on the May 24 card (odds from DraftKings): 

Arizona Diamondbacks (-110, 8) at Philadelphia Phillies

This game has already started, but I wanted to provide a few notes.

I noticed some signs in Zac Gallen’s profile that he was building up towards a start not up to his usual standards. I had no idea that it would come against the Pirates and to the degree that it did. He’ll look for a bounce back effort today against the Phillies to wrap up this three-game set.

Gallen has now had four starts in a row where he has allowed a lot of hard contact. He worked around it against the Marlins and Giants, but was unable to do so against the Pirates, who knocked him around for eight runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings of work. Gallen also issued a season-high four walks, as he just didn’t have it. That’ll happen and guys typically move on, but he has now allowed a 52.8% Hard Hit% in the month of May, including his three highest exit velocities against of the season in his last three starts. He allowed 12 hard-hit balls for a 70.6% HH% in that last outing. After allowing four barrels in his first six starts, he has allowed seven in his last four efforts.

I don’t see any obvious injury indicators. It looks like he’s lost the feel for his cutter, as it has lost spin and vertical movement. But, this looks like it’s just a command issue that should be temporary, but may require the expertise of pitching coach Brent Strom to fix. We’ll see if he bounces back today.

The Diamondbacks draw Ranger Suarez, who has allowed seven runs on 12 hits in just six innings of work since coming off the IL. He’s struck out eight and walked four out of 34 batters faced. He hasn’t given up a ton of hard contact and has been the victim of some bad luck, but this isn’t a profile that I necessarily love anyway because he doesn’t miss many bats and has suspect control. I can’t imagine he’ll continue to run a .545 BABIP or a 56.3% LOB% for long, but I’m not investing in him today.

This start is more about watching Gallen to see if anything clicks.

St. Louis Cardinals (-155, 11) at Cincinnati Reds

Steven Matz and Ben Lively are listed for this one as the Cardinals and Reds play Game 3 of the four-game set. The Cardinals won 8-5 yesterday, as Graham Ashcraft’s struggles continued and the Cards bullpen shut it down over the final three innings. Both games in this series have gone over, but we see a high total of 11 in this one.

Matz has a 5.05 ERA with a 4.62 FIP in his 46.1 innings of work. He’s only allowed four earned runs over his last three starts against the Tigers, Red Sox, and Dodgers. He’s been a little bit sharper of late after a really rough start to the season with 22 earned runs allowed in his first six starts, including four starts with at least four runs allowed. That said, it still isn’t a very attractive profile. He has a single-digit SwStr% in four of his last five starts and is throwing way too many sinkers. His .360 BABIP is a byproduct of being in the 22nd percentile in average exit velo and the 38th percentile in Hard Hit%. He’s also in just the 8th percentile in Chase Rate.

Lively has been quite a surprise thus far with three runs allowed on seven hits over 11 innings. He allowed two runs on just two hits to the Yankees last time out with eight strikeouts against just one walk. I’m not really sure how long he can keep this up as a guy that couldn’t hack it in the big leagues and spent three years in Korea, with his last two as a pretty league average pitcher. He now has a 4.60 ERA with a 4.85 FIP in 131 MLB innings.

Not much interest in this one, but the Cardinals bullpen is up against it a bit. Ryan Helsley and Giovanny Gallegos have pitched back-to-back days and three of the last four. I’d be wary of the Cardinals in the late innings without their two best relief arms available, or limited at a minimum.

San Diego Padres (-155, 10) at Washington Nationals

The Nationals draw a left-hander today as Ryan Weathers gets the call for the Padres. It will be Trevor Williams for Washington, as San Diego looks to try and get something rolling. Yesterday’s 7-4 win was a good start to the road trip and the first time since May 3-5 that the Padres have won two games in a row.

Williams owns a 4.26 ERA with a 4.70 FIP in his 44.1 innings of work. There is nothing flashy to the profile, but nothing that stands out as a glaring negative either. Williams has only struck out 32 batters in 44.1 innings of work, but that’s nothing new for him. He’s a guy who lives off of inducing weak contact and he’s done that again this season with a 35.2% Hard Hit%. He has allowed 19 barrels out of his 51 hard-hit balls, though, and that’s where you get a little bit worried. He’s given up seven homers, but he tilts more towards the fly ball side, so he has a 10.9% HR/FB%, which is just fine.

For whatever reason, Williams has been way more comfortable at home this season, where he has a 2.55 ERA over 17.2 innings with a .294 wOBA against. On the road, he’s got a 5.40 ERA with a .355 wOBA against in 26.2 innings of work. He’s actually faced some talented offenses at home with the Rays, Mets, and Cubs, but then also the Guardians. On the road, he has faced the Diamondbacks, Rockies, Marlins, Twins, and Mets. Over 759.2 career MLB innings, he has a 4.27 ERA with a 4.42 FIP.

It has been a weird season for Weathers, who has made four starts and two relief appearances at the MLB level and two starts in Triple-A. With Seth Lugo on the IL, he’s been recalled to the big leagues. He was called up for a start on May 14 and allowed four runs on three hits over 5.2 innings with four walks and three strikeouts against the Dodgers. That was his first MLB appearance since April 25.

In two minor league starts, he worked eight scoreless innings, but did walk seven batters against eight strikeouts. Now he’s back in the rotation with Seth Lugo out due to a strained calf. In his four starts this season, Weathers has allowed nine runs on 17 hits with a 13/9 K/BB ratio. He has a 3.42 ERA with a 4.46 FIP and a 5.19 xFIP, so there are some regression signs in the profile with a .242 BABIP and a 75.4% LOB% despite the low K%. Like Williams, he’s a guy who tries to get by with weak contact and he’s allowed just a 27.9% Hard Hit% for the season on 68 batted balls.

The Nationals are fifth in wOBA against lefties at .348 and have a 118 wRC+ that ranks in the top 10. The Padres are just 23rd in wOBA against righties with a .299 mark and a 90 wRC+. The betting markets really don’t like Williams, so even though Weathers has the regression signs, we’ve seen the market move against Washington. I also think there’s some underlying sentiment that the Padres are too good to be like this for too long.

It’s tough for me to pass on the Nationals getting this kind of price against a lefty, but I don’t feel all that confident in Williams against a lineup that might start showing signs of life.

Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves (-120, 9.5)

The Braves are favored over the Dodgers once again, even though the visitors have cashed two nice underdog tickets behind rookie starters in Gavin Stone and Bobby Miller in this series. This line is much lower than the first two games with Bryce Elder going for Atlanta and Tony Gonsolin on the bump for LA.

As I mentioned on Monday when I backed the Dodgers and on Tuesday when I didn’t, the Braves are just a league average-ish offense against righties. They’ve pummeled lefties all season long, but they are down to a 97 wRC+ and a .318 wOBA against righties on the season. They draw a good one in Gonsolin, who has a 1.13 ERA in his 24 innings of work. He does have a 3.46 xERA, 4.03 FIP and a 4.81 xFIP, so there are some negative signs, as he has a .172 BABIP and an 84.2% LOB% with a pedestrian K/BB ratio.

Gonsolin has made five starts this season and only allowed earned runs in one of them. He’s given up six runs on 13 hits overall, but only three are earned. He has a 36.4% Hard Hit% and has only allowed three barrels to this point. Some guys are really adept at outperforming their advanced metrics in run estimation and Gonsolin is one of them. For his career, he has a 2.40 ERA with a 3.50 FIP and a 4.14 xFIP. He’s had a lower ERA than FIP in four of his five seasons and over a run lower in each of the last three, so there may be some negative regression signs from an ERA-FIP standpoint, but he’s something of a unicorn.

Elder’s stats show a similar profile to Gonsolin’s. He has a 2.06 ERA with a 4.57 xERA and a 3.34 FIP in his 52.1 innings of work. Elder has an 85% LOB% with a low strikeout rate and has allowed just 12 earned runs over nine starts. One big difference between the two pitchers is that Elder has allowed an obscene 49.3% Hard Hit%. In his nine starts, he’s had a HH% of at least 50% in five of them, including his most recent start against Seattle. He had a 41.7% HH% against Toronto two starts ago, but a season-high four barrels.

The Dodgers mash right-handed pitching and are second in wOBA at .339. Part of that has to do with their 11.3% BB% and Elder has only walked more than two batters twice in a start this season, so I’ll be curious to see if the Dodgers can work some more free passes out of him.

It takes away a few cents of value, but I like the Dodgers for the 1st 5 today as opposed to the full game. Evan Phillips, Brusdar Graterol, and Yency Almonte have all worked back-to-back days, while the Braves bullpen is in a bit better shape having lost the last two nights. I prefer Gonsolin to Elder and the Dodgers lineup to the Braves lineup in this matchup, so the Dodgers make the cut as a 1st 5 play.

Shop around for the best prices here. DraftKings usually doesn't have the best line for 1st 5s because of how they set them.

Pick: Dodgers 1st 5 (-115)

New York Mets at Chicago Cubs (-115, 7)

Kodai Senga was pushed back a day so that he could stay on one extra day of rest, which is customary in Japan based on the schedule. That’s why Tylor Megill made yesterday’s start, so Senga goes today on what is full rest for him. It will be Marcus Stroman for the Cubs and the total tells you all that you need to know about the weather in Chicago.

Temperatures will be in the low-to-mid 50s at first pitch and cool off slightly throughout the game, but the biggest thing is a stiff 15-20 mph breeze blowing in from left field. Some books even have 6.5 on this total.

Anyway, here’s what I wrote about Senga yesterday: You never really know what you’re going to get from Kodai Senga, who has a 3.77 ERA with a 3.98 xERA and a 4.35 FIP. Senga has a 29.4% K%, but also a 13.9% BB%. He’s got an 82.1% LOB%, hence the difference between his ERA and FIP. In eight starts, he’s allowed two runs once, one run three times, zero runs once, four runs twice, and five runs once. He’s only allowed 36 hits in his 43 innings because his raw stuff is so good that he’s hard to square up with a 39.6% Hard Hit% and only eight barrels.

Senga had his best start of the season last time out with 12 strikeouts over six one-run innings against the Rays. That was after he gave up five runs on eight hits to the Reds. I will say that Senga has allowed 14 runs in 20 innings on the road, while allowing just four runs in 23 innings at home. Maybe he just feels more comfortable at Citi Field, which has tilted more towards being a pitcher’s park historically.

Stroman bounced back from his awful start against the Twins with one run on three hits over six innings against the Phillies. He was able to put it in cruise control with a big lead, but it was his fourth start in the last five with two or fewer runs allowed. He’s allowed 11 of his 19 runs in two of his 10 starts. Add it all up and he has a 3.05 ERA with a 3.56 FIP for the season. He’s given up a good bit of hard contact with a 42.2% HH%, but he’s only allowed a 3.2% Barrel% and keeps the ball on the ground with the best of them, so he can get by.

I spent a lot of time staring at this game and, despite a lean to the Cubs, decided to let it go. With the low-scoring expectation and a lot of ground balls coming, this game is just subject to way too much variance to feel like I can get an edge.

Miami Marlins (-170, 11) at Colorado Rockies

I dodged a bullet yesterday not taking the Marlins, as they dropped a 5-4 decision to the Rockies. It was just the third one-run loss of the season for Miami, as they dropped below .500 on the year. They’ll send Sandy Alcantara out to the mound against Karl Kauffmann in hopes of evening up the series.

Alcantara has not been himself this season. He’s got a 5.05 ERA with a 3.58 FIP in his 57 innings of work. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner has allowed 34 runs in nine starts, as a 59.1% LOB% has really skewed the numbers. Still, nothing looks the same really for him, as his run total is more than halfway to what it was last season when he threw 228.2 innings. Some of it has been bad luck, but he’s also simply not commanding the baseball like he did last year. His BB% is up 1.5%, his K% is down 0.8%, and his Hard Hit% is up 1.5%. I don’t think all of those things should lead to an ERA over 5, but he’s allowed a 40% or higher HH% in each of his last six starts, so we haven’t seen much improvement.

He does have a nine-run blow-up against the Phillies to his name that has skewed the numbers, but he’s allowed 10 runs on 12 hits in his last two starts against the Reds and Giants. He’s just not locked in for whatever reason yet and Coors Field can be tough on guys like that.

Kauffmann allowed five runs on seven hits in a road start at Texas in his MLB debut, so that was a brutal first assignment and now he’ll give Coors Field a try. The 25-year-old gave up a 66.7% Hard Hit% to the Rangers with an average exit velo of 96.2 mph, so he earned every bit of his rough outing. He also had a 7.78 ERA in 37 innings at Triple-A, so it’s hard to say that the Rockies had high expectations for him.

His numbers in the upper minors have been extremely concerning as well. Colorado’s Double-A affiliate is the Hartford Yard Goats, so that’s not a bad place to pitch, but the Triple-A team is in Albuquerque, which is almost the same elevation as Denver and the PCL is just a brutal league to pitch in. Still, Kauffmann had bad strikeout and walk rates in those leagues as well.

I see no reason to try and go against Alcantara here, but backing a Marlins offense scoring 3.5 runs per game isn’t fun either.

Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Guardians (-140, 8)

This game has already started, but I wanted to provide a few notes.

Well, I should have trusted myself in fading Logan Allen, though he pitched well until Terry Francona asked too much of him and he fell apart the third time through the order. More notably, Dylan Cease’s velocity did tick up a bit, but he still only had five whiffs in 40 swings and allowed an average exit velocity of 94.3 mph with nine hard-hit balls and only three strikeouts. He still wasn’t very sharp and that was not an outing that induced a lot of confidence.

Today’s early start comes on a beautiful day in The Land, but also one with a lake breeze blowing in from left center. That could certainly help Michael Kopech, who has allowed 12 home runs in nine starts. Of course, nine of the 12 homers have come in two starts, but he has a 4.83 ERA with a 6.26 FIP on the season. He’s actually coming off of a stellar start in which he struck out 10 Royals over eight one-hit innings. Kopech has only allowed two hits in his last 12.2 innings of work, but he did walk six over 4.2 innings against the Astros back on May 12.

He’s been very Jekyll and Hyde this season, allowing two or fewer runs four times and four or more runs four times. Recently, his command profile has improved a bit, as he’s only allowed 12 hard-hit balls in his last three starts after allowing at least a 52.9% HH% in each of his first five outings.

Cal Quantrill goes for Cleveland and his home numbers are spectacular at Progressive Field, which I’m sure some have used to justify a play on him today. I’m more interested in the fact that he’s got a 4.06 ERA with a 5.40 xERA and a 5.04 FIP. He’s a guy that has outpitched his FIP each of the last three seasons by a pretty wide margin, so that’s nothing new, but his K% is all the way down to 13%, so he’s very much subject to batted ball variance. This season, he’s allowed a .268 BABIP, 10 points better than last season and 11 points better than his career average while posting a career-worst 38.3% Hard Hit%. That’s still better than the league average, but he’s allowed a lot of hard contact in his last two starts.

I don’t trust either guy here and this is an early game, so I don’t have to really bother, but Quantrill is a guy I’ll be watching for some fade opportunities going forward.

Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays (-195, 8.5)

I like to look at Pythagorean Win-Loss and run differential metrics, but sometimes you get a game that really skews them. Take yesterday’s 20-1 win by the Blue Jays as an example. The Rays suddenly went from +126 in run differential down to +107, which still leads the league by a long shot, but it took Toronto from +5 to +24 in a heartbeat.

Position players gave up 10 of the runs that Toronto scored, so this game was a rout, but turned into a complete laugher with Luke Raley and Christian Bethancourt called to the mound, so I wouldn’t read too much into it. That said, the Rays pen has been quite bad for a while now and that may be the one glaring weakness for the World Series contender.

If momentum is truly tomorrow’s starting pitcher, yesterday’s bloodbath shouldn’t matter much because Shane McClanahan gets the call for the Rays. Mac has allowed more than two runs just once in his 10 starts this season and has a 2.05 ERA with a 3.58 FIP over 57 innings of work. His walk rate is a little elevated, so FIP isn’t as much of a fan, but the huge discrepancy between ERA and FIP has to do with a 92.3% LOB%. That won’t continue to be as high as it is, so somebody will catch McClanahan on a bad day and put up some good numbers. Maybe it’ll be the Jays today, but he had a 78.9% LOB% in 2021 and an 80.5% LOB% in 2022, so running something well above the league average of 73% is very likely.

Let’s see what the Rays do against Yusei Kikuchi. He’s allowed 12 homers in 46.1 innings of work, which seems bad going up against a Tampa team that leads the league in homers by 14. He has a 4.08 ERA with a 5.63 FIP in his nine starts and has allowed 13 runs over his last four starts, including six shutout innings against the Pirates during the week in which they were the league’s worst offense. His command profile is total garbage and he has an 88.5% LOB% because the homers have cleared off the bases for him.

Kikuchi has a 47.5% Hard Hit% and an 11.5% Barrel% going up against a Rays team that is second in baseball in wOBA against lefties. Meanwhile, despite all of Toronto’s right-handed sticks, the Blue Jays rank 18th in wOBA in that split. They do have a 104 wRC+, but that is far from Tampa’s 159 wRC+.

You can lay the big number with the Rays and some have, as this line jumped about 20 cents at some shops. You can take the run line at plus money, though the Rays may only bat eight times and their pen has struggled if McClanahan gets into any trouble. Ultimately, I’m staying away, but I do expect the Rays to bounce back and get back in the win column, as the line implies in  a big favorite role.

Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees (-135, 8)

Tyler Wells and all of his regression signs head to Yankee Stadium for this start against the Bronx Bombers. Wells has a 2.94 ERA with a 3.85 xERA, 4.64 FIP, and a 4.33 xFIP over his 52 innings of work. He has a really strong 23.5% K% with a 5.1% BB%, but he’s got a .163 BABIP against and an 89.3% LOB%, so those are two clear areas of regression that I have been paying close attention to of late. He’s also allowed a 42.4% Hard Hit% for the season and a 51.7% HH% in his four May starts, so the command profile is starting to add a lot more fuel to the fire.

Wells has allowed 10 barrels in his four May starts after only allowing five in his first five appearances. To his credit, he is generating a lot of swing and miss and may end up eventually having a bigger K%, but his 79.9% Z-Contact% seems unsustainably low given that he’s not really an overpowering dude. It was 83.8% last season and I thought that was a little suspect. Wells ranks in the 27th percentile in average exit velocity, 31st in Hard Hit%, 19th in Barrel%, and has a .243 wOBA against with a .307 xwOBA.

His K% is up 5.5% this season, which is one of the ways in which he’s been able to survive the hard contact, but he’s also gotten fortunate that Baltimore’s bad outfield defense per the metrics has not impacted him to a greater degree. He does have a 15.5% IFFB% and pop ups are effectively strikeouts, so that’s provided another boost for him. But, he did a lot of these same things last season and had a .246 BABIP and a 72.7% LOB%, so regression is absolutely coming.

Nestor Cortes has had his share of difficulties this season. He has a 5.21 ERA with a 4.50 FIP and a 5.00 xFIP in his 48.1 innings of work. He’s struck out 48 and walked 14, which are solid numbers, but his command profile has not been there. He’s given up eight homers, including six in his last five starts, and a 39.6% HH%. Righties own a .269/.327/.474 slash with a .346 wOBA against him in 172 plate appearances.

In this instance, he draws an Orioles lineup that is eighth in wOBA at .345 with a 120 wRC+ against lefties. More importantly, the Orioles are fourth in wOBA at .372 with a 139 wRC+ against lefties on the road, where the pitcher-friendly conditions of Oriole Park aren’t a factor.

What I also like about the over today is that Felix Bautista pitched yesterday and struggled, plus Yennier Cano had a 30-pitch inning and I’d be worried about him coming back again tonight. Most of the market is on 8.5 and over at even money or -110 here. DraftKings has a rogue 8, so try to find an 8 if you can with this one, but I think 8.5 is fine here as well. I like both lineups in this matchup, as the O’s crush southpaws and Wells in a small park as a fly ball pitcher should be a trigger for his regression.

Pick: Over 8 (-115)

Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals (-120, 8.5)

Hmmm. I have to say that it’s a bit surprising to see Zack Greinke favored in a baseball game in 2023. Of course, the Tigers also just lost to Mike Mayers on a bullpen day for the Royals with Eduardo Rodriguez on the bump, so I guess anything is possible. Greinke has a 4.82 ERA with a 4.60 FIP and keeps finding ways to get by as a big leaguer. He’s allowed seven earned runs on just 17 hits in his last four starts against the Orioles, White Sox x2, and Brewers. That comes on the heels of allowing 19 runs over his previous four starts.

Greinke allowed a ton of hard contact last time out against the White Sox, but still limited the damage to two runs on five hits in 5.2 innings of work. He only has 36 strikeouts over his 52.1 innings and has allowed nine homers, but he hasn’t gotten absolutely blown up all that often and the Tigers remain one of the league’s worst offenses against right-handed pitching, so maybe today won’t be the day either.

Matthew Boyd hasn’t been very good this season. He has a 6.21 ERA with a 4.95 FIP in his 37.2 innings of work. He’s given up 27 runs on 39 hits and has given up 18 runs over his last four starts. He’s been the victim of some bad luck and bad defense at times with a 32.5% Hard Hit% and only a 6.8% Barrel%. He doesn’t really deserve a .297 BABIP in light of that, nor does he deserve a 60.9% LOB%, but here we are.

I have no idea how this game plays out with a ton of balls in play both ways. The Royals do have the bigger offensive ceiling because they make higher-quality contact. Also, Kansas City is 14th in wOBA against LHP and has a 103 wRC+ in that split, whereas the Tigers are 27th in wOBA against RHP with an 81 wRC+. There are some signs that point towards Kansas City, but I have a hard time trusting Greinke.

If you do like KC, the 1st 5 is probably the better option, given how beat up the Royals pen is. Four guys have worked back-to-back days, Amir Garrett has been bad and pitched Sunday and Monday and Scott Barlow has struggled and threw 36 pitches on Monday.

Boston Red Sox (-120, 9) at Los Angeles Angels

Southpaws are popular in the AL today and we’ve got two more here with James Paxton and Tyler Anderson. This will be Paxton’s third start and he’s done well so far with three runs allowed on nine hits in 11 innings of work with 14 strikeouts against three walks. He gave up some loud contact against the Cardinals in his first start, but only four of 17 batted balls were hit hard in his second start against the Padres.

It’s still tough to buy in with Paxton, given the long injury history and the extended layoffs that he’s had to endure. I don’t think anybody can say with confidence what they expect from him in the short-term or the long-term. To this point, he’s been an extreme fly ball guy, so I’d be worried about that part of it when he gets back home. As far as this start, it’s hard to know what to think, but this will be another tough test against a top-10 lineup vs. lefties.

Tyler Anderson has been serviceable since his rough start to the season, but by no means has he been good. He allowed 17 runs over a three-start stretch from April 8-22, but has only allowed nine runs in his last four starts. He’s actually allowed just a 31.5% Hard Hit% on the season, so he’s largely stayed away from hard contact, but now he’s getting some of the results and good fortune that comes along with it. After allowing five homers in two starts against Boston and Toronto, he’s only allowed two in his last five outings.

That start against Boston was an ugly one, but most are for pitch-to-contact guys at Fenway Park. He should have a better chance here, but obviously doesn’t have the upside of Paxton. I just don’t see a great edge in this game, as both teams are good against lefties and I still have those lingering concerns about Boston’s offensive prowess away from the friendly confines.

Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners (-300, 8.5)

There isn’t really much to say about this game, as the A’s and Mariners face off again and Seattle looks to extend the winning streak to three games. It will be Bryce Miller in a heavy favorite role against Ken Waldichuk. Waldichuk is left-handed and the Mariners are 28th in wOBA and have an 87 wRC+ in that split, so this is the weaker of the two sides for them and that’s something that they will need to correct moving forward, but their 26.5% K% shouldn’t be too relevant against Waldichuk.

The Oakland lefty has a 6.85 ERA with a 7.28 FIP. He managed to survive not getting completely blown up by Houston last time out, even though he walked five guys for the third straight start. He only gave up four runs, despite allowing five hits and the five walks, plus he allowed a 46.7% Hard Hit%. This should be a good opportunity for Seattle to get the sticks going against a lefty.

Miller gave up three runs on four hits last time out against the Braves over 6.1 innings. He had allowed a total of seven hits and one run in his first three starts, including an outing against Oakland in which he struck out 10 of the 20 batters he faced. He looks to be another in a line that includes George Kirby and Logan Gilbert as above average to elite-level starting pitchers. Not much betting value with a favorite of this magnitude and a run line price that is still in the -140 range with an offense that hasn’t shown a propensity for being able to blow teams out.

San Francisco Giants at Minnesota Twins (-145, 7.5)

This game has already started, but I wanted to provide a few notes.

Anthony DeSclafani and Joe Ryan wrap up this series at Target Field and I just wanted to say a few quick things because Ryan is No. 2 by fWAR among today’s starters and Disco is No. 3. Ryan has allowed more than three runs just once in a start and it was a game in which he struck out 10 and only allowed three hits. He gave up a third-inning grand slam to Yordan Alvarez in that outing. That was basically it.

Everything that Ryan is doing appears to be legit from the metrics. Mild regression here and there makes sense given a 2.25 ERA and a 2.33 FIP in the current run environment, but a 66/8 K/BB ratio is spectacular and he’s only allowed four homers, all of which came in his first four starts. He’s faced some pretty decent lineups as well, so he isn’t just padding his stats against the stiffs.

I’d be less inclined to look at DeSclafani and expect these things to continue. His low walk rate is a big positive, but he has an 18.7% K% with a 44.7% Hard Hit%, so I don’t think the margin for error is big enough for him to continue to run a .265 BABIP and a 3.09 ERA. Oracle Park is indeed a safety net, but I’ll be looking for some road spots to go against him as I do think we will find some.

Houston Astros at Milwaukee Brewers (-110, 9)

This game has already started, but I wanted to provide a few notes.

I mostly wanted to talk about Brandon Bielak of the Astros here. Adrian Houser kind of is what he is and it’s a batted ball-dependent profile. This season, he’s actually really cut back the walks, but any regression in his control is going to lead to major problems. That’s what I’ll be watching with him and if he runs into a super patient lineup anytime soon, I’ll be betting against him.

But, Bielak has a 2.89 ERA in four appearances with a 4.62 FIP. He’s running a .407 BABIP as a byproduct of a 47.4% Hard Hit% and a 15.8% Barrel%. What he also has is a 90.3% LOB% going into today’s start. That’s why I had the over against him last time out, which didn’t come through, but this dude is getting so lucky to strand runners that it’s not even funny. He did have nine strikeouts last time out and has 19 in 18.2 innings, but he’s given up 23 hits in his three starts. I’ll hope he doesn’t get rocked today because I do think there are chances to go against him down the line.

TL;DR Recap

Dodgers 1st 5 (-115)

BAL/NYY Over 8 (-115)

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