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There’s only one NBA playoff game Wednesday so I’m looking for some action in MLB. I dug deep and landed on two home underdogs whose games I won’t even watch. Instead, I’ll probably catch up on Barry or Beavis & Butthead.
That said, I’m pretty happy with my analysis of the Brewers-Rockies and Mariners-Athletics games. Hopefully, I can wake up Thursday morning up money in my sports betting account.
Plug your nose because we’re rolling with some stinky ‘dogs in the MLB Wednesday.
Milwaukee Brewers (18-11) at Colorado Rockies (10-20), 8:40 p.m. ET
Colorado won the series opener 3-2 Tuesday thanks to a go-ahead RBI single by Rockies C Elias Diaz in the bottom of the 8th. Both teams start lefties Wednesday.
LHP Kyle Freeland (2-3, 4.32 ERA) gets the nod for the Rockies Wednesday. Freeland has lost three consecutive starts, giving up 14 ER and 5 HR vs. the Pirates, at the Phillies, and vs. the D-Backs.
Brewers starting LHP Eric Lauer (3-2, 5.19 ERA) got raked in his last outing. Lauer gave up 4 ER on 8 H and 1 HR with a 4/2 K/BB rate over 3 IP in Milwaukee’s 4-3 loss to the Tigers last Tuesday.
The advanced analytics support Freeland over Lauer. Per Statcast, Lauer grades in the bottom quarter of the MLB in hard-hit %, chase %, whiff %, barrel % and exit velocity (EV).
Lauer’s 4-seam fastball has a 53.6% hard-hit rate, and his slider has a 66.7% hard-hit rate, according to Statcast. None of Freeland’s four pitches have a hard-hit rate above 50%.
Freeland has a 31.5% K% in 54 plate appearances (PA) vs. active Brewers batters. His expected slash line is .154/.209/.216 with an 86.4 mph EV in those PAs.
Lauer has a 14.8% K%, .299/.353/.462 expected slash line, and a 91.3 mph EV in 88 PA against current Rockies hitters, according to MLB’s Statcast.
These are the two worst lineups vs. left-handed pitching. So I wouldn’t hate UNDER 6.5 (-105) for the First 5 Innings total. Personally, I’m staying away because I’m not high on either starter and I don’t like betting Unders at Coors Field.
‘Reverse line movement’ toward Colorado in the betting market
Per VSIN, roughly 80% of the action at DraftKings is on Milwaukee as of 11 a.m. ET Wednesday. But, the Brew Crew’s moneyline was lowered from -130 on the opener down to the current number (-120).
The betting splits suggest the Rockies are the sharp side here. Colorado is in the basement of the NL West while Milwaukee got out to a great start in 2023.
Yet the line is moving towards the Rockies because the Brewers struggle in Colorado. Perhaps that is due to the Brewers being just 3-8 in their last 11 visits to Coors Field. Who’s to say?
Either way, I’m following the money flowing in Colorado’s direction.
MLB Best Bet #1: Rockies (+100) moneyline at DraftKings, up to -115
Seattle Mariners (13-16) at Oakland Athletics (6-24), 9:40 p.m. ET
Maybe I’m overthinking it but I like the Athletics to get their 7th win. They lost the series opener to the Mariners 2-1 Tuesday and Oakland is just 12-27 vs. Seattle since 2021.
I’ve made mad money on the Mariners over the past two years. Also, Seattle’s righty starter Wednesday, Logan Gilbert (1-1, 4.23 ERA), is one of my favorite young hurlers in baseball.
However, A’s starting LHP J.P. Sears (0-2, 6.23 ERA) beat the Mariners twice last season vs. Seattle’s ace Luis Castillo in both games. Sears gave up just 1 ER on a solo HR in 10 IP in those two starts.
The Mariners are awful vs. lefties. They are 25th in wRC+, 28th in wOBA, and 24th in BB/K rate in MLB against left-handed pitching, per FanGraphs. The A’s have higher rates in all three of those hitting stats vs. righties.
Now, Seattle’s bullpen is considerably better than Oakland’s. But, that’s baked into the line and 96% of the money at DraftKings is on the Mariners as of noon ET Wednesday.
Because of Seattle’s edge in relief pitching, I don’t hate Oakland’s run line (RL). The A’s are 6-4 RL at home vs. the Mariners since the start of last season and covered the RL Tuesday.
I feel like gambling though and I’m riding out with …
MLB Best Bet #2: Athletics (+145) at DraftKings, up to +135
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