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 will be updated with any overnight pitching changes or 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
We're almost there; 161 down with one to go. Other than the NL East potentially still being up for grabs, there isn't much to play for in terms of the MLB playoff picture, but fantasy titles remain in the balance. A fun quirk to the last day of the regular season is every game will start in the 3 p.m. ET hour. The intent was to prevent teams from knowing ahead of time whether they needed to burn a good starter or be able to save him for the wild--card round.
Max Fried and Jacob deGrom are ready in the event Game 162 is needed to decide who wins the NL East and who hosts the wild-card round against the San Diego Padres. If the game is meaningless, both aces will be scratched. Everything of consequence is decided in the Junior Circuit.
Even with it being the last day of the regular season, a case can be made for a few starters to pitch as normal, with no restrictions. Adrian Sampson (16% rostered in ESPN leagues) heads the list with a road start in Cincinnati. Sampson has strung five quality starts in a row, sporting a 1.16 ERA and 0.94 WHIP over that span, though there has been some smoke and mirrors involved with only 16 strikeouts over 31 innings during the stretch.
Another option is Nick Pivetta (48% rostered), as he'd like to close out a disappointing season on a high note. Pivetta finishes the season facing what should be a makeshift Rays lineup, more concerned with staying healthy with the impending wild-card series.
Alex Cobb (34%) has been one of the best streamers all season, so it's only fitting he is slated to pitch on the last day of the 2022 campaign. Cobb closes out against a Padres lineup gearing up for the wild-card series.
Even though the White Sox faded down the stretch, Davis Martin (3%) quietly pitched well in September, recording a 1.99 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. He'll look to carry that into October with a home start against the Twins.
Identifying hitters is tough since there is no telling what Game 162 lineups may look like or how long the starters may play. As has been suggested, don't count on more than at bat or two from playoff-bound hitters, unless they have a personal objective. The AL and NL home run and RBI titles are decided, with both batting races still up for grabs. In the NL, playoff bound Freddie Freeman and Jeff McNeil are battling for the NL crown. Luis Arraez seems to have secured the AL top spot, though Aaron Judge can still make a run.
The last six-pack of sticks comes with the reminder to check lineups before deciding. Jesus Aguilar (31%) draws Yusei Kikuchi and a parade of Blue Jays relievers. Vinnie Pasquantino (20%) and Michael Massey are slated to face Aaron Civale (1%), but Cleveland is apt to cut his start short and use a slew of bullpen arms. Gavin Sheets (4%) benefits from the platoon bump on Twins rookie Louie Varland while Pittsburgh's Miguel Andujar (1%) closes out the campaign against Matthew Liberatore. The final recommendation of the 2022 is Austin Slater (1%) facing Adrian Morejon.
On behalf of my colleagues Mike Sheets and Derek Carty, we'd like to thank you for your patronage. Good luck, enjoy the offseason. We'll reconvene next spring.
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.
Cavan Biggio (TOR, 3B -- 6%) at Watkins and Baumann
Donovan Solano (CIN, 2B -- 1%) vs. Sampson
Brendan Donovan (STL, 3B -- 27%) at Oviedo
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Wednesday
Daulton Varsho (ARI, C -- 96%) at Burnes
Alec Bohm (PHI, 3B -- 54%) at Valdez
Christian Walker (ARI, 1B -- 80%) at Burnes
Nick Castellanos (PHI, RF -- 88%) at Valdez
Kyle Schwarber (PHI, LF -- 99%) at Valdez
THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Today
Prop of the Day
Bailey Falter Strikeouts: Over/Under 4.5 (+115/-155)
THE BAT sees Falter putting up 3.2 strikeouts for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 23.8% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $39.21.
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
Mark Ripperger profiles as a "pitchers umpire" and is expected to be behind the plate in this game.
Minute Maid Park projects as the No. 3 park in Major League Baseball for strikeouts, according to THE BAT projection system.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
THE BAT X projects Bailey Falter to throw 71 pitches today (fourth-least of the day), considering both his underlying tendencies and the matchup.
The Houston Astros (17.6 K%, according to THE BAT X) project to have the least strikeout-heavy lineup today.
The Astros have seven bats in the projected batting order that will hold the platoon advantage over Falter in this matchup.
Despite conventional wisdom, fastballs are generally a pitcher's least effective pitch. Falter has gone to his fastball a lot this year, though: 63.3% of the time, checking in at the 96th percentile.