MLB Wednesday best bets: Twins to get early jump
Our three-post streak of 2-0 nights came to an end on Tuesday as we split our two best bets.
We'll aim to start a new run with two more plays for Wednesday night.
The Minnesota Twins let us down last time, but we're returning to them today in a more advantageous spot.
Minnesota is a fantastic offensive team and has hit new levels of late, especially against right-handed pitching. The Twins rank third in wOBA (.352), fourth in ISO (.213), and first in hard-hit rate (42.5%) - by more than 5% - over the last couple of weeks.
The Twins should be chomping at the bit for the opportunity to go up against Triston McKenzie. While he owns a solid 2.94 ERA over the last month, it's all smoke and mirrors - he's been pitching pretty poorly.
McKenzie owns a 5.32 FIP, nearly 2.5 runs above his ERA. He has benefited mightily from a .159 batting average on balls put in play, but that number should regress to the .275 range over time. McKenzie has also stranded 100% - yes, 100% - of the baserunners allowed over 33 innings of work during the last month of action. Again, he's due for serious regression.
The 24-year-old is also struggling mightily to keep the ball on the ground, putting up a 56.3% flyball rate over the last month. None of the other 26 eligible pitchers projected to start today (10+ innings through the last 30 days) have a flyball rate above 44.3%.
If McKenzie can't find a way to limit flyballs, this Twins offense is going to make him pay.
On the other side of things, the Cleveland Guardians seem poised for a tough outing against Sonny Gray. He owns a 1.40 FIP and 26.6 K%, has allowed very little hard contact, and has posted a high ground ball rate over his past three starts. That is hardly ideal for a Guardians offense ranking last in GB% against righties over the last two weeks.
Look for the Twins to get a quick jump on Wednesday night.
Bet: Twins F5 -0.5 (+100)
The Cincinnati Reds are not a good baseball team, particularly when facing right-handed pitching. The Reds' offense is very good against lefties, though, and it just so happens they're facing one today.
Cincinnati ranked sixth in ISO (.204) and fifth in wOBA (.356) against left-handed arms over the last five weeks. The team is lethal against LHP, and even more so on home soil.
Only the Boston Red Sox own a higher wOBA at home versus LHP this season, and no side has a higher hard-hit rate.
Tyler Anderson is a solid pitcher in good form who has punched a little above his weight class of late. Perhaps some of that regression will hit against a Reds team that mashes lefties.
If Cincinnati can plate a few runs, it might be enough for Luis Castillo. He owns a 3.13 FIP and has struck out 9.2 batters per nine innings over the last month.
Castillo has also performed well against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the past, albeit over a small sample. The Dodgers' roster owns a .192 batting average and .256 wOBA through 59 plate appearances against Castillo.
The Reds shouldn't be favored, but at +130, the value in this game lies in the home underdog.
Bet: Reds (+130)
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.