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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's slate has an early start with a 12:35 PM ET first pitch in PNC Park. Luis Cessa gets the nod for the visiting Cincinnati Reds while Bryse Wilson toes the rubber for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Despite facing two of the lesser offenses, neither hurler carries any fantasy appeal. However, even low-scoring lineups have some viable options, especially when facing subpar pitching. Kyle Farmer (29% rostered in ESPN leagues), TJ Friedl (8%), Spencer Steer (1%) and Stuart Fairchild (1%) are the primary options for the guests with Oneil Cruz (35%), Rodolfo Castro (10%) and Jack Suwinski (1%) standing out for the hosts.
Wednesday could be the last start in which playoff-bound pitchers aren't lifted early. If Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Julio Urias or Triston McKenzie is on your fantasy team, enjoy what is likely their final full outing of the season.
Speaking of playoff-bound hurlers, Tyler Glasnow (11%) is slated to make his 2022 debut after rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. However, the righty will be capped around 45 pitches, so even though he's fanned 14 in seven frames of rehab work, Glasnow is ticketed for around three innings in Cleveland.
Mariners rookie George Kirby (58%) is the day's top streamer, though technically his rostership exceeds the usual 50% cutoff. However, so close to the end of the season, it's worth checking on his availability. Kirby has a prime matchup as Seattle still has playing seeding for which to play, and the Rangers lineup has been quiet for the past month while fanning at a 26% clip against righthanders.
Michael Lorenzen (9%) is tied with Kirby on the Starting pitcher rankings for Wednesday. The Los Angeles Angels righthander draws an Oakland Athletics lineup also punching out at a 26% clip for the past month with a righty on the hill.
Jesus Luzardo (34%) is next, but he'll face a New York Mets club fighting tooth and nail with the Atlanta Braves for the NL East crown. Even so, Luzardo has flourished over the second half, posting a 3.34 ERA and 0.99 WHIP with 61 strikeouts in 59 1/3 stanzas. To be honest, he should be rostered in at least twice as many ESPN leagues. Dean Kremer (16%), Matt Manning (9%) and Rich Hill (5%) round out the slate's top spot starters, though this trio carries more risk than the above threesome. Of the three, Manning stands out with a home date against the Kansas City Royals.
Joining the handful of batters cited earlier, here is Wednesday's six-pack of sticks in a good spot. Each enjoys the platoon edge on a vulnerable pitcher. Joc Pederson (56%) is at home facing Jose Urena while Oswaldo Cabrera (18%) draws Mitch White on the road in the Rogers Centre. Seth Brown (17%) faced Lorenzen with Nick Gordon (10%) stepping in against Johnny Cueto. Catcher-eligible Eric Haase (5%) has a juicy home date with Daniel Lynch while Triston Casas (4%) may not be hitting for average, but his high walk rate keeps him in play in points formats at home against Dean Kremer.
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.
Jake Fraley (CIN, LF -- 6%) at Wilson
Brandon Crawford (SF, SS -- 37%) vs. Urena
Tony Kemp (OAK, 2B -- 20%) at Lorenzen
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Wednesday
Seiya Suzuki (CHC, RF -- 67%) vs. Nola
Ian Happ (CHC, LF -- 88%) vs. Nola
Willson Contreras (CHC, C -- 88%) vs. Nola
Tommy Edman (STL, 2B -- 98%) at Woodruff
The BAT X's Best Stacks for Wednesday
THE BAT X is 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.
Prop of the Day
Josh Winder Pitching Outs: Over/Under 15.5 (+130/-175)
THE BAT sees Winder putting up 16.8 Pitching Outs for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 59.2% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the OVER with an expected value of $36.09.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE OVER
The Chicago White Sox have been the sixth-luckiest offense in the game this year, according to THE BAT X, and are likely to negatively regress in future games
Vic Carapazza grades out as a Pitchers Umpire and is expected to be behind the plate in this game.
The weather report calls for the 4th-best pitching weather of the day, as it relates to temperature and humidity.
Winder is an extreme flyball pitcher (39% FB% according to THE BAT projections) and is fortunate enough to be pitching in the No. 23 HR venue in the league in this matchup.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
Target Field projects as the No. 8 park in MLB for walks, per THE BAT projection system.
Winder has a large reverse platoon split and is stuck facing 6 same-handed hitters in this game.