The final Wednesday MLB card of the regular season is a packed one with 16 games including the Marlins and Mets playing a make-up doubleheader. All but one starting pitcher is confirmed on the big card, with the exception being the Marlins in Game 2, although all signs indicate that they will use an opener.
As usual, we are here with our three best bets for Wednesday and remember that these are value bets mostly based on our proprietary model, thus when we make underdog plays at the top offshore sportsbooks, it means we project long-term profit at the odds posted even with a sub-.500 record.
We have two such value dogs on today’s card, as well as one total, so let’s break down the MLB odds for today!
New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Wednesday, September 27, 2023 – 07:07 PM EDT at Rogers Centre
The Blue Jays hurt their playoff chances by losing 2-0 to the Yankees here at home last night, and there could be another such pitching duel on tap Wednesday with Cy Young hopeful Gerrit Cole visiting Jose Berrios.
Best in AL in Down Year?
The odd thing about Cole is that his 3.56 xFIP, while still good, is at its highest point since 2017, and yet he is still a Cy Young Award candidate as he remains one of the best pitchers in the American League at 14-4 with a 2.75 ERA and a strikeout ratio of 9.77 K/9.
Even that strikeout rate is down from 11.55/9 last season, but just like the xFIP, his current level in those areas is still better than most American League pitchers this year. Furthermore, he may be pitching his best ball of the season right now as Gerrit has allowed two runs or less in six straight starts while posting a 1.59 ERA and 2.77 xFIP with an insane 47 strikeouts vs. 5 walks in those outings.
Better at Home?
Berrios comes in at 11-11 but he has been a bit unlucky with a 3.58 ERA, although that is accompanied by a less flattering 4.07 xFIP. Still, he has pitched better at home with a 3.11 ERA and 3.98 xFIP north of the border.
Granted he was touched up for four runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings by these same Yankees in his last start, but that was on the road in The Bronx. His previous two starts before that came here at home, where he allowed just two runs on 10 hits over 14 innings with 15 strikeouts vs. two walks.
Besides both pitchers seemingly lining up for success, the Yankees could also potentially be without Aaron Judge after he sat out last night with a nagging toe injury, so go Under on Wednesday.
Predicted Score: Yankees 3 – Blue Jays 2
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Wednesday, September 27, 2023 – 07:40 PM EDT at American Family Field
The Brewers have clinched the National League Central, but Wednesday starter Wade Miley has greatly underperformed his ERA, which has us betting on Zack Thompson and the Cardinals at an underdog price here.
Smoke and Mirrors
Miley comes in at 9-4 with a 3.20 ERA, but that looks like a smokescreen given his much higher 4.86 xFIP, which as usual tells the truer story as evidenced by his weak K/BB ratio of 6.01/2.69 per 9 and his miniscule 7.9% swinging strike rate.
So what we have here is a contact pitcher who does not throw very hard, as his two most frequent pitches are a 90.5 MPH fastball and 87.1 MPH cutter, and yet Wade has been extremely lucky with a .226 BABIP allowed and 81.4% strand rate. It remains to be seen what Miley’s role will be in the playoffs, but we consider him a weak link in the rotation despite the deceptive ERA.
Thompson began the year in the bullpen and was forced into the rotation due to injuries, but he has performed admirably in the starter’s role. Although he has a 457 ERA overall for the year, it comes with a better 3.79 xFIP.
More importantly, since entering the rotation, Zack has allowed three earned runs or less in seven out of nine outings including allowing two earned runs or less five times, posting a fine strikeout rate of 9.41 K/9 over his starts while also inducing a solid groundball rate of 42.7%.
Thus, we feel that a strong case can be made for Thompson being the better starter in this matchup, giving great value to the Cardinals as underdogs.
Predicted Score: Cardinals 5 – Brewers 4
Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels
Wednesday, September 27, 2023 – 09:38 PM EDT at Angel Stadium
The Rangers are on the verge of clinching the American League West with a 2.5-game lead over Houston, but they lost to the Angels here last night and with this being a matchup of a pitcher underperforming his ERA vs. one overperforming it, we will back the Angels as large home underdogs again with Dane Dunning facing Griffin Canning.
Lucky So Far
Dunning enters at 11-6, but his ERA is a tad high for that record at 3.88 and more importantly, his xFIP is considerably worse at 4.47, as he has an unimpressive K/BB ratio of 7.15/2.96 per 9.
Dane will not blow anyone away with a fastball clocking 90.7 MPH, and the end result has been a weak soft-contact/hard-contact ratio of 13.7% / 32.2%, which makes his blow average BABIP allowed of .286 seem lucky despite not being extraordinarily low.
Better Than the ERA
Conversely, Canning has been the antithesis of Dunning with a 3.78 xFIP that belies his 7-7 record and 4.59 ERA. That xFIP is fueled by a nearly double-digit strikeout rate of 9.97 K/9 while lowering his walks to a career-best 2.53 BB/9.
Griffin has a nice arsenal with four pitches that he throws at least 15% of the time, and his solid fastball velocity of 94.6 MPH plays faster when mixing in all his breaking pitches. Canning also enters in good form having allowed three runs or less in five of his last six starts.
Given that good form and Canning having the noticeably better xFIP in this matchup, bet the Angels as decided home dogs on Wednesday.
Predicted Score: Angels 5 – Rangers 3
*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.