Apr 3, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Johan Oviedo (24) pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
Sitting at 31-25 after Tuesday night’s frustrating results, Dalton Brown looks to bounce back with three daytime plays on Wednesday’s MLB slate.
1:10 p.m. CT: Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals
The Pick: Rangers moneyline (-104) at FanDuel
The Texas Rangers will look to sweep the Kansas City Royals Wednesday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium, and I like their chances. Texas sends veteran lefty Martín Pérez to the mound hoping to build on a successful first three starts. Pérez was a deserving All-Star in 2022 and looks well on his way to that same fate again so far in 2023. The lefty has allowed two or fewer earned runs in all three of his starts to date and takes on a Kansas City Royals lineup that ranks 28th in wRC+ with a putrid mark of 56 so far this season against left-handed pitching. Righty Brady Singer will pitch for the struggling Royals. Singer had an excellent 2022 but is getting hit hard every time he takes the mound this season. The right-hander ranks in the bottom 6% of MLB pitchers in exit velocity against, hard hit percentage against, xERA, xBA, xSLG, and barrel rate allowed. He’s getting shellacked every time he takes the mound, and the Rangers’ lineup is on fire. Texas has scored 25 runs in its last three games, and the Rangers have an above average wRC+ of 105 against righties. When the starters exit, the Rangers’ advantage will only widen – Texas’ bullpen boasts an impressive 2.98 ERA, while Kansas City’s bullpen has a 5.56 mark thus far. Let’s keep it simple and ride the hot hand in a game where the wrong team is favored.
2:10 p.m. CT: Pittsburgh Pirates at Colorado Rockies
The Pick: Pirates moneyline (-110) at Caesars
The Pittsburgh Pirates will wrap up their three-game set with the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on Wednesday. Pittsburgh sends righty Johan Oviedo to the mound, a once highly-touted prospect who has seemingly put it together to begin 2023 for the Bucs. Oviedo’s 3.10 xERA supports the legitimacy of his 2.45 actual ERA, and he’s been getting better with each start. The imposing righty has allowed just one run over 13.2 innings over his last two starts, which came against the White Sox and Cardinals. Colorado’s lineup does not stack up to either of those foes – and although Coors Field presents a unique challenge to Oviedo, his opponent has struggled in every start this season. Rockies starter Austin Gomber, also a former St. Louis Cardinals farmhand, has allowed 13 runs in just 14.1 innings this season while walking six and allowing 17 hits. He takes on a red-hot Pirates lineup on Wednesday, and it would not be a surprise to see the lefty allow five or more earned runs for the third consecutive start. Pittsburgh’s bullpen has been better so far this season as well, posting a 3.73 ERA compared to Colorado’s 4.39. Put simply, I give the Pirates advantages in every area, so this price is too cheap to pass up.
2:37 p.m. CT: Chicago Cubs at Oakland Athletics
The Pick: Cubs -1.5 (+105) at DraftKings
The Chicago Cubs and Oakland A’s will finish up their three-game series Wednesday afternoon in Oakland, and I am once again backing Chicago – this time to win on the runline. Wednesday’s pitching matchup is another mismatch, with under-the-radar stud Justin Steele facing off against rookie Mason Miller. Steele’s numbers are excellent across the board, whether measuring via Statcast or more traditional methods. He’s allowed three runs in 19 innings this season, despite taking on the Dodgers, Rangers, and Brewers. Oakland’s lineup will be the weakest he’s faced this season by a considerable margin, and the Cubs’ offense should manage some success against Mason Miller in his Major League debut. Miller is Oakland’s 23rd-ranked prospect. He doesn’t figure to pitch deep into Wednesday’s game (he’s thrown 8.2 total innings in the minors over two starts) and will be followed into the fray by an Athletics’ bullpen allowing a 6.01 ERA this season. The A’s are 3-15 with 11 losses by multiple runs – let’s add one more to the list on Wednesday afternoon.