MLB Betting Guide for Wednesday 6/28/23: Which Southpaw Should We Back in Kansas City?
Betting on baseball can be a grind that reaps an enormous reward.
Day-to-day outlooks can be vastly different due to starting pitchers, and a wealth of advanced stats can let us know an individual pitcher, a bullpen, or a team is due to positive -- or negative -- regression.
Which MLB betting odds from FanDuel Sportsbook are most appealing today?
Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All stats come from FanGraphs unless noted otherwise. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.
Over 8.5 (-122)
The starting pitching in this game is significantly overrated.
Houston's Cristian Javier has been a target of mine all season, and he's just barely stringing along quality results. Javier's 3.25 ERA is supported by a much uglier 4.47 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), and the batted ball stats are poor between a massive flyball rate (54.1%) and elevated hard-hit rate allowed (35.6%).
That's why I wanted to turn to Cardinals ML (-120) in this spot, but the problem is their starter isn't super dependable, either.
Miles Mikolas' 4.65 SIERA and 40.1% hard-hit rate allowed are even uglier. Now, the sinkerballer has largely done a good job of keeping balls out of the air (34.9% flyball rate), but he's also still been fortunate that the ones that make it have resulted in a homer just 9.4% of the time. The league average is 11.6%.
The Astros' bullpen is also struggling mightily this month (4.66 xFIP), which ended up as the deciding factor in last night's contest. That'll only add to the case for an over wager on a hot night in St. Louis.
Royals ML (+110)
I'm not sure how long I'll get Austin Cox in this one, but I'll be a happy camper if he can stretch beyond the 3.2 innings from his last start.
The Royals' lefty has impressed out of their 'pen this year, amassing a 3.24 SIERA and 31.4% strikeout rate in six appearances. He's not listed as the opener here, so they appear to be stretching him out to start games. He'll have a soft landing spot tonight; the Guardians have the third-worst wRC+ against lefties this year (86).
Cleveland counters with Logan Allen, who I generally support, but there are some concerns. Allen's 4.30 SIERA is quite a bit higher than his ERA (3.68), and he's also been fortunate to allow a homer on just 9.4% of flyballs. Plus, the Guards' 'pen has struggled to a 4.46 xFIP this month (ninth-worst in MLB).
It's a bit odd this total (9.5) is so high between two of baseball's worst offenses against southpaws, but I do like a stab at the surprisingly short number with the home side and their blossoming lefty.
White Sox ML (+104)
Giolito is pretty clearly having the best year in Chicago's rotation, tallying a 3.98 SIERA and 25.6% strikeout rate to this point. He's not perfect, evidenced by a 41.7% hard-hit rate, but there's a semblance of talent there against a top-heavy Angels lineup tonight.
Los Angeles will turn to Jaime Barria tonight. Barria's 2.19 ERA is sparkling, but a 4.09 SIERA actually slots in behind Giolito. Like the other two I'm wagering against, Jaime's 8.5% HR/FB ratio is below the league average, implying more homers could be in his future.
The Pale Hose could hold a big advantage in a tight game late. Their bullpen's xFIP (3.87) is nearly a run lower than the Halos' (4.85) this month, and L.A.'s corps of relievers is probably still wearing a weekend at Coors Field despite Shohei Ohtani's wizardry last night.