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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 with a 12:20 PM ET start in Truist Park with the Atlanta Braves entertaining the Minnesota Twins. The guests will be sending Kenta Maeda (4.8% rostered) to the hill while the hosts are expected to promote Michael Soroka (3.5%), fresh off his no-hit bid for Triple-A Gwinnett. Considering the quality of the offenses, both are too risky to trust in traditional fantasy, but Maeda and Soroka both merit tracking for future deployment. After missing 2022 following Tommy John surgery, Maeda made four April starts before being sidelined for almost two months with a strained triceps. He returned last week, fanning eight Tigers in five scoreless frames. Facing the Braves on the road will be a good test for the veteran right-hander. Soroka will reportedly be promoted to fill the rotation spot vacated by the recent demotion of AJ Smith-Shawver. Last time out for Triple-A Gwinnett, Soroka allowed just one knock in seven frames, punching out nine. Soroka is the better choice of the two starters since he'll have home field advantage and will face the offense with the highest strikeout rate in the league.
There is one other matinee with the Seattle Mariners hosting the Washington Nationals at 4:10 PM ET. The pitching matchup favors the home team as they'll start Logan Gilbert to be opposed by Patrick Corbin, one of the lowest ranked hurlers on the docket. Corbin is especially vulnerable to right-handed batters, rendering Teoscar Hernandez (60.4%), Cal Raleigh (25.3%), Eugenio Suarez (20.4%), AJ Pollock (0.5%), Dylan Moore (0.2%) and Tom Murphy (0.1%) all candidates to help on the hitting ledger.
Logan Allen (11.9%) checks in as the day's top streamer when he toes the rubber at home against the Kansas City Royals. The Cleveland Guardians rookie southpaw has been in a rut, but facing their AL Central counterpart should be the panacea. Allen has uncharacteristically struggled with his control over recent outings, walking 11 in 13 frames, after he issued only 13 free passes over his prior 45 2/3 innings. The Royals are one of the least patient teams in the league, plus they also strike out at an above average clip.
Dane Dunning (18.9%) isn't the most dominant hurler, but he gives the Texas Rangers innings, and with the Detroit Tigers visiting Arlington, Dunning should be in a strong position to pick up a win. He's yielded more than three runs just once this season, and that was in an outing where he gave up three of the four homers he's surrendered all season. The Tigers tote the second-lowest home run rate facing right-handers, along with an above average strikeout rate to help Dunning fan an extra batter or two.
As improbable as it would have seemed entering the season, at the halfway point, JP Sears is in play for a spot start against his former team when the Oakland Athletics face the New York Yankees in RingCentral Coliseum. Sears has punched out 80 in 83 1/3 frames, though he has surrendered 18 homers in that span. However, without Aaron Judge, the Yankees aren't nearly as intimidating, especially on the road. Giancarlo Stanton will likely find a groove, but since returning in early June, he's hitting just .121/.215/.241.
Starting pitcher rankings for Wednesday
Bullpen usage watch for Wednesday
By Todd Zola
Alexis Diaz collected his 22nd save last night, but a walk and a hit batsman elevated his pitch count to 20. Diaz needed 21 pitches on Sunday, so the 41 combined over the past three days puts Diaz's availability for tonight's game in jeopardy. He's worked in back-to-back fashion multiple times this season, but never with as heavy of a recent workload. Buck Farmer has emerged as the next-in-line with six holds and two saves on his ledger.
Emmanuel Clase registered his league-leading 24th save last night, locking down the Cleveland Guardians 2-1 road win in Kansas City. After last night's effort, Clase has now tossed 31 pitches over the prior three days, and 48 over the past four. The catch is main setup man Trevor Stephan has amassed a similar recent workload, leaving late-inning duties to Sam Hentges, Enyel De Los Santos and Eli Morgan.
It wasn't pretty, but Carlos Estevez managed to save a win for Shohei Ohtani last night. Estevez was brought into the ninth with the Los Angeles Angels leading the Chicago White Sox 4-1. Estevez allowed four hits and a run, but still escaped with his 20th save. He's now worked on consecutive days, but Estevez only threw five pitches on Monday and previous to these two outings, Estevez past appeared over a week ago, so it's not a foregone conclusion he'll be avoided today. Chris Devenski needed only 10 pitches to fan two and collect his 10th hold last night, so he's back in the late inning mix and available if needed tonight.
Paul Sewald was charged with a blown save last night as he allowed the Washington Nationals to tie the game in the eighth inning last night. The Seattle Mariners went on to lose 7-4 in 11 frames. Sewald has now pitched on two straight days, but he threw only five pitches on Monday. Even so, picking up Andres Munoz makes sense since he's now back in the late-inning mix, and would have been in line for a save had Sewald not allowed a run.
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.
Jonny Deluca (LAD, RF -- 0%) at Freeland
Jurickson Profar (COL, LF -- 9%) vs. Grove
Elias Diaz (COL, C -- 48%) vs. Grove
Ezequiel Tovar (COL, SS -- 8%) vs. Grove
Miguel Rojas (LAD, SS -- 1%) at Freeland
Nolan Jones (COL, RF -- 18%) vs. Grove
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Wednesday
Ian Happ (CHC, LF -- 55%) vs. Nola
Dansby Swanson (CHC, SS -- 85%) vs. Nola
Spencer Steer (CIN, 3B -- 73%) at Gibson
THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Today
Prop of the Day
Braxton Garrett O/U 5.5 strikeouts (-100/-130)
THE BAT sees Garrett putting up 4.0 Strikeouts for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 23.6% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $45.65.
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 projection system projects Braxton Garrett in the 82nd percentile when assessing his strikeout skill.
Contrary to popular belief, fastballs are generally a pitcher's least effective pitch. Braxton Garrett has relied on his off-speed and breaking balls 13.8% more often this season (66.2%) than he did last season (52.4%).
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
Via THE BAT projection system, the team with the fifth-least strikeout-prone lineup today is the Boston Red Sox with a 21% underlying K%.
The wind projects to be blowing out to LF at 11.5-mph in this match-up, the strongest of the day for hitters.
With six bats of the opposite hand in the opposing team's projected offense, Braxton Garrett will be in a tough position while lacking the platoon advantage in most plate appearances in today's matchup.
Braxton Garrett's 89.3-mph velocity on his fastball this season is a sizeable 1.5-mph drop off from last season's 90.8-mph figure.