We’ve officially entered the home stretch of the MLB season as the regular season wraps up one week from today.
With the postseason on the horizon, our days with full, 15-game slates are becoming increasingly limited, so it’s important to jump in and find value while you can, because our days are numbered.
Our analysts have done just that, recommending bets on Nationals vs. Braves, Marlins vs. Mets, a parlay on Blue Jays vs. Yankees and Brewers vs. Cardinals, and a late-night bet on Dodgers vs. Padres.
Here are our four best bets from Wednesday’s Major League Baseball slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Jake Odorizzi Strikeouts
Tanner McGrath: I’m not the biggest believer in Jake Odorizzi. He definitely underperformed his expected statistics this season (4.61 ERA, 4.10 xERA), likely due to a strand rate about six points below his career average (66.2%).
Odorizzi also doesn’t have elite strikeout stuff. His K/9 and Whiff rates actually increased year-over-year until about 2019, then took a stark downfall. He’s hanging around 7.25 K/9 this season.
But this line is too low.
Odorizzi has hit this number in 10 of his past 16 starts, including three of his past four games. He’s struck out 19 batters over his last 20 innings, including seven in a start against Pittsburgh.
The Nationals are generally a disciplined baseball team. But they’ve let their guard down in the final stretch of the season. The Nats have allowed six of the last seven opposing starting RHPs to cash their strikeout totals.
I see at least three plus-strikeout matchups for Odorizzi. Plus, the projections love him. Action Network’s player props tool has him striking out five Nationals today while FanGraphs SaberSim projections have him striking out 4.9.
That’s plenty of value to bet on this line.
Marlins First Five Innings Moneyline
Jules Posner: Taijuan Walker continues to be a very fade-worthy second half pitcher for the New York Mets. His 5.11 ERA and 5.14 FIP have been a huge reason why he’s worth taking a risk in betting against the Mets in the second half. Today is no different.
Although Walker’s second half numbers are poor overall, it has to be noted that a lot of his really poor starts are interwoven with some better quality starts. However, he’s only given up three or fewer earned runs in five of his 11 second half starts, one of which was a brief, two inning start.
Jesus Luzardo gets the ball for the Marlins and although he was roughed up by the Mets the last time they faced each other, he has a lot of appeal as a road underdog. So far this season, Luzardo has a 2.60 ERA, 3.02 FIP and 2.94 xFIP on the road this season and he’ll be catching a Mets offense that’s only been middle-of-the-pack against LHP at home over the past month.
While the Marlins’ road offense against RHP does not inspire a lot of confidence, perhaps Walker can help them find a way to take an early lead and secure an F5 victory.
The line for the Marlins F5 moneyline opened around +145 and remained there overnight. As long as it’s solidly in plus money, it should be the play.
Blue Jays/Brewers Parlay
Collin Whitchurch: This one is simple.
The New York Yankees clinched their division on Tuesday night. They are locked into the No. 2 spot in the American League postseason field, and have nothing to play for from a seeding perspective the rest of the season.
The St. Louis Cardinals clinched their division on Tuesday night. They are locked into the No. 3 spot in the National League postseason field, and have nothing to play for from a seeding perspective the rest of the season.
The Brewers are already favored over St. Louis with Brandon Woodruff on the mound against Jose Quintana, so even if the Cardinals field is close to a full-strength lineup, this should be the easier leg of the parlay.
It gets trickier in Toronto, where New York has the obvious pitching edge with Gerrit Cole against Mitch White. Even still, Cole has been far from infallible in the second half of the season, and should New York rest any regulars in its lineup, the line will tilt in Toronto’s direction.
How hard these two teams try on Wednesday in their respective games is worth questioning. Obviously keep an eye on starting lineup announcements, but even if either field is close to a regular lineup, it’s hard to imagine an all-out effort, particularly once we get to the bullpens.
A two-team parlay of Blue Jays and Brewers at FanDuel pays out at +241, and that’s worth a wager given the circumstances.
Kenny Ducey: The Dodgers may be playing meaningless baseball these days after locking up the NL West, but that shouldn’t preclude you from taking them on Wednesday night. That’s because Julio Urias is pitching for the Padres, and San Diego is in a troublesome spot.
Urias owns a 2.00 ERA in three starts against the Padres, and a 2-0 record with a 2.27 ERA in two starts in San Diego this season. The Padres are 15th in wRC+ to lefties and should struggle here, which is not really great news considering Joe Musgrove is starting to break down.
The righty owns a 3.95 ERA in his last five starts with six home runs allowed, and he has an 0-2 record with a 5.11 ERA against the Dodgers this season. To make matters worse, the Dodgers are dead last in ground ball rate over the last week, which could mean those issues with the gopher balls persist.
Above all else here, the Padres’ bullpen is in bad shape. They had to use Josh Hader for 20 pitches last night, Luis Garcia for 21, Nick Martinez for 26 and Robert Suarez for 32. Those are probably their four best relievers, and it doesn’t help that Martinez threw 22 pitches and Suarez 15 on Sunday.
LA had to use a host of relievers as well but its bullpen had thrown just seven pitches over the last two days entering Tuesday. I think there is a ton working in the Dodgers’ favor here.