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Friday, July 1, 2022

Our 5 Best Bets, Featuring Orioles vs. Nationals, Rays vs. Yankees (Wednesday, June 22)

Wednesday’s MLB slate is packed, with 15 games taking place from the afternoon all the way through the late night.

Our staff is taking full advantage, coming through with five best bets for Wednesday, including Phillies vs. Rangers, Nationals vs. Orioles, Yankees vs. Rays and Giants vs. Braves.

Check out all five of our staff’s top picks for Wednesday’s games below — and be sure to check back tomorrow for more action.

MLB Odds & Picks

Click on a game to skip ahead
Phillies vs. Rangers
4:05 p.m. ET
Nationals vs. Orioles
7:05 p.m. ET
Nationals vs. Orioles
7:05 p.m. ET
Yankees vs. Rays
7:10 p.m. ET
Giants vs. Braves
7:20 p.m. ET

Phillies vs. Rangers

Pick
Phillies ML -135
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Zack Wheeler vs. Jon Gray
First Pitch
4:05 p.m. ET

Jules Posner: The Phillies look to split the short two-game series against the Rangers Wednesday evening.

Zack Wheeler seems to be back at full strength, and he’s starting to pitch much better on the road after a rocky start in away games. He’s given up two or fewer earned runs in his last three road starts, and his road FIP is down to 2.88, which outperforms his 4.50 road ERA.

On the other side, the Phillies offense has been pretty solid, posting a 100 team wRC+ against right-handed pitching on the road over the past few weeks.

Jon Gray is also settling in as a Ranger, and his home FIP is 1.70 — almost two full runs better than his ERA. However, the Rangers offense owns a 94 team wRC+ at home against RHP over the past few weeks, and with Wheeler on the mound, runs will be hard to come by.

If Bryce Harper is healthy enough to return to the lineup, that would also a huge factor. The Phillies moneyline is around -145 right now, and if it remains there or moves to -150, it should still be a solid play.

The Phillies have been playing well as of late, and favorites are performing well this season in general. We might as well tail that.


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Nationals vs. Orioles

Pick
Orioles F5 ML -145
Book
BetMGM
Pitchers
Patrick Corbin vs. Tyler Wells
First Pitch
7:05 p.m. ET

Sean Zerillo: Despite a low strikeout rate, Tyler Wells has excelled in the rotation for the Orioles (3.62 ERA, 3.65 xERA, 4.71 xFIP, 4.72 SIERA) while limiting hard contact. And I suspect that the latter indicators (xFIP and SIERA) are underestimating his actual talent level.

The righty generates more pop-ups than any other pitcher (min. 50 innings pitched) in baseball (18.4%), so he creates a ton of unproductive outs for opposing offenses despite the lack of strikeouts.

Moreover, Wells limits free passes (5% walk rate; 19th amongst 112 qualified pitchers), so opponents need to string multiple hits together to score runs against him.

Conversely, Patrick Corbin has fallen on hard times in his fourth year in Washington. His strikeout minus walk rate or K-BB% (9%) is at the lowest mark of his career, along with both his whiff rate (9.1%) and his chase rate (30.1%).

A .363 BABIP (.313 career) and a 59% strand rate (72.2% career) suggest that Corbin may be due for some positive regression moving forward. However, Corbin’s xERA (6.32) isn’t far off from his actual mark (6.59), as he has allowed more hard contact than all but two pitchers (Yusei Kikuchi and Nathan Eovaldi).

I projected the Orioles as -167 favorites (62.5%) for the first five innings of Wednesday’s contest. You can bet that line up to -153 (60.5% implied) at a 2% edge compared to that projection.


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Nationals vs. Orioles

Pick
Ryan Mountcastle Over 1.5 Bases (+100)
Book
bet365
Pitchers
Patrick Corbin vs. Tyler Wells
First Pitch
7:05 p.m. ET

Nicholas Martin: Patrick Corbin has been arguably the worst starter in baseball this season, and his shocking numbers get worse on the road, where he has pitched to an ERA of 7.47.

Corbin’s analytical profile suggests these dreadful results should continue. It’s unlikely he would still be in the rotation on any team other than the Nationals.

Behind Corbin, the Nationals boast a dreadful bullpen, which has struggled to an ERA of 4.73 in the month of June.

Baltimore has hit to better splits against left-handed pitching this season with a 93 wRC+ and .298 woba.

Ryan Mountcastle, in particular, has hit left-handed pitching effectively this season with a .288 average so far. That’s not surprising, as his 27 barrelled balls versus left-handed pitching since the start of 2021 ties for 12th in the league.

Over the last 14 days, Mountcastle has slugged .800 versus lefties and should prove to be a very tough target for Corbin.

I see value for Mountcastle to hit for over 1.5 bases in this matchup at +100, especially as the Orioles should be able to turn the lineup over often. I would play this prop down to -110.


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Yankees vs. Rays

Pick
Over 7
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Jordan Montgomery vs. Shane Baz
First Pitch
7:10 p.m. ET

DJ James: Shane Baz, the top prospect for the Rays will throw against Jordan Montgomery and the Yankees on Wednesday.

Baz has pitched just twice this season. He exited one after only 2 1/3 innings of work against the Twins and tossed six strong shutout innings against the Orioles in the other.

To make a long story short: He could be volatile going up against the Yankees and the No. 1 offense against right-handers in June (158 wRC+).

Montgomery is one of the most consistent arms on the Yankees. However, he’s punching above his weight with a 2.73 ERA and 3.83 xERA. He will give up a few runs, especially when facing the Rays lineup.

The Rays have a team .346 OBP off of southpaws in June, as well as a team 124 wRC+. Since the Yankees and the Rays have both experienced some up-and-down bullpen performances, seven total runs is far too low for the abilities of these offenses against these starting pitchers.

Baz could very well become the ace the Rays expect, but the Yankees will tag him for a few early. The same should be said about Montgomery. Take the over 7 (-115), and play to 8 (-110).


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Giants vs. Braves

Pick
Giants ML +125
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Carlos Rodon vs. Charlie Morton
First Pitch
7:20 p.m. ET

Anthony Dabbundo: Charlie Morton looked like vintage Morton on Friday against Chicago when he struck out nine Cubs in seven scoreless innings. His strikeout numbers have made a clear recovery in recent weeks, but the veteran right-hander is still struggling with allowing hard contact this year.

Hitters are barreling him more, hitting more balls in the air, and the results have been suboptimal for Morton’s batted ball profile. Morton has lived in the 40s in his ground-ball rate each of the last three seasons, but that number has dipped to 37.5% this season.

His barrel rate is below average for the first time in the Statcast era, and his 4.45 xERA is a full run higher than the last two seasons.

Morton’s Stuff+ rating has dropped off marginally this year as he’s getting fewer outs with his best pitch, the curveball. His xwOBA allowed on the breaking ball went from .180 last season to .342 this year. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but hitters are clearly reading it more this season.

At this point in their careers, Carlos Rodon is the considerably better pitcher. His Stuff+ rating is higher, and his slider is dominant.

Take out his one blow-up against the Cardinals — who are elite against lefties — and Rodon has allowed two or fewer runs in 11 of his 12 starts. Only the Reds, who scored three on him, and the Cardinals, who scored eight, have tagged him considerably.

Atlanta has been dominant against lefties this season (126 wRC+), but I’m a bit skeptical of the predictiveness split given how much it struggled against them in 2021 (93 wRC+) and 2020 (100 wRC+).

Odds are it’s just statistical noise, and the Braves will only be league average against lefties going forward. I’d play San Francisco at +110 or better.


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