Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:53 AM

Games to Watch - Wednesday

This Wednesday, we have a great slate of four nationally televised games on the MLB Network. With many great games to choose among for betting, I am focusing on two games. For the 6:40PM EST game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays, I am backing the underperforming Red Sox.

In the 9:40PM EST game between two struggling teams the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners, I am backing the Angels. Regular Season baseball is a wild ride where the winning team is never obvious. That is part of my rationale for backing an underdog and a favorite to win.

Red Sox at Rays
Betting Picks & Prediction

Time: 6:40 PM
TV: MLB Network

Red Sox at Rays Odds

  • Boston Red Sox (+143)
  • Tampa Bay Rays (-153)
  • Run Total 8.5 (Over -110, Under -110)

Probable Pitchers (2020 Records)

  • Martin Perez LHP (1-1, 5.06 ERA)
  • Ryan Yarbrough LHP (0-1, 1.54 ERA)

The year of 2020 is already one of the most bizarre years in Baseball history. The regular season started at the end of July and is already about 20% complete. With such a short season there is much that is going on that would have surprised me last year. In the AL East, The New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, and Boston Red Sox are always at the top of the standings. The Baltimore Orioles are always at the bottom.

This year the Yankees are still the best, but the Orioles have a winning record while the Rays and the Red Sox have losing records. For Wednesday’s game, the Red Sox and Rays face off against each other in a matchup where the Rays look to be the obvious favorite. However, I think both teams are evenly matched and that is why I am backing the Boston Red Sox to win outright as +143 moneyline underdogs.
When looking at the starting lineups for both teams, the Red Sox and the Rays look the same on paper. The median team MLB team averages 4.6 runs per game this season. Both the Red Sox and the Rays lineups average exactly 4.6 runs per game. However, with each team only playing 11 or 12 games, their statistical averages lack the statistical power of a larger sample of games.

The Rays lineup is not one of their strong suits as a team. Based on the projected lineup for Wedneday’s game, the Rays lineup would continue scoring 4.6 runs per game if they kept fielding the same lineup. The Red Sox on the other hand are underperforming offensively. Over the course of a full season at an average ballpark, my model projects that the projected lineup for the Red Sox would average 5.25 runs per game. I like the Red Sox against the Rays because of their lineup anchored by J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers, and Xander Bogaerts.
With the Red Sox having a better lineup for Wednesday’s game, the starting pitching is likely to decide the game. The Red Sox are using an unpredictable starting pitcher in Martin Perez while the Rays are using a consistent pitcher in Ryan Yarbrough. Perez has two starts this season, his first one where he got bombed by the Orioles and his second start where he threw a gem against the New York Mets. If Perez pitches against the Rays like he did against the Mets when he pitched 5.2 innings giving up only two earned runs, then the Red Sox are going to win. If he pitches poorly, the Red Sox offense might bail him out anyway.

Opposing Perez is Yarbrough who is a mix between a long reliever and a starter. Last season Yarbrough did poorly against the Red Sox in four starts going 2-1 with a 6.87 ERA. I am betting on the Red Sox moneyline at +143 odds based on the Red Sox lineup and the possibility that Perez pitches well.

Boston at Tampa Bay
MLB Best Bet & Predictions

Best Bet:
Boston Red Sox Moneyline +143 - Bet the Red Sox at BetMGM
Final Score Prediction:
Boston Red Sox 6, Tampa Bay Rays 4

Angels at Mariners
Betting Picks & Prediction

Time: 9:40 PM
Channel: MLB Network

Angels at Mariners Odds

  • Los Angeles Angels (-153)
  • Seattle Mariners (+143)
  • Run Total 9.0 (Over -110, Under -110)


Probable Pitchers (2020 Records)

  • Julio Teheran RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
  • Marco Gonzales LHP (1-1, 2.53 ERA)

Wednesday’s late-night matchup between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners features two AL West teams with losing records. This is not a surprise for the Mariners as they are in a rebuilding year, but it is a surprise for the Angels. The Angels have the best player in baseball in his prime, and they went on an offseason spending spree. While many offseason spending sprees lead to certain teams being overhyped during the preseason, the Angels are good. The only problem that the Angels have is that they play in the same division as the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics. In the AL West, the Mariners are the consensus worst team. For Wednesday nights game, I expect the Angels to easily win as -153 moneyline favorites.
Every conversation about the Angels begins and ends with one name Mike Trout. Of all the position players in the league, Trout is by far the best player. For the past few games, he has been out on leave for the birth of his child. In his return to the Angels in Tuesday night’s game, Trout hit a home run in his first at-bat. Trout is ready to dominate the league, and I believe that dominance continues Wednesday night. In addition to Trout, the Angels lineup features Anthony Rendon and other offensive weapons. Currently the Angels are averaging 4.90 runs per game. This is despite Trout and Rendon missing games during this shortened season. This is a sharp contrast to the Mariners who are averaging only 4.18 runs per game.
There is only one reason why the Angels are not -180 favorites are greater and that is because their starting pitcher Julio Teheran is an x-factor in Wednesday’s game. During the offseason, the Angels acquired Teheran in free agency and signed him to a one-year $9 million contract. During his career exclusively with the Braves, Teheran has been a slightly above-average starter. What makes Teheran an x-factor is that this is his first start off the injured list. Based on Teheran doing well and the Angels lineup giving him enough run support, I am betting on the Los Angeles Angels as -153 moneyline favorites.

Los Angeles at Seattle MLB Best Bet & Predictions

Best Bet:
Los Angeles Angels Moneyline -153
Final Score Prediction:
Los Angeles Angels 7, Seattle Mariners 4
Best Bets Tracker
Los Angeles Angels Moneyline -153
Boston Red Sox Moneyline +143
How do I handicap my MLB Best Bets?
My MLB handicapping model is based on the baseball pythagorean theorem where you can predict a team's winning percentage based on how many runs they score and allow over the course of the season.
I make projections on how many runs each player scores or allows for how that team's projected roster for that day would do over the course of a full season.
Once I have a projected winning percentage for both teams, I have a formula I use to determine each team's probability of winning. For example, I calculate what percentage of games a .500 team wins against a .400 win team.

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