Look for our fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings, hitter upgrades and downgrades daily to help you make smart fantasy baseball lineup decisions and for MLB betting tips. MLB game odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is geared toward ESPN 10-team leagues with standard scoring.
Note: This file has been updated with any overnight pitching changes or weather-related game postponements, along with the addition of the latest MLB game odds as of the indicated time of publication.
What you need to know for Wednesday's MLB games
By Todd Zola
After beginning the week with two slates devoid of daytime baseball, matinees return on Wednesday. The festivities begin at 12:35 PM ET with the Colorado Rockies wrapping up a series in PNC Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Note, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals and Toronto Blue Jays all have a rare Wednesday off, so you'll want to find replacements for hitters from those clubs. To that end, the San Francisco Giants offer the best combination of players enjoying the platoon edge on a weaker pitcher and availability. Consider right-handed Wilmer Flores (59% rostered in ESPN leagues), Thairo Estrada (55%), Darin Ruf (8%), Joey Bart (7%) and Evan Longoria (1%) against New York Mets southpaw Thomas Szapucki at home on Oracle Park.
Another option for shallower fantasy leagues is to deploy Baltimore Orioles right-handed bats on the road against New York Yankees rookie lefthander JP Sears, including Ryan Mountcastle (70%), Trey Mancini (66%), Austin Hays (66%), Anthony Santander (65%) and recent call-up Adley Rutschman (63%). While they all eclipse the usual 50% rostership used to identify hitters to stream, because there are so many between 50% and 70%, it's worth investigating if one is available. In addition, the group is an economical DFS stack.
The first team that Reid Detmers (11%) faced after authoring a no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays was the Texas Rangers, who hit the rookie hard, tallying three runs in just 3⅔ innings, taking Detmers deep twice in Arlington. Wednesday presents a rematch -- this time in Anaheim, where Detmers should rebound against a below-average Rangers offense, rendering the southpaw as the slate's top streamer.
Just behind Detmers is Dylan Bundy (26%), whose Minnesota Twins host the feeble Detroit Tigers lineup. After starting the season with three solid efforts, Bundy has struggled over his past three outings. However, the Tigers and their .260 wOBA facing righties is the perfect panacea. Rich Hill (4%) is also in play for the surging Boston Red Sox, but his road date with the Chicago White Sox is risky.
Although our focus here is usually daily advice, occasionally a situation warrants longer-term attention. Such is the case in the Bronx with closer Aroldis Chapman ailing because of left ankle tendinitis. Clay Holmes has emerged as the clear replacement for the Yankees and is available in just under 50% of ESPN leagues. Those searching for another solid starting pitcher should consider Aaron Ashby (6%), as he'll be filling in for the injured Freddy Peralta. Ashby has been used in a swingman capacity, which is partially responsible for his bloated 13.8% walk rate. However, he's fanning batters at a 27.6% clip. With a regular routine of starting, look for Ashby to improve his control while maintaining a high strikeout rate. Wednesday's date with the San Diego Padres in Petco Park is risky, but Ashby has the stuff to be more than a pitch-and-ditch hurler.
It's not too late to start another free fantasy baseball league. Leagues drafted this week will start scoring fresh the following Monday.
Starting pitcher rankings for Wednesday
Best sub-50%-rostered hitters for Wednesday
Best and worst hitters from the day are generated by THE BAT X, a projection system created by Derek Carty using advanced methods like those used in MLB front offices, accounting for a variety of factors including player talent, ballparks, bullpens, weather, umpires, defense, catcher pitch-framing, and lots more.
Tyler Naquin (CIN, CF -- 10%) vs. Hendricks
Mike Moustakas (CIN, 3B -- 14%) vs. Hendricks
AJ Pollock (CHW, LF -- 22%) vs. Hill
Nick Senzel (CIN, CF -- 1%) vs. Hendricks
Kole Calhoun (TEX, RF -- 12%) at Detmers
Brandon Drury (CIN, LF -- 50%) vs. Hendricks
Andrew Vaughn (CHW, LF -- 35%) vs. Hill
Worst over-50%-rostered hitters for Wednesday
Spencer Torkelson (DET, 1B -- 56%) at Bundy
Franmil Reyes (CLE, DH -- 66%) at Javier
Javier Baez (DET, SS -- 79%) at Bundy
Eric Hosmer (SD, 1B -- 84%) vs. Ashby
Yoan Moncada (CHW, 3B -- 69%) vs. Hill
THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Wednesday
Prop of the Day
Cal Quantrill strikeouts: Over/Under 3.5 (-140/+105)
THE BAT X sees Quantrill putting up 2.8 strikeouts for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 38.7% of the time. THE BAT X believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $25.76.
Note: Expected Value is a measure of how good a bet is, factoring the probability that it will win versus the odds the book is providing. If you were to wager $1.00 100 times on a bet with an Expected Value of $25, you would win some and you would lose some, but in the end you would expect to come away with $25 in profit on your $100 investment.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE OVER
Minute Maid Park grades out as the No. 3 venue in baseball for strikeouts, according to THE BAT X projection system.
Projected catcher Austin Hedges grades out as an elite pitch framer, per THE BAT X projection system.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
The Astros (19.4 K%, via THE BAT X) project to have the second-least strikeout-heavy lineup today.
The Minute Maid Park roof projects to be closed today, making conditions in this contest six degrees hotter than the average outdoor game of all games today - favorable for offense.