If you’ll allow me a moment or two of self-indulgence, we’re coming off a really, really good week of bets. The Reds covered, the Rays scored five runs and Zach Eflin had little issue going over his prop of 5.5 strikeouts. That my friends, is a perfect card, and one that brings us to 18-11 on article plays for the 2021 season as a whole. Let’s try and stay in the green with another full schedule if baseball action.
Here are my three favorite MLB bets for Wednesday’s slate on the DraftKings Sportsbook.
To me, Garrett Richards is a ticking time bomb. For the season as a whole, the right-hander’s 5.26 xERA is a full-run higher than his actual ERA; but it’s specifically Richards’ past three starts that have warning lights going off in my head. In that span of time, the veteran has allowed opponents to compile a massive .390 wOBA, and believe me when I tell you that things could have been worse. Not only has the Green Monster saved Richards from a few extra home runs, but of the 53 batted ball events he’s conceded in this stretch, 13.2% have been barrelled and an insane 66.0% have had an exit velocity of at least 95.0 mph. Let me repeat that last part: In Richards’ last three outings, two thirds of his BBEs have been classified as hard hit. The man is just constantly being squared up, at least when he’s not walking half the opposing lineup.
The Braves, who come into tonight’s contest leading the National League in ISO across the past 30 days (.194), should be able to take advantage of Richards’ struggles. Expect them to get into Boston’s bullpen early and put some truly crooked numbers on the scoreboard.
Let’s roll with the underdog in Los Angeles. The Phillies have lost the first two games of this series against the Dodgers, but tonight they’ll send their ace to the mound. Zack Wheeler will try and help his team avoid getting swept on Wednesday, and I think there’s a pretty good chance that he succeeds. I mean, aside from Jacob deGrom, Wheeler might be the hottest pitcher in baseball. In his past five outings, the RHP has maintained a pristine 1.65 FIP, thanks primarily to a massive 41.2% strikeout rate and his ability to hold opponents to a modest .197 wOBA. Those numbers are insane and they paint a pretty clear picture as to why Philadelphia is 5-2 in Wheeler’s past seven trips to the mound.
As for Los Angeles, this is a team not operating at full-strength. Corey Seager and Max Muncy are currently on the injured list, and it seems that Cody Bellinger might be joining his teammates within the next few days. Also, Clayton Kershaw has somehow surrendered at least five earned runs in three of his past six starts. Considering how well certain bats in the Phillies’ lineup have hit lefties in 2021 — Andrew McCutchen and Rhys Hoskins spring to mind — I like Philadelphia’s chances of getting Wheeler some run support.
We’ve got a battle of two underwhelming pitchers in Seattle this evening. Justus Sheffield will be toeing the rubber for the Mariners, while Bailey Ober gets the call for the Twins. Needless to say, neither of these gentlemen strike fear into the hearts of their opponents.
Sheffield comes into Wednesday with a 5.58 ERA in his past six starts, a span of time that’s seen the lefty surrender a .388 opponent wOBA. It’s really not hard to see the faults in Sheffield’s game, either. In that same six-start run, the 25-year-old has struck out just 14.8% of the batters he’s faced, while he’s also posted an ugly 9.2% walk rate. He’ll be in tough against the Twins tonight, as Minnesota possesses the American League’s best ISO against LHPs (.199). Remember, for as awful as the Twins have been this season, it’s the pitching that’s been the real issue. The bats have mostly been fine.
Speaking of, let’s get to Ober. The soft-tossing RHP has only made three appearances at the MLB-level, and while he’s survived those outings, the underlying numbers aren’t great. Ober’s conceded 2.08 opponent home runs per nine and his xERA is a robust 6.38. The rookie is an extreme fly ball pitcher who is currently giving up hard contact and barrels at a dangerous clip. That’s not exactly the archetype of a successful pitcher.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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