Every team in Major League Baseball plays in a stacked slate on Wednesday with 16 total games. Our MLB analysts have four best bets, with all four at plus-money. Check out their analysis and picks below.
MLB Odds & Picks
Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Yankees
Jules Posner: The Los Angeles Angels have lost six straight games and are 3-7 in their last 10. Since Anthony Rendon hit the IL, the Angels offense has been in a steady slide.
After getting beaten down in the Bronx on Tuesday night, the Angels have to face the Yankees’ statistical ace in Nestor Cortes.
Cortes has been excellent at home this season with a 1.96 ERA and a 2.49 FIP in 2022. The Angels had a 106 team wRC+ against LHP on the road in May, but that is actually only middle of the production pack. Additionally, Cortes has not been pitching like a league average LHP.
The Angels’ statistical non-ace, Reid Detmers, takes the mound in Yankee Stadium, and he’s really struggled on the road this season. So far he has an 8.49 ERA and 5.28 FIP over 11 and 2/3 innings on the road this year. The Yankees have done well against LHP at home over the month of May, posting a 121 team wRC+.
Considering the Angels’ recent slide and the Yankees being one of the best in the league, the runline seems to have the best value on the slate. They are in plus money at -1.5 and should be taken even if they slip into minus territory.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Chicago White Sox
DJ James: Even if the Chicago White Sox are without Tim Anderson, this team is still above average when facing left-handed pitching. They will get that opportunity on Wednesday, when Hyun-Jin Ryu takes the bump for the Blue Jays. Michael Kopech will go for the White Sox, and he has a fantastic 1.29 ERA with a 2.70 xERA. Now, that may be a little lucky, but 2.70 is still great.
This month, the White Sox hold a 103 wRC+ off of lefties. Much of this is due to Anderson, but do not forget that Ryu got tagged for seven earned runs when he faced a similar White Sox team last August. Luis Robert, Yoán Moncada, José Abreu, Yasmani Grandal, Andrew Vaughn, and Jake Burger all hold a .390+ xwOBA off of southpaws this season. That should be more than enough firepower against Ryu.
In the other dugout, Toronto only has a wRC+ of 89 in May off of right-handers. Kopech is showing his prowess and looks to be getting better as the season wears on. Do not expect him to give up many to this slumping lineup. Yes, on paper the Blue Jays are stacked, but Kopech will limit any damage and hand it to the Chicago bullpen after six or seven strong, as he has in three straight appearances. Take the White Sox at +120 and play them at -120.
Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers
Tanner McGrath: We need to have an honest conversation about Tarik Skubal.
Everyone thought Matt Manning was the next young pitching stud in Detroit, or maybe it would be Casey Mize.
Nope, it’s Skubal, who’s on pace to be an All-Star this season.
In 51 and 2/3 innings over nine starts (5 2/3 per start on average), Skubal’s kept every important metric under 3.00 (2.44 ERA, 2.68 xERA, 2.04 FIP, 2.74 xFIP). He’s striking out nearly 10 batters per nine innings while keeping his Walk Rate below 4.5%.
Among AL pitchers this season, Skubal is tied for second in fWAR (2.0). He might not just be an All-Star; he might be a Cy Young candidate too.
Skubal just finally started throwing his slider more. After a few years of being a four-seam-heavy pitcher, this is the first season he’s pivoted to the slider as his most-used pitch.
Last season, Skubal posted a +6 Run Value on the four-seam and a -7 Run Value on the slider. So far this season, he’s posted a -7 Run Value on the slider and a -1 Run Value on the four-seam. The adjusted approach is working.
Meanwhile, the Twins are second-to-last in MLB in Weighted Slider Runs Created (-17.7). The Twins’ pitcher today, Bailey Ober, pairs his 3.25 ERA with a 5.10 xERA behind a .537 xSLG (11th percentile).
The bullpen matchup is mostly a wash, with both teams having posted a 3.75 xFIP reliever over the last 30 days. And while the Twins’ lineup is much better, I still see value with Skubal and the Tigers as home underdogs.
I’d play the Tigers at anything better than +100.
Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers
Sean Zerillo: I have already discussed Skubal at length this year and consider him a significant player for the Cy Young award as a longshot (+4000).
His expected metrics (2.68 xERA, 2.74 xFIP, 2.91 SIERA) justify a 2.44 ERA. Skubal used to be a flyball pitcher with a home run issue (44 HR allowed through his first 38 career appearances), but he changed his pitch mix midway through 2021, exchanging four-seam fastballs for sinkers and sliders.
From 2020 through the early part of the 2021 season, Skubal threw his four-seam fastball 60% of the time. That rate is down to 28.2% this season.
In turn, he’s steadily increased his sinker usage to 20.3% and doubled his slider usage from 15.7% to 29.8%. Both the slider and sinker have a Groundball Rate right around 50%, and Skubal’s Groundball Rate has increased from 27.7% in 2020 to 38.5% last year to 48.2% this season.
And while I’m personally fond of Bailey Ober, his 2022 metrics (5.10 xERA, 4.29 xFIP, 4.23 SIERA) align with his 2021 results and don’t hold a candle to what Skubal is doing.
While Detroit’s offense is miserable (78 wRC++, 30th), and the Twins can mash (112 wRC+, 6th), I still project Detroit as a slight favorite.
You can bet the Tigers’ F5 moneyline to -103 and their full game moneyline to +104.