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Note: This file has been updated with overnight pitching changes and weather-related postponements, along with the addition of the latest MLB game odds as of the indicated time of publication.
What you need to know for Wednesday
By Todd Zola
After a doubleheader-laden Tuesday, Wednesday offers a standard 15-game docket, albeit with a handful of matinees on getaway day for several squads. The slate begins with a pair of 1:10 p.m. ET affairs, one of which features the top pitching matchup of the day with Corbin Burnes and the Milwaukee Brewers hosting Max Fried and the Atlanta Braves. The other early game is in Tropicana Field with Drew Rasmussen and the Tampa Bay Rays entertaining Eduardo Rodriguez and the Detroit Tigers. After some early struggles, Rodriguez has righted the ship with consecutive quality starts, so he merits a lineup spot, even for a tough road tilt. On the other hand, the safe play is keeping Logan Webb on reserve in the 3:40 p.m. ET matchup in Coors Field between the visiting San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies.
The day slate is devoid of streamers, and unfortunately, the night action isn't much better in that regard. Drew Smyly (4% rostered in ESPN leagues) has lost his last four starts but has a good chance to stop the skid with a home date against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Chicago Cubs left-hander squares off with the seventh-least productive offense with a southpaw on the hill. As such, Smyly checks in as the slate's top spot-starter and lower-priced DFS play.
Dane Dunning (8% rostered) is the "best of the rest" among starters available in more than 50% of ESPN leagues, but he faces a formidable foe. Dunning looks to rebound from his worst outing of the season after the Boston Red Sox tallied five runs against him in 5⅔ innings last weekend. Next up for the Texas Rangers right-hander is a home date with the Los Angeles Angels and the league's fourth-most prolific offense facing righties, although the Halos do offer some strikeout upside for Dunning.
The best place to find batters to stream is no surprise, as the platoon-happy Giants have a bevy of right-handed swingers to deploy against southpaw Kyle Freeland in Coors Field. The list includes Wilmer Flores (55%), Thairo Estrada (47%), Darin Ruf (2%), Evan Longoria (1%), Austin Slater (1%) and Curt Casali (1%). Other standalone options from around the league are Gavin Sheets (3%), Jesus Sanchez (22%), Danny Jansen (11%) and Harold Ramirez (1%).
One of the most difficult decisions for fantasy managers is trusting a pitcher in their first outing after a long absence, especially when the hurler is normally an automatic start. Specifically, Blake Snell is slated to make his 2022 debut for the San Diego Padres in Citizens Bank Park against the Philadelphia Phillies. Those who stashed Snell probably did so because he posted a 1.83 ERA and an 0.77 WHIP to close out the 2021 campaign, fanning 65 over his final 44⅓ innings. Snell threw fewer curves and abandoned his changeup down the stretch, relying more on his four-seamer and his slider. The Phillies hit southpaws well, so it is a risk, but Snell fanned 15 with just two walks over nine frames in his last two rehab starts. Going the "wait and see" route is defensible, but after last season's pitch-mix shuffle and strong rehab stints, those needing a pitching boost should go ahead and activate Snell.
It's not too late to start another free fantasy baseball league. Leagues drafted this week will start scoring fresh the following Monday.
Starting pitcher rankings for Wednesday
Best sub-50% rostered hitters for Wednesday
Best and worst hitters from the day are generated by THE BAT X, a projection system created by Derek Carty using advanced methods like those used in MLB front offices, accounting for a variety of factors including player talent, ballparks, bullpens, weather, umpires, defense, catcher pitch-framing, and lots more.
Joc Pederson (SF, CF -- 45%) at Freeland
LaMonte Wade Jr. (SF, RF -- 5%) at Freeland
Mike Moustakas (CIN, 3B -- 12%) at Quantrill
Tommy La Stella (SF, 2B -- 1%) at Freeland
AJ Pollock (CHW, LF -- 22%) at Greinke
Ben Gamel (PIT, LF -- 15%) at Smyly
Worst over-50% rostered hitters for Wednesday
Travis d'Arnaud (ATL, C -- 73%) at Burnes
Dylan Carlson (STL, CF -- 63%) at Scherzer
Austin Riley (ATL, 3B -- 99%) at Burnes
Rowdy Tellez (MIL, 1B -- 62%) vs. Fried
Ozzie Albies (ATL, 2B -- 100%) at Burnes
THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Wednesday
Prop of the Day
Logan Webb strikeouts: Over/Under 4.5 (+130/-175)
THE BAT X sees Webb putting up 3.2 strikeouts for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 24.5% of the time. THE BAT X believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $32.61.
Note: Expected Value is a measure of how good a bet is, factoring the probability that it will win versus the odds the book is providing. If you were to wager $1.00 100 times on a bet with an Expected Value of $25, you would win some and you would lose some, but in the end you would expect to come away with $25 in profit on your $100 investment.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE OVER
Webb will have the handedness advantage against seven opposing hitters today.
Webb has been unlucky with his strikeouts this year, notching a 6.10 K/9 despite THE BAT X estimating his true talent level to be 7.82 - a 1.73 K/9 difference.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
THE BAT X projects Webb to throw 83 pitches in this game (ninth-least of all pitchers today), considering both his underlying tendencies and the matchup.
Coors Field ranks as the No. 30 venue in the game for strikeouts, per THE BAT X projection system.
The weather report calls for the second-best hitting weather of today's slate.
Webb's fastball velocity has fallen 1 mph this season (91.2 mph) below where it was last year (92.2 mph).