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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
Wednesday's schedule gets underway early at 12:35 PM ET with the Pittsburgh Pirates hosting the Oakland Athletics. There is only one other day game which features the San Diego Padres hosting the Seattle Mariners at 4:10 PM ET. Of the four pitchers scheduled to take the hill in the afternoon affairs, Roansy Contreras (4.6%) is the best streaming option. The Pirates 23-year-old righthander didn't allow a homer in his first five outings this season, spanning 27 2/3 innings. Since then, he's surrendered seven long balls in 28 1/3 frames. On Wednesday, Contreras faces an Athletics lineup with the fourth lowest home run rate with a righty on the hill. They also fan at a 26.3% clip, the second highest in MLB.
The slate's top streaming option is Edward Cabrera who will take the hill in South Beach for a juicy home date with the Kansas City Royals. His surface stats may not show it yet, but Cabrera has taken a couple steps forward, though he continues to walk hitters at an alarming rate. However, Cabrera's control is also showing signs of improvement. The 25-year-old right-hander posted a 19.8% walk rate over his first six starts, but he dropped it to a palatable 8.6% mark during his last six efforts. The Royals will tote the fifth lowest wOBA and fifth highest strikeout rate against righties into loanDepot Park.
For the season, the Boston Red Sox sport the sixth best wOBA with a righty on the mound. However, away from Fenway Park they rank 22nd, and they've been even worse for the past month. This helps explain why Tanner Bibee (22.2%) checks in as the seventh highest ranked pitcher for Wednesday as he'll toe the rubber in Progressive Field for the middle game of a three-game set for the Cleveland Guardians. Bibee has been impressive in his freshman campaign, fanning 40 while issuing only 10 free passes in 39 1/3 innings. Opposing Bibee is Kutter Crawford who will be working on three days' rest, thus will likely be more of an extended opener, before handing the baton to the bullpen. Crawford is expected to fill in for the injured Chris Sale. The Red Sox have quietly transitioned to a youth movement with James Paxton the only veteran in their rotation. With Corey Kluber and Nick Pivetta demoted to the bullpen, the club may give recent call up Chris Murphy the start in Thursday's finale, assuming he isn't needed in relief in the first two games of the series.
Noah Syndergaard is scheduled to take the ball for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Great American Ball Park on Wednesday, which means loading up on anyone on the Cincinnati Reds who can run. With 16 stolen bases in 52 1/3 innings, Syndergaard leads the league in total steals allowed as well as steals per game among starting pitchers. Be sure to have Jonathan India (83.6%) in your lineup as he leads the club with a dozen bags. Jake Fraley (11.1%) missed Monday's contest with allergies, but if he has things under control, Fraley and his 11 steals are an option. You may have to act quickly, but with Tuesday's announcement that Elly De La Cruz (13.5%) has been promoted, he's a target for steals, not to mention contributing across the board.
With everyone rightfully focusing on San Francisco Giants hitters for their Coors Field date with Connor Seabold, don't overlook the Arizona Diamondbacks and their road tilt with Patrick Corbin. Nationals Park is a sneaky hitter's park, and a significant upgrade for Diamondbacks hitters. Emmanuel Rivera (.3%) usually hits second against southpaws while Evan Longoria (.3%) still has enough pop to take advantage of the platoon edge.
Starting pitcher rankings for Wednesday
Bullpen usage watch for Wednesday
By Todd Zola
There was a lot of relief activity on Tuesday night which may possibly affect today's games. Let's get to it.
If you've been relying on Yennier Cano for the occasional save along with holds and strikeouts, he's due a day to recover from throwing 25 pitches last night, which came on top of nine tossed on Sunday. The combined 34 will likely leave set up duties to Bryan Baker, though Baker is in a rut, sporting an 11.12 ERA and 2.21 WHIP over his last seven appearances, covering 5 2/3 innings. Closer Felix Bautista threw 11 pitches last night, but he's worked on back-to-back days with more pitches in the lead game.
Raisel Iglesias registered his eighth save last night, requiring 17 pitches in the process. It's been a busy early June for Iglesias as he also recorded saves Saturday and Sunday. Working on three of the last four days, totalling 38 pitches will probably keep Iglesias out of tonight's contest. Nick Anderson is well rested and has collected 10 holds and a save, so he's the top candidate to fill in.
Paul Sewald saved his 12th game last night, needing a rather hefty 22 pitches as the Padres put two runners on before the Mariners closer shut the door. However, it's not a no-brainer to count him out for today's contest as there is precedent for Sewald to work in consecutive games. The strongest argument for Sewald to be available is last night was his first appearance in June, so he's otherwise well rested. Factoring against Sewald is today's game is a matinee so there is a fast turnaround from last night. Andres Munoz is also back in the picture, but he threw 16 pitches last night so he's not likely to be pressured after coming off the IL due to a shoulder strain. Matt Brash and Justin Topa are the safe plays. If Sewald does come back today, they both are in the mix for a hold.
The Angels Carlos Estevez notched his 15th save last night, tying him with Jordan Romano and Felix Bautista for second, behind Emmanuel Clase and his league-leading 19. Estevez is the only of the four without a blown save. It may be a day before Estevez has his next opportunity since he's totalled 26 pitches over the past three days. With Chris Devenski throwing 47 pitches since Sunday, rookie Ben Joyce could be in line for his first career save. The 22-year-old righthander regularly measures triple digits, helping him compile five strikeouts in his first three innings.
Three more closers were flagged for questionable availability tonight, but there is precedent for each to come back the next day after a similar pitch count. As such, it is safe to keep Devin Williams, Felix Bautista and Kenley Jansen in your active lineup.
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.
LaMonte Wade Jr. (SF, RF -- 15%) at Seabold
Michael Conforto (SF, RF -- 14%) at Seabold
Mitch Haniger (SF, RF -- 11%) at Seabold
J.D. Davis (SF, 3B -- 10%) at Seabold
Ryan McMahon (COL, 3B -- 33%) vs. Webb
Jurickson Profar (COL, LF -- 10%) vs. Webb
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Wednesday
Ryan Mountcastle (BAL, 1B -- 76%) at Burnes
Salvador Perez (KC, C -- 93%) at Cabrera
Jeremy Pena (HOU, SS -- 65%) at Bassitt
Tim Anderson (CHW, SS -- 51%) at Vasquez
THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Today
San Francisco Giants at Connor Seabold
Prop of the Day
Brandon Williamson O/U 3.5 strikeouts (-160/+115).
THE BAT sees Williamson putting up 3.0 strikeouts for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 40.7% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $27.46.
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
Brock Ballou profiles as a "pitchers umpire" and is expected to be calling pitches in this game.
Contrary to popular belief, fastballs are generally a pitcher's least effective pitch. Brandon Williamson must realize this, because he has used his off-speed and breaking balls a lot since the start of last season: 73.1% of the time, checking in at the 97th percentile.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
The Los Angeles Dodgers (20.5 K%, according to THE BAT X) are projected to have the fifth-least strikeout-heavy group of hitters today.
Great American Ball Park profiles as the No. 23 venue in MLB for strikeouts, per THE BAT projection system.
The weather report the fourth-best hitting weather of the day, as it relates to temperature and humidity.
The Dodgers have seven batters in the projected lineup that will receive the benefit of the platoon advantage against Williamson in this game, which is especially precarious given his large platoon split.