Look for our fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings, hitter upgrades and downgrades daily to help you make smart fantasy baseball lineup decisions and for MLB betting tips. MLB game odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is geared towards ESPN 10-team leagues with standard scoring.
Note: This file has been updated with overnight pitching changes and weather-related game 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's MLB Games
By Todd Zola
It doesn't matter if it's April or August, if it's Wednesday, matinees are on the MLB docket. Action begins in Citi Field between two teams going in opposite directions as Taijuan Walker and the New York Mets entertain T.J. Zeuch and the Cincinnati Reds. To be fair, the Red upgraded their farm system after dealing Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle. The plan was to use the rest of the season to have youngsters Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene learn on the job, but Greene is out indefinitely with a shoulder issue, hence adding Zeuch to the rotation. Zeuch has been pitching for Triple-A Louisville, fanning 12 over seven innings in his last start, but the Mets should still be able to have a productive afternoon with newly acquired Tyler Naquin (9% rostered in ESPN leagues) and Daniel Vogelbach (6%) both in play as hitting streamers.
Wednesday features a treasure trove of pitchers to stream. Baseball is a game featuring symmetry with threes and nines, so let's discuss some spot-starters, three at a time. Josiah Gray (32%) and Aaron Civale (34%) are listed highest in the rankings. Gray has home run issues, but he faces the Cubs who sport one of the least powerful offenses in the league. Civale will be making his first start in almost two months, but it will come in Detroit against the league's worth offense facing righthanders.
Next up are Jeffrey Springs (30%), Justin Steele (8%) and Madison Bumgarner (16%). Springs has a tough matchup in Milwaukee, but he's posted a 2.85 ERA and 1.15 WHIP with 69 punch outs to only 13 walks in 66 1/3 innings since becoming a starter. Steele has fanned an impressive 44 hitters over his prior 36 2/3 frames, with a chance to add to that total when the Cubs host a depleted Nationals lineup. Bumgarner draws a Pirates club toting the fourth lowest wOBA and second highest strikeout rate against lefties to the desert.
The final trio is Paul Blackburn (39%), Mitch Keller (6%) and Kris Bubic (5%). Blackburn's lack of dominance makes him risky, as evidenced by surrendering four homers to the Angels in his last outing, However, the rematch is at home where Blackburn should record a better effort. Keller has six straight outings where he's thrown at least six innings, the last five registering as quality starts. He's in a favorable spot to extend the streak on the road against the Diamondbacks. Finally, Bubic faces the White Sox at home, but he's also on a quality start streak, all against the AL East (Blue Jays, Rays, Red Sox and Yankees).
Let's finish with a six-pack of hitters in a favorable spot to fortify a fantasy offense. Trent Grisham (50%) has been hitting the ball hard since the break and is due to go on a roll. On Wednesday, he'll enjoy the platoon bump on Jakob Junis. Paul DeJong (3%) has hit well since his recall and how faces Kyle Freeland with the platoon edge in Coors Field, where DeJong's flyball tendencies should thrive. Peyton Burdick (1%) has the on base skills and speed to take advantage of facing Noah Syndergaard. Baltimore's Terrin Vavra (1%) is playing against all righthanders. On Wednesday, he'll face the Blue Jays inconsistent Jose Berrios in what has surprisingly become an important AL East matchup between wild card contenders. The Diamondbacks Jake McCarthy (1%) and Kansas City's Michael Massey (1%) both benefit from the platoon bump on Mitch Keller and Johnny Cueto, respectively.
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.
Elias Diaz (COL, C -- 5%) vs. Quintana
Jose Iglesias (COL, SS -- 16%) vs. Quintana
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Wednesday
Jonah Heim (TEX, C -- 52%) at Verlander
Adolis Garcia (TEX, CF -- 85%) at Verlander
Yasmani Grandal (CHW, C -- 57%) at Kris Bubic
THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Today
St. Louis Cardinals at Kyle Freeland
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Sonny Gray
Prop of the Day
Robbie Ray Pitching Outs: Over/Under 17.5 (-180/+135)
THE BAT sees Ray putting up 17.0 pitching outs for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 46.6% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $25.51.
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
T-Mobile Park grades out as the No. 29 field in the game for walks, via THE BAT projection system.
The weatherman calls for the second-best pitching weather of all games on the slate today, as it relates to temperature and humidity.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
Ramon De Jesus projects as a "hitters umpire" and is expected to be in charge of the strike zone today.
The wind projects to be blowing out to left field at 8.9-mph in this contest, the second-strongest of the day for hitters.
Robbie Ray's fastball velocity has fallen 1.8 mph this season (92.4 mph) below where it was last season (94.2 mph).