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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
Wednesday features another full slate, replete with several matinee affairs. The festivities begin at 12:35 p.m. ET at the Great American Ballpark with Ranger Suarez and the Philadelphia Phillies visiting Nick Lodolo and the Cincinnati Reds. Through May, Suarez (69% rostered in ESPN leagues) registered a 4.69 ERA and 1.56 WHIP. He has a 2.58 ERA and 1.13 WHIP since then with a pedestrian 47 strikeouts in 59 1/3 innings. However, Suarez has only walked 17 and allowed four homers in that span. He's likely unavailable in deeper formats but could be a free agent in 10 and 12 team leagues with a favorable matchup against a suspect Reds offense. Lodolo (9%) has a bright future but is still inconsistent, weaving dominant stretches with spotty command and control.
George Kirby has seen his rostership rise, but at 34%, it's still well below the 50% guideline for conventional streaming recommendations. Kirby hasn't walked more than one batter in a game all season. After surrendering four homers on June 27, he hasn't given one up since in 32 innings. On Wednesday, Kirby draws an Angels offense averaging the third fewest runs per game over the last month while fanning a quarter of the time.
Rich Hill (3%), Drew Smyly (3%) and Cole Ragans also have favorable matchups. Hill and the Red Sox are on the road at PNC Park to take on a Pirates lineup with the fifth lowest wOBA and second highest K% facing southpaws this season. Smyly hasn't yielded a run in August, hurling 11 2/3 scoreless frames with 13 punch outs. Next up is a Nationals offense fanning at a 31% clip this month with a lefty on the hill. Ragans is coming off a rough effort in Houston but should fare better against an Oakland lineup that will be without Ramon Laureano.
As has been the case all season, teams are calling up prospects. Some, like Vaughn Grissom (29%) have been thrust into a pennant chase, while others like Shea Langeliers (1%) are getting a taste of the Show to help get them ready for next season. Grissom is helping to fill the Braves' void at second base. If he keeps producing, Atlanta will need to find a way to keep him in the lineup even after Ozzie Albies returns. Langeliers, one of the centerpieces of the Matt Olson deal, was called up by Oakland Tuesday. With Laureano on the IL and Stephen Piscotty released, the Athletics will be able to keep Sean Murphy in the lineup while they look at Langeliers. Other recent callups who could be a fantasy asset down the stretch are Colorado's Wynton Bernard (1%), Washington's C.J. Abrams (4%) and Oakland's Cal Stevenson. Stevenson's on base skills could be stealthily useful in points leagues.
Along with the newly called up players, there are several other hitters in a favorable spot to fortify a fantasy lineup or serve as a cost-saver in DFS. Here are some hitting that should enjoy a platoon edge on a mid to low ranked hurler: Jose Miranda (39%), Luke Voit (31%), Gio Urshela (20%), Tyler Naquin (10%), Joey Meneses (9%), Oscar Gonzalez (3%), Chad Pinder (1%) and Nick Allen (1%).
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
LaMonte Wade Jr. (SF, RF -- 1%) vs. Davies
Eric Hosmer (BOS, 1B -- 46%) at Brubaker
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Wednesday
Dansby Swanson (ATL, SS -- 97%) vs. Scherzer
Marcell Ozuna (ATL, LF -- 86%) vs. Scherzer
Josh Rojas (ARI, SS -- 53%) at Rodon
Michael Harris II (ATL, CF -- 63%) vs. Scherzer
Austin Riley (ATL, 3B -- 100%) vs. Scherzer
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.
THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Wednesday
Carlos Rodon Pitching Outs: Over/Under 18.5 (+115/-150)
THE BAT sees Rodon putting up 19.4 pitching outs for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 56.3% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the OVER with an expected value of $21.02.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE OVER:
Dan Bellino projects as a Pitchers Umpire and is expected to be behind the plate in this game.
Oracle Park ranks as the No. 30 ballpark in Major League Baseball for home runs, per THE BAT projection system.
Oracle Park has the tallest average fence height among all parks.
Cold weather is strongly correlated with less offense (and more whiffs), and the weatherman calls for the lowest temperature of the day at 59°.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER:
The wind projects to be blowing out to LF at 8.7-mph in this match-up, the 2nd-best of the day for batters.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have seven batters in the projected offense that will have the handedness advantage over Rodon in this matchup.