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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
The calm after the storm. Wednesday is the first post-trade deadline slate, but the fallout will be felt all week as teams shuffle their rotations and lineups to accommodate those leaving and coming on board. Action gets underway at 12:20 p.m. ET with the Atlanta Braves hosting the Los Angeles Angels in the first of six matinees. The nine-game evening docket wraps up with a 10:10 p.m. ET interleague game where the Los Angeles Dodgers host the Oakland Athletics.
Kutter Crawford (3.7% rostered in ESPN leagues) has pitched well in two of his three starts since the break, including last time out when he limited the San Francisco Giants to one run over 5 2/3 innings, fanning seven with just one walk. As a starter, Crawford is sporting an above-average 25.3% strikeout rate and a below-average 6.1% walk rate. His ratios are inflated by a .315 BABIP and 70.2% left on base mark. A 3.51 xFIP as a starter is well below his actual 4.72 ERA in that capacity. On Wednesday, Crawford is in a good spot to lower his ratios when the Boston Red Sox visit the Seattle Mariners, whose lineup has the 11th-worst wOBA and second-highest strikeout rate facing right-handers.
When the season began, no one pegged an early August meeting between Braxton Garrett (30.7% rostered) and the Philadelphia Phillies as a strong streaming opportunity. Four months later, the Phillies offense is languishing in the middle of the pack in wOBA versus southpaws while striking out at an elevated 25.7% clip, the fifth-most in MLB. Meanwhile, Garrett has cemented a spot in the Miami Marlins rotation. Garrett's 1.18 WHIP is 25th-best among pitchers hurling at least 100 frames, with his 22.7% K-BB% landing sixth-highest in that group. Garrett's 3.07 xFIP is a run lower than his 4.08 mark.
MacKenzie Gore (15.8%) has had an uneven season. His 27.1% strikeout rate is excellent, but control and command issues have resulted in too many walks and homers. His ERA is 4.42, but his xFIP is half a run better at 3.90. On Wednesday, Gore has a great opportunity to exploit his strikeout prowess with a home date facing a Milwaukee Brewers offense fanning at a 26.7% pace versus left-handers. There's some risk, so perhaps Gore is best suited for DFS GPP action, but he's viable in traditional fantasy leagues for team managers needing strikeouts. Gore will be opposed by Wade Miley, so the Washington Nationals should provide some run support.
Speaking of the Nationals and Brewers, they are among the worst teams at defending stolen bases. In July, Washington led MLB with 31 pilfers, while Milwaukee was tied for eighth with 21, so expect both clubs to be active on the base paths. The Nationals' CJ Abrams (29.1%) led the majors with 16 steals last month, and Lane Thomas (65.2%) chipped in with five July bags. Alex Call (.4%) and Luis Garcia (11.8%) are also candidates to run. For the Brewers, Christian Yelich leads the team with 22 stolen bases, and Owen Miller (3.9%), Brice Turang (1.1%) and Joey Wiemer are all in double-digits.
Some standalone batters enjoying the platoon edge on Wednesday include the Cincinnati Reds' Christian Encarnacion-Strand (13.8%) and Matt McLain (50.8%) at Wrigley Field facing Drew Smyly, Luis Campusano (1.5%) and Ha-Seong Kim (54.7%) at Coors Field against Kyle Freeland and Kerry Carpenter (2.2%) at PNC Park versus Johan Oviedo.
Starting pitcher rankings for Wednesday
Bullpen usage watch for Wednesday
By Todd Zola
After collecting a save in his first outing for the Miami Marlins on Sunday, David Robertson struggled last night, blowing the save and getting charged with the loss as the Philadelphia Phillies scored three in the ninth to win 3-1. Robertson threw 24 pitches last night, giving him 36 over the last three games. How Miami plans to use Robertson is unclear, but the safe play is assuming he gets the night off, especially when erstwhile closer A.J. Puk is rested.
The San Diego Padres wanted to avoid using Josh Hader last night, but after the Colorado Rockies narrowed the deficit to three runs with runners on second and third with one out, Hader came in and retired the next two batters for his 26th save. Hader has now thrown 59 pitches since Friday, signaling a day on the bullpen bench. newly acquired Scott Barlow has closer experience, so he could debut for his new team in a familiar role today.
David Bednar celebrated not being traded by collecting his 22nd save in the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-1 win over the Detroit Tigers. He fanned two with just nine pitches, but even so, Bednar has tossed 55 pitches since Saturday, so he's due a rest day. Colin Holderman is the top candidate to handle the ninth inning today.
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.
Trent Grisham (SD, CF -- 3%) at Kyle Freeland
Brendan Rodgers (COL, 2B -- 10%) vs. Musgrove
Ezequiel Tovar (COL, SS -- 10%) vs. Musgrove
Gary Sanchez (SD, C -- 7%) at Freeland
Luis Campusano (SD, C -- 2%) at Freeland
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Wednesday
Jazz Chisholm Jr. (MIA, 2B -- 74%) vs. Wheeler
Christian Walker (ARI, 1B -- 93%) at Webb
THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Wednesday
Prop of the Day
Kodai Senga, Mets, 17.5 pitching outs (-150/+120)
THE BAT X sees Senga putting up 16.0 pitching outs for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 38.2% of the time. THE BAT X believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $36.05.
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
Kansas City's projected offense ranks as the fifth-worst of the day in terms of overall offensive ability.
The wind projects to be blowing in from left at 8.1 mph in this matchup, the third-best of the day for mound aces.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
The Royals have been the fourth-unluckiest offense in the game this year, according to THE BAT X, and are likely to perform better over the rest of the season
It is scheduled that we will see a hitter's umpire (Marvin Hudson) in charge of the strike zone today.
The No. 1 venue in baseball for boosting walks, per THE BAT X, is Kauffman Stadium.
The weather forecast projects temperatures in this matchup to reach the highest level of all games on the slate today at 90 degrees, which is highly linked to an increase in offense (and a reduction in strikeouts).