Four days ago, Major League Baseball underdogs had an outright winning record on the season, as they were 132-129 SU against the favorites. Entering Tuesday, the momentum had swung back to the favorites, as they were 33-20 in the last 53 games and took a 165-149 lead on the season. Nevertheless, with many underdogs winning outright at +150 odds or higher, bettors who wagered on every underdog to this point are still profiting mightily. Will the momentum keep going the favorites’ way today?
Here are my MLB top betting plays for Wednesday. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook):
View the best player prop bets for today’s slate with our MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>
YTD: 29-24-1 (+2.07 units)
Twins-Indians UNDER 9 runs (-120)
The Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians meet in a battle of left-handed starters, which does not bode well for each team’s lineup. The Twins and Indians rank 12th and 26th respectively in batting average against lefties, and 26th and 19th respectively in terms of OPS. Only the Tigers and Yankees have scored fewer runs than each of these teams in the American League, and Minnesota’s offense, in particular, has scored more than three runs just once in their last eight games.
Twins starter JA Happ (1-0, 1.69 ERA) is coming off one of the best starts of his career. He was five outs away from a no-hitter in his last start against the Pirates and was the first start of his career where he lasted longer than seven innings and gave up one or fewer hits. Outside of Indians slugger Eddie Rosario, the other Indians have no extra-base hits off Happ in 26 combined at-bats.
Cleveland’s starter Logan Allen’s numbers (1-3, 6.28 ERA) do not scream that the under is the right side, but Minnesota’s poor power numbers against lefties suggest that their scoring potential is limited. The over has cashed just once in the last five meetings in Cleveland, and we do not like its chances of it happening today today.
Jacob deGrom UNDER 10.5 strikeouts (-110)
As they have been for quite some time, Jacob deGrom’s starts are must-watch television this year. deGrom has 50 strikeouts through his first four starts and has recorded at least 14 strikeouts in each of his last three starts. The 50 strikeouts pass Shane Bieber’s (2021) and Nolan Ryan’s (1978) previous mark of 48 strikeouts in one’s first four starts.
deGrom is the odds-on favorite to win his third Cy Young in four years, and rightfully so, given his impressive start. His 0.31 ERA and 0.55 WHIP are the best in baseball. However, his player prop of 10.5 strikeouts is inflated given his hot start, and the Boston Red Sox offense he is facing is the best he has encountered all year.
Boston’s 121 runs scored are the second-most in the league. Their lineup has also done an excellent job putting balls in play, as their 197 strikeouts are ninth-fewest in the league. With more offensive success than deGrom is used to allowing, he will likely labor through some innings, which means a higher pitch count leads to a shorter outing. It seems blasphemous to bet the under on deGrom’s strikeouts based on how he has pitched thus far, but there is good value in the under tonight.
Atlanta Braves ML (-126)
A week from yesterday, ESPN.com published an article discussing how poorly the Chicago Cubs were hitting against fastballs this season. At the time, the Cubs were hitting .178 as a team since the start of 2020 against fastballs of 95 mph or more, including a .105 average against that type of heat this season. That does not bode well when facing Braves flamethrower Huascar Ynoa (1-1, 3.68 ERA) tonight.
Ynoa’s four-seam fastball has averaged 96.9 mph this season, which ranked 12th fastest in the league entering Tuesday. He is making his second start of the season against the Cubs, who tagged him for six earned runs on seven hits (including three home runs) in four innings just 11 days ago. However, the Cubs are a different team on the road, as their two road wins are the second-worst in all of baseball. Ynoa will look to build upon the success of his last start when he allowed just two runs on two hits in six innings against the hard-hitting Diamondbacks. Arizona ranks second in the league in home runs, and the fact he was able to limit their power bodes well for a more successful start today. Ynoa has the monkey off his back after earning his first Major League victory and catch pitch more freely tonight.
Atlanta hitters will look to give Ynoa plenty of run support, as they have good career numbers against Chicago’s Kyle Hendricks (1-2, 5.68 ERA). Current Braves are 29-for-83 (.349 BA) against Hendricks, with 12 of those hits being extra-base hits. They are slugging a combined .663 against Hendricks, and six different players have homered off him in their careers.
After being embarrassed by Arizona pitchers in a doubleheader over the weekend, Braves bats have exploded so far in this series. Another big win should be in store today.
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