Over the last two days, baseball fans of every team have gotten used to their starting pitcher getting searched by a home plate umpire for the use of foreign substances. When the new policy first came out, bettors started rumbling about what that would mean for specific lines and if we were in for a run of high-scoring games with pitchers no longer able to use certain substances. On the Dodgers-Padres telecast on Monday night, the announcers repeatedly speculated if Urias was getting used to this new policy. He has walked ten batters in his last five starts after issuing just one or fewer free passes in eight of his first ten. However, one could argue that Urias’s struggles (6.31 ERA over his last five starts) are due to fatigue, as his 88 innings are already a career-high.
While bettors scrutinize every uptick in stats for certain pitchers, that scrutiny does not seem to apply to New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom.
You're searching deGrom? That's like searching Jesus for hidden loaves and fishes. You don't question miracles, you marvel at them. https://t.co/shkMlCDa3f
— Mike Schmidt (@The40YearOldBoy) June 21, 2021
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: 92-74-3 (+9.10 units)
Pittsburgh Pirates ML (+140)
The Pittsburgh Pirates own baseball’s second-worst run differential at -94 runs, yet we still take our chances on them as big underdogs against one of the American League’s best teams. The Chicago White Sox have not looked like themselves lately and are suddenly feeling the weight of the Cleveland Indians breathing down their neck in the AL Central. The White Sox have lost five straight games and are 4-6 in their last ten, which suggests they may feel the effects of the mounting injuries to Nick Madrigal, Eloy Jimenez, and Luis Robert.
The biggest reason for this wager is the recent struggles of Chicago’s starting pitcher, Dylan Cease. Cease (5-3, 3.99) is 3-0 with a 1.63 ERA in seven home starts this year but is just 2-33 with a 6.89 ERA in seven road starts. He is 1-4 with a 4.55 ERA in six interleague starts, and his WHIP, OBA, and K:BB ratio are all worse in his daytime starts than his starts at night.
Pittsburgh counters with Chase De Jong (0-1, 4.26), who is still a bit of an unknown in his young career. However, he is passing the test early thus far, as he has allowed two or fewer runs in three of his four starts. While Chicago’s offense should prove to be his most formidable challenge yet, De Jong has not given any indication that he is not up for the challenge.
The White Sox are 0-5 in their last five road games and are 1-6 in their previous seven meetings with the Pirates in Pittsburgh. The Pirates are also 7-1 in their previous eight interleague games against a right-handed starter, so it is not too far-fetched to think the Pirates could steal another one today.
Giants-Angels UNDER 8 runs (-113)
The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Angels have played high-scoring affairs of late, as the over is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings between them. However, with arguably each team’s best pitcher on the mound today, a low-scoring battle should buck that trend.
If not for Jacob deGrom’s stellar season, Giants starter Kevin Gausman would be getting a lot more recognition. Gausman’s 1.51 ERA is second only to deGrom, and his 8-1 record is tied with St. Louis’s Jack Flaherty for the best winning percentage of any pitcher with at least nine decisions. His 0.77 WHIP ranks third in the majors, and he has 103 strikeouts to go with 19 walks in 89.2 innings.
Los Angeles’s Shohei Ohtani (3-1, 2.70) has pitched to a 2.65 ERA in three June starts. He is 2-0 with a 1.78 ERA in six home starts and has 23 strikeouts to three walks in his last three outings.
Something has to give, as the under is 6-0 in San Francisco’s last six road games, while the over is 13-4 in Los Angeles’s last 17 games overall. The tiebreaking factor is that the under is 5-0 in Ohtani’s previous five starts versus teams with a winning record, while we were already counting on a solid performance from Gausman. Also, this is a day game in Los Angeles, so do not underestimate the advantage the pitchers will have when the shadows start creeping in.
Colorado Rockies ML (-110)
Colorado’s road struggles have been well-documented, as they enter this game just 5-28 in their 34 road games. However, they face a left-handed starter in Seattle’s Justus Sheffield, which has been good news for the Rockies’ offense this year.
Colorado ranks second in the majors with a .277 team batting average and third in the majors with a .787 OPS against left-handed pitching. They are 4-1 in their last five interleague road games against a left-handed starter, and the over has cashed in each of their previous four road games against a lefty. Justus Sheffield (5-6, 5.65) is coming off allowing a season-high seven earned runs in his last start and has been susceptible to the long ball as he has been tagged for two home runs in his previous three starts.
The Rockies counter with German Marquez (5-6, 4.26), who is coming off a masterful six-inning performance against the Brewers where he allowed no runs and one hit over six innings. Marquez has allowed one earned run or fewer in six of his last eight starts. He is prone to the occasional blow-up, as he has allowed eight earned runs twice this year. In addition, the Rockies are 0-4 in his last four starts against teams with a winning record. However, it is too hard to ignore how he is pitching of late, and we are banking on the Rockies’ offense to give him enough run support to account for any struggles tonight.
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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.
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