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 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
Wednesday features the first official summer afternoon games with four matinees, beginning at 2:10 PM ET. The top streaming option of the quartet is Ross Stripling (12% rostered in ESPN leagues) taking the hill for the Toronto Blue Jays on the road in Guaranteed Rate Field to face an injury-riddled Chicago White Sox lineup. Tim Anderson recently returned for the home team, but Yoan Moncada just returned to the IL, joining Eloy Jimenez and Yasmani Grandal. Stripling struggled against the Yankees in his last two starts, but he collected a win in his previous two efforts replacing Hyun-Jin Ryu in the Blue Jays rotation.
George Kirby has recorded a quality start in four of his first eight starts, including three of his last four outings. He's in good shape for another facing the Oakland Athletics and the league's lowest wOBA against right-handers. Kirby should be able to improve his 22.8% strikeout rate in this road tilt facing an offense fanning at a 24% clip.
Tyler Wells (11%) has also recorded a quality start in three of his past four outings, including road efforts in Toronto and Boston. Wells doesn't punch out many hitters, but he's giving the Baltimore Orioles innings, which is integral to points leagues scoring. On Wednesday, the Washington Nationals visit Camden Yards. The regional rivals tote a pedestrian offense, putting Wells in play as a streamer. Jon Gray (59%) and Michael Wacha (54%) are also candidates, so it's worth checking if they're available.
It's been a rough stretch for hitters with some of the game's best listed as day-to-day, including Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Yordan Alvarez and Jose Ramirez. While a superstar's offense can't be replaced long term, playing matchups can help soften the blow. One of prime targets for help is recent callups whose rostership has not yet swelled but is no doubt on the upswing. Examples are Riley Greene (28%), Oneil Cruz (31%), Alex Kirilloff (24%) and Josh Lowe (3%).
Some other hitters in favorable scenarios on the Wednesday slate include Nick Senzel (2%), Tyrone Taylor (3%), Francisco Mejia (2%) and Luis Garcia (9%). Senzel's inclusion is strictly a one-off until he exhibits as the oft-injured Reds outfielder enjoys the platoon edge on Tyler Anderson. Taylor, Mejia and Garcia merit longer term consideration along with helping on Wednesday. Taylor should benefit from the Brewers releasing Lorenzo Cain, while Mejia will play more with the Rays Mike Zunino sidelined indefinitely. The Nationals appear to be giving Garcia a chance to demonstrate his offense is good enough to mitigate his subpar defense.
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.
Andrew Vaughn (CHW, LF -- 50%) vs. Stripling
AJ Pollock (CHW, LF -- 23%) vs. Stripling
Rafael Ortega (CHC, CF -- 1%) at Wilson
Andrew McCutchen (MIL, LF -- 29%) vs. Wainwright
Patrick Wisdom (CHC, 3B -- 39%) at Eickhoff
Nico Hoerner (CHC, 2B -- 7%) at Eickhoff
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Wednesday
Ryan McMahon (COL, 3B -- 59%) at Lopez
Brendan Rodgers (COL, 2B -- 55%) at Lopez
Sean Murphy (OAK, C -- 63%) vs. Kirby
Connor Joe (COL, LF -- 65%) at Lopez
C.J. Cron (COL, 1B -- 97%) at Lopez
THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Wednesday
Prop of the Day
Luis Castillo pitching outs: Over/Under 17.5 (-140/+105)
THE BAT X sees Castillo putting up 15.2 pitching outs for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 34.5% of the time. THE BAT X believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $34.25.
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
THE BAT X projects Castillo in the 93rd percentile when estimating his overall pitching talent level.
Castillo is an extreme groundball pitcher (52.2 GB% per THE BAT X projections), which should make him somewhat immune to the dangers of pitching in Great American Ball Park in this matchup.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
The Dodgers' expected batting order projects as the best on today's slate.
The Dodgers have been the fourth-unluckiest offense in the league this year, according to THE BAT X, and are likely to hit better the rest of the season
Great American Ball Park profiles as the No. 1 park in baseball for home runs, via THE BAT X projection system.
Hot weather is strongly correlated with more offense (and fewer strikeouts), and the weather report calls for the third-highest temperatures of all games on today's slate at 84 degrees.