All 30 MLB teams are in action on Wednesday, including four getaway day games on the west coast and one 4:10 p.m. ET start time in Miami. The odds board runs the gamut today with some heavy chalk, some road favorites, and some money line pick ‘em types of numbers. After home teams went 15-0 on Tuesday night for the first time ever, it should be another interesting day and night on the diamond.
Speaking of the diamond, if you don’t already have an account at BetDSI, or Diamond Sportsbook, head on over there and take advantage of the exclusive 300 percent deposit bonus by using the promo code ‘BANG300’. Second, consider making an account for our forums and chat with like-minded sports betting enthusiasts. Compare picks, compare notes, lament losses, and celebrate wins with other handicappers all in one fun and friendly environment. Finally, let us track your picks in our Sports Monitor. Upload your picks, track your results, and, once football season returns, enter our free contests.
Kevin Gausman and Hisashi Iwakuma, two pitchers that were dangled at the trade deadline, face off for getaway day baseball at Safeco Field. The Mariners walked off on Tuesday night to even up the series and are a clear favorite in this one. Given their park factor, the Mariners are the second-best offense in MLB over the last 30 days by wRC+. They are sixth in wOBA, which is not adjusted for park factor. Unlike other teams excelling offensively, like the White Sox, Rangers, and Diamondbacks, the Mariners’ BABIP isn’t out of range, so this is a pretty legit offensive showing.
Kevin Gausman really needs to get out of Baltimore. I’ve said this a few times and I’ll keep saying it. Gausman was a prized prospect coming up through the minors, but the Orioles took away his cutter and have bounced him up and down between three levels of the minor leagues and the Major League bullpen this season. Gausman has fought with his command as a starter, leading to a 4.57 ERA. His strikeout rate is below average, but his walk rate is impressive. There are just too many balls down the pike and he has not done a good job of stranding runners.
On the other side, Hisashi Iwakuma has been limited to 10 starts because of injury. His ground ball rate is at a career high this season, but so is his home run rate. This is why context is so important and why taking numbers on the surface isn’t the way to handicap. Kuma allowed five home runs in his first three starts before hitting the DL. In his first start back, he gave up four home runs to the Tigers. Since then, he has allowed three home runs over six starts with a 3.00 ERA and a .212/.245/.314 slash against.
Take the Mariners in this one. Iwakuma has been consistent since getting back into rhythm and Gausman’s season has been anything but consistent. The Orioles are closing out a nine-game AL West road trip, with three extra inning games, and have Thursday off at home. With the Blue Jays widening the Wild Card gap, this is a good situational spot to go against Baltimore.
How far has James Shields fallen in the eyes of oddsmakers and bettors? Against Raisel Iglesias, on a getaway day, Shields is only -130 against the Cincinnati Reds. This is a fascinating line. I personally like Raisel Iglesias quite a bit. I figured I was alone in that regard because he owns a 4.73 ERA and is just 2-4 on the season, but apparently others have taken notice. And why not? Iglesias, in nine starts and two relief outings, is averaging almost a full strikeout per inning and has a 3.51 FIP and a 3.78 xFIP. Righties are hitting a pathetic .170/.256/.343 against him this season.
Even still, as much potential as Iglesias flashes, the fact that Shields is in this situation says a lot. Jeff Zimmerman of Fangraphs wrote about Shields’s declining velocity and Zone% over the All-Star Break as a sign of potential injury. Shields has a 2.73 ERA in 29.2 innings since, but his strikeout rate is down considerably in the second half. He’s been fortunate to strand 93.6 percent of runners. Shields is having the worst year of his career from a home run standpoint and that’s because lefties are slugging .537 off of him.
Even though there are some context clues that suggest taking the Reds, I can’t do it. The Reds have lost six of seven and Shields is still a great pitcher and he has been very good at home. This game is a pass, but this line was certainly worth discussing.
A tough luck loser on the Boston pick from yesterday segues into a new day. The Red Sox led 4-0 entering the bottom of the sixth and lost in walk-off fashion, which seems fitting given that Koji Uehara suffered a fractured wrist last week, leaving the Red Sox without a closer. It’s interesting that we’re in a fairly similar situation to last night, except that the Marlins are facing a lefty and they have been a much better offensive team against lefties. Also, are the Red Sox going to show enough character to bounce back from a tough loss? It’s a getaway day to wrap up an eight-game road trip with a home weekend against Seattle on tap.
Eduardo Rodriguez takes the mound for the Red Sox and he’s been scuffling a bit since his dominant start. For the year, the lefty is 6-4 with a 4.17/4.22/4.07 pitcher slash. His strikeout rate is about average, his walk rate is a little high, and his BABIP is a little low because of the home runs he has allowed. It’s hard to truly get a read on his numbers because three bad starts really skew everything. He has allowed nine, six, and seven runs in a start, but the rest of his starts are all three runs or less.
The Marlins have the third-lowest wOBA over the last 30 days, but they have managed to stay fourth in wOBA on the season against left-handed pitching. A .340 BABIP has been a contributing factor, but the fact that they’ve stayed in the top five without Giancarlo Stanton for most of the season is impressive. They do have some decent platoon bats to use against guys like Rodriguez. On the other hand, Rodriguez’s splits are not that severe.
Adam Conley is the type of pitcher that could carve out a decent niche in the Miami organization. He basically has the upside of a left-handed Tom Koehler, a guy that will struggle on the road, but has enough to get by at home. He’s a fly ball guy with some control problems that doesn’t have enough depth to his arsenal to get through a lineup more than maybe two times. But, that sort of thing can play for the Marlins because they’re a great defensive team and have a park factor favorable to that kind of thing.
If you look at this game situationally, the nod has to go to the Marlins. The Red Sox don’t really have a lot of character this season and a loss like last night will linger with a team not in the hunt at the tail end of a road trip. It’s not a strong play, because Boston has a starting pitching edge, but the Marlins would be the play.
After a 16 inning marathon on Tuesday night, the Yankees and Indians get back after it on Wednesday night with CC Sabathia against Danny Salazar. This is a very interesting pitching matchup. Sabathia put it all together for a great start his last time out, but command has been a failure all season long for the hefty lefty. On the other side, Danny Salazar has tremendous swing and miss stuff, but he also presents some command concerns because he works up in the zone with the fastball and not getting it above the belt enough yields some long home runs.
Through the trades of David Murphy and Brandon Moss, the Indians are far less left-handed than they used to be. Will that help against Sabathia? It certainly could. Sabathia has a .318/.366/.537 slash against versus right-handed batters this season, including 21 of the 24 home runs that he has allowed. Even though Sabathia stepped it up for one start against an underachieving Red Sox team, he’s hardly fixed.
Danny Salazar has a home run issue, but he also has excellent stuff and the Yankees aren’t hitting right now. They managed one run in three games against the Blue Jays and then scored two runs in 16 innings against the Indians, both on solo home runs. Salazar has a 3.38 ERA with a 3.46 FIP and a 3.10 xFIP. The Yankees have a lot of power, so this is power on power, but they may need to score a lot to support Sabathia.
The Indians are the play in this one. They’re playing with a lot of youthful exuberance and fire. The Yankees seem to be stuck in the dog days of summer mentality and an older team coming off of a late night seems like a good bet against on Wednesday.
The Angels and White Sox have yet another battle of southpaws in this one. The Angels will draw their third straight lefty in this series after getting shut down by both Chris Sale and Carlos Rodon. This time it’s the much more hitter-friendly southpaw John Danks against Andrew Heaney. The White Sox have steadily improved against lefties of late, in that they’re still the worst team in the league, but not by as big of a margin. The Angels also struggle with lefties and we’ve seen that in this series.
Heaney is still showing plus control and a great feel for pitching. He threw the ball very well in Triple-A, even though his 4.71 ERA didn’t show it. His 3.13 FIP was a better indication. At the big league level, he has stranded 85 percent of his runners with a low strikeout rate, which is why his 2.45 ERA shows regression with a 3.55 FIP and a 3.99 xFIP. The unfamiliar lefty is an angle that I do like to play and it’s relevant in this start because Heaney has good FB command and quality breaking stuff.
John Danks is a subpar pitcher yet again this season. This will be his third straight year with an ERA in the 4.70 range, though his peripherals are a bit better this season. His changeup, which has never been a below average pitch, is now 10.5 runs below average and he’s throwing it nearly 30 percent of the time. It’s never a good thing when a pitcher’s best pitch regresses that much and you know he will rely on it heavily against the Angels.
The Angels are the pick here. They need a win in this one after facing two very tough lefties and Danks is much easier to handle.
Pittsburgh at St. Louis (-120); Total: 6.5
Gerrit Cole and Michael Wacha. That’s a pitching matchup that needs no build-up. Cole, the #1 overall pick in 2013 and Wacha, a 2014 first-rounder, are both having excellent seasons. Cole has a 2.39 ERA with a 2.69 FIP and 3.00 xFIP. Wacha has a 2.92 ERA, a 3.18 FIP, and a 3.52 xFIP. Cole has more swing and miss upside, but Wacha may have more pitchability. That’s basically an exercise in nitpicking, however, because these two are both some of the best at their craft.
Trying to find an edge in this game is tough. Both bullpens are in good shape because Carlos Martinez went eight for the Cardinals and the Pirates were able to give Joakim Soria, Tony Watson, and Mark Melancon the night off.
Because of that, you have to look to the under. This will be a playoff atmosphere with a big pitching matchup, the ESPN crew in town, and that could force the hand of both managers into using their best relievers. The Cardinals should put more balls in play off of Cole than other teams would, since they’ve seen him so much and have a low strikeout rate against righties, so a very small lean to them from a side standpoint.