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
Friday's schedule consists of the standard 15 games, all contested under the lights. The slate has a bit of everything, including ace pitching, arms to stream and offenses to target. Let's begin with the top pitcher to pick up as Michael Lorenzen (34% rostered in ESPN leagues) checks in as the sixth best starter on Friday's matchup when the Angels host the Mariners. Lorenzen is coming off a rough start against the Mariners, but the rematch is in Anaheim.
Mitch Keller (3%) is an intriguing pickup for the Pirates' road date with the Rays. Tampa's strikeout prone lineup is missing several key bats. In late May, Keller reduced his four-seam usage, instead throwing a sinker taught to him by Yankees closer Clay Holmes when they were teammates last season. In four starts since making the change, Keller has posted a 2.42 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. However, much of that is better luck with a lower BABIP and fewer homers. Even so, this is a good spot for Keller to build on his recent roll.
Three more hurlers to consider for a spot start are Alex Cobb (24%), Dylan Bundy (19%) and Cole Irvin (11%). Cobb is still owed a steep ERA correction and with the Reds visiting Oracle Park, the descent is likely to commence. Bundy is coming off his best outing of the season. He is in a favorable spot to keep it going against a Rockies offense with pedestrian road numbers. Irvin's low strikeouts make him a risk, but the Royals lineup sports the sixth lowest wOBA with a lefty on the hill.
Kyle Hendricks has been a disappointment, though he has fanned six in each of his last two efforts. Even so, the St. Louis Cardinals hitters are in a favorable spot for DFS or traditional fantasy. The chief targets include Dylan Carlson (54%), Harrison Bader (53%), Brendan Donovan (44%), Nolan Gorman (25%), and Juan Yepez (8%). Donovan is especially enticing with eligibility at first, second and third while hitting from the two-hole.
A pair of Diamondbacks are in a juicy position facing Detroit righty Rony Garcia as Alek Thomas (15%) Josh Rojas (34%) enjoy the platoon while hitting in the upper third of the order. Michael Chavis (4%) has been getting the job done from the cleanup spot for the Pirates while Jarren Duran (3%) sits atop a productive Red Sox offense.
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.
Rowdy Tellez (MIL, 1B -- 49%) vs. Alek Manoah
Ramon Laureano (OAK, CF -- 8%) at Zack Greinke
Kole Calhoun (TEX, RF -- 6%) vs. Paolo Espino
Yandy Diaz (TB, 1B -- 31%) vs. Mitch Keller
Christian Walker (ARI, 1B -- 41%) vs. Rony Garcia
David Peralta (ARI, LF -- 14%) vs. Garcia
Hunter Dozier (KC, RF -- 18%) vs. Cole Irvin
AJ Pollock (CHW, LF -- 26%) vs. Austin Voth
Josh Naylor (CLE, RF -- 42%) vs. Nick Pivetta
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Wednesday
Oneil Cruz (PIT, SS -- 52%) at Jeffrey Springs
Joey Gallo (NYY, LF -- 53%) vs. Justin Verlander
Mark Canha (NYM, LF -- 67%) at Sandy Alcantara
Eduardo Escobar (NYM, 2B -- 66%) at Alcantara
Eric Hosmer (SD, 1B -- 60%) vs. Aaron Nola
Luis Urias (MIL, 3B -- 53%) vs. Alek Manoah
Thairo Estrada (SF, SS -- 62%) vs. Graham Ashcraft
Jurickson Profar (SD, 1B -- 90%) vs. Nola
Kyle Farmer (CIN, SS -- 57%) at Alex Cobb
Brandon Drury (CIN, LF -- 85%) at Cobb
THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Today
Prop of the Day
Julio Urias Pitching Outs: Over/Under 16.5 (-115/-115)
THE BAT sees Urias putting up 14.0 pitching outs for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 33.2% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $28.57.
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
Truist Park has the fourth-deepest LF dimensions among all parks.
Julio Urias has a reverse platoon split and should be aided by facing seven opposite-handed hitters in this matchup.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
THE BAT X projects Urias to throw 78 pitches in this game (third-least on the slate), considering both his underlying tendencies and the matchup.
The Atlanta Braves projected offense grades out as the third-best on the slate.
High temperatures are strongly correlated with more offense (and fewer strikeouts), and the weatherman calls for the fourth-hottest weather of all games on the slate at 86 degrees.
Urias's fastball velocity has dropped 1.6 mph this year (92 mph) below where it was last season (93.6 mph).