BetsByBob Best MLB Picks for Wednesday 5/12: Reds to take rubber game in Pittsburgh
You hear that betting baseball is a grind, and it has certainly been that for me lately. Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that it has been tough here the past two weeks, but we must push through. I feel like I am sticking to my process well, and have had some tough breaks lately along the way.
The variance in betting the bases can get to the best of us, but it all comes back around eventually. Stay disciplined with your process and handle your bankroll, and try not to get in your head too much during losing streaks. We are going to flip the script here today, and I have quite a few plays that I like Wednesday on the diamond. Make sure you also check out the Pickswise team’s picks on the side and total for each of today’s games.
Cincinnati Reds (Sonny Gray) at Pittsburgh Pirates (Trevor Cahill)
Pick: Reds -1 (-132)
*Playable to -1 (-140) or -1.5 (-110)
The Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates clash in an NL Central battle today as the two teams play an early get-away game in the steel city. After the Reds beat down the Pirates to win 14-1 on Monday, the Bucs came back yesterday to take down the Reds 7-2. The Reds have the clear pitching advantage today as they send out Sonny Gray.
Gray enters this season with an ERA of 3.92 and a FIP of 3.58. You pretty much know what you are going to get out of Gray by now, as he has been one of the more consistent pitchers throughout his career. He is carrying a BABIP so far of .333 which should be seeing some positive regression here soon, as his hard contract rate is down. Both the strikeout rate and walk rate are up a tick from the normal averages, but other than that, the peripherals look great. Gray has great control of the zone and uses his secondary pitches well, and should be able to take advantage of a Pirates lineup that is missing some key guys.
Cahill is a career swingman, who has been spending much of his time in Pittsburgh in a starting role. That hasn’t been going extremely well so far this season, as he has an ERA of 6.75. There should be some better luck on the was as his FIP is a full 3 runs less at 3.58. He is carrying a high BABIP, but that is mostly due to his 42.3% hard-hit rate that he has given up so far this season. Cahill doesn’t throw too hard and needs to locate well to be successful. He has been leaving a lot of pitches in the zone and is getting hit hard as a result. The Reds lineup is full of guys that should be able to take advantage of mistakes out over the plate, and am looking for them to leave Pittsburgh with the rubber-match victory.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates.
Philadelphia Phillies (Zack Wheeler) at Washington Nationals (Jon Lester)
Play: Phillies (-128)
*Playable to (-135)
The Philadelphia Phillies are taking on the Washington Nationals in game two of their three-game set. The Phillies took the opener with a 6-2 victory yesterday evening, as Bryce Harper hit a massive homer against his former team. This should be a competitive series, and they have another good matchup set up for us today.
The Phillies are sending out Zack Wheeler, who is off to a fine start to his season thus far. He enters with an ERA of 2.83 and a FIP of 3.02. Opponents are hitting .204 while carrying a BABIP of 2.63. He uses his fastball well, and when he is locating that, it sets up the rest of his arsenal nicely. Wheeler has racked up almost 200 plate appearances against this Nationals roster, and he has found good success against them. They have an xwOBA of 0.282. He doesn’t give up many walks, and his strikeout numbers are high. He should be able to work around this Nationals lineup that has struggled to put up good offensive numbers as of late.
For the Nationals, Jon Lester will be taking the ball in his 16th season. The 37-year old had a delayed start to his season due to some COVID-19 issues and is just now entering his third start. We don’t have a large sample size this far into the season, but we still have a good idea of what to expect out of Lester. He has been declining in performance as he gets up there in age, and his ERA and FIP have been trending in the wrong direction the past few seasons.
The crafty left-hander doesn’t blow anyone away with velocity and needs to work the edges of the strike zone to be effective. His walk rate is up so far this season, and he might still be working out some control issues due to the delayed start he dealt with. I am not sure how long we can expect out of Lester, but the Phillies should be able to get some runs off him while he is in there.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals.
Pickswise is the home of free MLB Picks and Predictions. Check out the latest MLB Prop Bets and MLB Parlays as well as our MLB Best Bets from the experts.