Wednesday’s lineup of baseball games includes some very intriguing match-ups. We have crosstown rivals, division foes, and division leaders facing each other today. There are only two games currently on the board that have heavy favorites. Wednesday looks like it could be very unpredictable, so let’s look at some of these match-ups and identify some bets that appear to have good value today.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies (Arizona -135), 9:40 EST
There is absolutely no doubt that the Colorado Rockies’ offense is hotter than a pistol. They have scored 56 runs in their last five games, and yet they still have only won three of those five games. Their rotation and bullpen have been very inconsistent, and Wednesday’s game against Arizona may bring this back to light. Enter Jon Gray into the discussion.
Jon Gray is coming off an outing where he walked three batters in the ninth inning against the Padres. After the Rockies bullpen had been beat up earlier in the series, it was necessary to bring in Gray in a relief appearance, three days after he started the opening game of the series. Unfortunately for Gray, he draws the Diamondbacks ace in the second game of this series.
Zack Greinke has been putting up a phenomenal season, going 8-2 with a 2.65 ERA, and a 0.88 WHIP. 13 of his last 14 starts have been quality starts, and he hasn’t given up a run in his last two starts. Good pitching normally has the ability to cool off good hitting and that will happen on Wednesday night. Take the Diamondbacks to get back on the winning train.
Tampa Bay vs. NY Yankees (Tampa Bay -117), 1:05 EST
With more than half the season left, a three game series may not seem to have huge playoff implications. At the start of this week’s Yankees-Rays series, the Yankees had a 0.5 game lead on the second place Rays. Two days later, they find themselves 2.5 games up on the Rays, looking to increase their lead up to 3.5 games.
The Yankees will send C.C. Sabathia to the mound to notch the series sweep on Wednesday. While his season numbers aren’t great, he has only given three runs over 11 innings in his two starts this season against Tampa Bay. This game will test Tampa Bay’s fortitude and mental toughness, as they start to enter the summer months of the season.
This isn’t a must win game for the Rays, but it is pretty close. Getting swept by the Yankees could be a very deflating punch to the gut for the Rays. The Rays are on the road in a hostile environment, looking to salvage one game of this series and reduce the deficit to 1.5 games. Lucky for them, the reigning AL Cy Young award winner is on the hill for Tampa Bay. Blake Snell has struggled at times this year, but has fared well against the Yankees. Similarly to Sabathia, he has given up three runs in just over 11 innings this season against the Yankees (including a six inning one run effort at Yankee stadium on May 18). This may be a knock-down drag-out affair, but this game is more important to Tampa than it is to the Yankees. Take Tampa on the road to avoid the sweep in this series.
Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox (White Sox +135), 8:05 EST
Last night was the first of four meetings this season between the White Sox and the Cubs. If the Cross-town Classic needed any more interesting story lines, Eloy Jimenez added another one to the mix by hitting a two run home run in the ninth inning off of Pedro Strop to give the White Sox a 3-1 victory. Jimenez was a former Cubs prospect, who was traded to the north side in the Jose Quintana deal.
Wednesday night’s pitching match-up pits youth vs. experience. The Cubs send Jon Lester to the mound to try to squeak out a series split. Lester has been less than stellar lately, sporting a 7.59 ERA in his past six starts. He did win both of his starts last season against the White Sox, and has a 9-6 career record against them with an ERA of 4.13.
The White Sox will send their ace, and possibly the best pitcher in the American League, to the mound on Wednesday to notch the series sweep against the Cubs. Lucas Giolito is 10-1 on the season with an ERA of 2.22. He has won his last eight starts, and in those eight starts, he has given up more than one run only one time. He hasn’t fared well in his career against the Cubs (1-1 with a 5.84 ERA), but is looking to redeem last year’s outings. Even though the Cubs are one of the best teams at home in all of baseball, the White Sox are hungrier and have their ace on the mound. Take the White Sox in tonight’s game.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. San Diego Padres (Milwuakee -110), 3:40 EST
The Padres are have taken the first two games in their three game set against the Brewers, and are looking to go for the sweep on Wednesday. The Padres have won three straight (four of their last six), and have had solid pitching performances in the first two games of the set. Today, they send left-hander Matt Strahm to the mound. Strahm is 2-6 on the season with a 4.66 ERA. Strahm has given up 13 runs in his last two starts, so a start against a struggling Brewers offense may be just what the doctor ordered.
The Brewers have struggled on their current eight game road trip. They are currently 2-5 in the first seven games, and their offense has been struggling mightily so far in this Padres series. The Brewers still have a 0.5 game division lead, but the Central has tightened up due to their recent struggles, as all five teams are within 7.5 games in the standings. They hadn’t scored a run in sixteen innings, until scoring a run in the eighth inning of last night’s game (an inning in which they had no hits).
Enter Zach Davies into the discussion. Davies is currently 7-1 on the season, but his one loss did come on this road trip in their June 14 game against the Giants. Davies does have a great history against the Padres, with a 3-0 career record and a 2.16 ERA against them. Look for Davies to build off of these great career stats against the Padres, and notch a win for the Brewers today. It is hard to keep that high-powered Brewer offense down, and I expect them to break out of this road slump today, and end the road trip on a good note. Bet the Brewers with confidence.
Detroit Tigers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Pittsburgh -123), 7:05 EST
Tonight’s Tigers-Pirates match-up features the return of two starting pitchers that had very different starts to the season. For the Tigers, Jordan Zimmerman returns from an almost two-month stint on the Injured List. Before going on the injured list, Zimmerman was 0-4 with a 5.93 ERA. He did have a rehab start last Thursday, in which he gave up four runs in four and two-thirds innings. Look for him to be on a pitch count tonight as he makes his return, which could mean a very busy night for the Tigers’ bullpen.
Trevor Williams is also returning from a one-month stint on the injured list tonight. The Pirates have been trying to hold it together while he has been out, but they have been struggling as of late. Eleven games ago, the Pirates were one game under .500, sitting at a record of 30-31. Since that time, the Pirates have lost 9 of their last 11 games, and now find themselves eight games under .500.
The Pirates currently have the second worst ERA in the National League, at 5.09. They are looking for Trevor Williams to return some sense of stability to their rotation, which also sees Jameson Taillon and Jordan Lyles currently on the injured list. Even though Williams’ record is only 2-1, the Pirates have won six of his nine starts this season. While Williams will probably not be in top form tonight, his return, coupled with the return of Jordan Zimmerman, will provide a shot of energy for the Pirates. Take the Pirates in tonight’s game.
Minnesota Twins vs. Boston Red Sox (Minnesota -115), 8:10 EST
The Twins and the Red Sox are very happy that Wednesday’s game is a night game. On Tuesday night, they had a 17 inning marathon game that saw each team use nine different pitchers. Both teams will be looking for their starters to go deep into tonight’s game, so the bullpens can get a much needed rest. Tuesday was an absolute gem of a game, let’s see if Wednesday’s match-up can live up to the hype as well.
In this match-up of pitchers with seven wins, Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez squares off against Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson. Rodriguez’s ERA currently sits at 4.67 and Gibson’s ERA currently sits at 3.70. Gibson has given up six earned runs in his last 25 innings pitched (ERA of 2.16 in his last four games). Rodriguez has won three of his last four starts, and gave up one or two runs in all three of those starts.
This is truly almost a dead-even match-up tonight, but with the Twins at home, and riding high after that energizing win last night, look for Kyle Gibson to go deep into tonight’s game and for the Twins to take game three of this series.
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