Apr 10, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Jeremy Pena (right) congratulates third baseman Alex Bregman (2) crossing home plate and scoring a run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
After a 2-1 Tuesday saw Dalton Brown’s MLB betting record improve to 24-14 so far this season, he’s back with five more plays for Wednesday’s slate of games.
11:35 a.m. CT: Houston Astros at Pittsburgh Pirates
The Picks: Astros team total OVER 4.5 (-125) at FoxBet, Astros First 5 Innings team total OVER 2.5 (-105) at PointsBet
The Houston Astros are facing lefty Rich Hill Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh, and they ought to be salivating. Houston crushed left-handed pitching all season in 2022, posting an impressive wRC+ of 124 that ranked only behind the St. Louis Cardinals in Major League Baseball. The Astros have been even better in 2023 so far, boasting a wRC+ of 144 against southpaws. Pirates starter Rich Hill is over the hill so far this season, and it’s showing in his results. Like Patrick Corbin, Hill is a pitcher I want to fade almost every time he takes the mound. He has an ERA of 10.00 so far this season, but his expected numbers are actually worse – his xERA is 12.25. Hill has already allowed five home runs in nine innings of work and is now set to face the American League’s best on an eighty-degree day at hitter-friendly PNC Park. Look out.
5:35 p.m. CT: Oakland A’s at Baltimore Orioles
The Pick: First 5 Innings OVER 4.5 (-114) at FanDuel, Orioles team total OVER 4.5 (-115) at PointsBet
The Baltimore Orioles will take on the Oakland A’s in the third of a four-game series on Wednesday night at Camden Yards, and I like both teams to score early and often – but especially Baltimore. Athletics starter Ken Waldichuk and Orioles starter Dean Kremer have been two of baseball’s least effective through the 2023 season’s first two weeks. Waldichuk, once a prized prospect of the Yankees, has allowed a preposterous 14 earned runs in 8.2 innings this season on seven home runs, 17 hits, and four walks. Yes, those numbers are all real. Wednesday night, he has to deal with a Baltimore lineup that is currently tied with the Astros in wRC+ against lefties at 144. When he exits, a tired A’s bullpen that has allowed a 5.06 ERA and was torched in Tuesday’s 12-8 loss will enter.
Dean Kremer’s season for the Orioles has been better than Waldichuk’s, but just barely. Kremer has allowed nine earned runs in eight innings so far and has been victimized by three homers and walked four. Oakland’s lineup doesn’t pack the punch of Baltimore’s, but it would be a surprise if it can’t push a few runs across against Kremer.
6:20 p.m. CT: Cincinnati Reds at Atlanta Braves
The Pick: Braves -1.5 (-115) at DraftKings
The Atlanta Braves will host the Cincinnati Reds in the finale of their series on Wednesday, and I look for Atlanta to complete the three-game sweep. Both teams are sending talented young righties to the mound in Cincinnati’s Hunter Greene and Atlanta’s Spencer Strider, but Strider is clearly further along in his development. Hunter Greene has struggled to command the strike zone since being called up in 2022, and he’s already walked six hitters in eight innings of work this season. Greene’s 100-plus mile-per-hour fastball speaks for itself, but his lack of command has also caused him to allow harder average exit velocities than 86% of pitchers and a higher hard-hit rate than 79% of pitchers. The Braves’ lineup is unforgiving and could knock him out of the game early for a third straight start. Spencer Strider was excellent in his first start of the season and just OK in his second, but he’s already racked up 18 strikeouts in 11 innings of work and is looking to build on 2022’s 2.17 ERA at Truist Park. The Reds’ lineup finished 28th in wRC+ against right-handed pitching last season, and the Braves’ bullpen coming into the game behind Strider is more talented than Cincinnati’s as well. The Reds had their chances to eke out a win in the first two games of this series (both one-run Atlanta wins). Wednesday, the Braves should bring the hammer down on Cincinnati.