MLB Wednesday best bets: Bet low on struggling Mariners lineup
It's hard to do much better than we did Tuesday, as we cashed all three of our MLB picks with two coming at plus-money. Can we sweep the board again Wednesday? Here are our top plays for the day:
How do you provide a worthy encore after belting six home runs - including five in one inning - in a 13-run extravaganza? That's the challenge ahead for the Astros, who dominated the Red Sox on Tuesday and have a shot to do the same Wednesday.
Houston's offense has been clicking all year, leading the majors in home runs (55) while ranking in the top five in hard-hit rate (42%), xSLG (.484), and xwOBA (.354). The Astros' bats have been especially sizzling as of late, plating five or more runs in eight of their last nine games while averaging 6.9 runs in that stretch.
Can Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta handle the heat? He ranks among baseball's worst starters in opponent exit velocity (93.1 mph) and hard-hit rate (50.5%), and he's been even worse than his 5.08 ERA would suggest. Houston may not hit six home runs again, but the team should clear five runs with ease.
The 26-year-old righty has been brilliant through his first seven starts, pacing MLB with a 1.05 ERA while boasting a remarkable 46:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Those numbers undersell just how consistently dominant he's been - aside from a four-run outing against the Diamondbacks, Lopez has held his other six opponents to a combined two runs in 38 1/3 innings.
One of those starts was against the Nationals, whom he shut out across six innings in an eventual 2-1 Marlins win. Washington has scored two or fewer runs in five of its last six games and will struggle to best that in this one.
The Mariners entered this season with plenty of hype up and down the roster, but they've had a rough go in recent weeks as injuries mount and fill-in starters struggle to make an impact at the plate.
Through 35 games, Seattle has scored two or fewer runs in 17 of them, including seven of the past 10 after Tuesday's shutout loss to the Blue Jays. It would help if any of Mitch Haniger, Kyle Lewis, Evan White, or Tom Murphy were available. Streaky shortstop J.P. Crawford struck his ankle with his bat Tuesday, though he'll likely play through it.
Now, this banged-up group faces Toronto ace Kevin Gausman, who's surrendered two or fewer earned runs in five of seven starts this season as well as 29 of his 40 outings (72.5%) dating back to last year. It's a low number to play, but at plus money, it's well worth the wager.
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