Dodgers vs. Pirates MLB Best Bet: Skenes to Make Paxton Walk the Plank

profile image of LTProfits

We have a full slate of Major League Baseball matchups for Wednesday with 15 games on the betting card. As usual, we are here with a play we feel has the most betting value at top-rated sportsbooks.

This value bet is based mostly on our proprietary model, which favors a side in Pittsburgh on Wednesday in the Dodgers vs. Pirates matchup.

For more of our betting analysis, check out:

If you’re looking for more value picks, make sure to take a look at our YouTube channel. Today, our expert has advice on the Blue Jays vs. White Sox and Yankees vs. Angels games.

MLB Pick: Pirates ML (-112) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

BetOnline logo
Pirates ML (-112)
Visit Site

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Wednesday, June 05, 2024 – 06:40 PM ET at PNC Park

After the Pirates beat the Dodgers 1-0 last night behind rookie Jared Jones, we are banking on another phenom Wednesday in Paul Skenes as he takes on an overachieving James Paxton.

The Real Deal

Skenes was the first overall pick in the MLB Draft just last year, and here he is in the Major Leagues less than a year later. The Pirates called him up on May 11, and he had a mediocre debut where he allowed three earned runs in four innings, although with seven strikeouts. He has since shown why he was the number-one pick over his last three starts, allowing a total of three runs and nine hits in 18 innings with 23 strikeouts against three walks!

The end-result thus far has been a 2-0 record in four starts with a 2.45 ERA, 2.05 xFIP and a sparkling K/BB ratio of 12.27/2.05 per nine innings. Yes, that is over only 22 innings, but it seems like a good indicator of what to expect going forward. Paul has a lethal fastball/slider combo while routinely hitting triple-digits on a heater that has averaged 99.4 MPH at the big-league level. His nice 16.4% swinging-strike rate is also an indicator he is ready for prime time.

Not Nearly This Good

And then there is Paxton, whose 5-0 record and 3.29 seem totally undeserved. For evidence, look no further than his accompanying 5.39 xFIP, which is the worst in baseball among pitchers with at least 50 innings. After having a nice comeback season with the Red Sox last season, where he regained his fastball averaging 95.3 MPH, that velocity is back down to 93.7 MPH this year.

That has made James much more hittable despite what the record and the ERA say. He has gone from a nice strikeout rate of 9.47/9 last season to a measly 5.37/9 this year, with the swinging-strike rate taking a humongous plunge to 7.6% from 12.7%. Add in a gross walk rate of 4.35/9, and we simply cannot see his luck holding up much longer.

The Pick

Thus, we will gladly side with the young phenom over the 35-year-old whose metrics, according to the MLB odds, say he is about done despite the deceptive mainstream stats. Bet the Bucs at a cheap price on Wednesday.

Predicted Score: Pirates 5 – Dodgers 3

MLB Pick: Pirates ML (-112) at BetOnline

BetOnline logo
Pirates ML (-112)
Visit Site

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.