Rounding the Bases: MLB Straight Up Picks for Every Game Today (Fade Paul Skenes vs. Dodgers)

MLB betting preview, prediction and best bets for every game on the Wednesday, June 5 slate of games.
Jun 2, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Mookie Betts (50) is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 2, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Mookie Betts (50) is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday is always an exciting day of betting action in Major League Baseball with a full serving of games, including day baseball.

However, all eyes will be on Pittsburgh Wednesday night as No. 1 overall pick Paul Skenes is slated to face the vaunted Los Angeles Dodgers offense. Can Skenes keep his momentum rolling with his stiffest test yet?

I'm not so sure.

Check out my betting preview for every big league game below!

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook .

Braves vs. Red Sox Prediction and Pick

Pick: Red Sox (-110)

The results are middling for Nick Pivetta, a 4.08 ERA in seven starts, but the underlying metrics are enticing, as he is striking out 30% of batters with a career low walk rate of just five percent. 

In a projected coin flip, I’ll take the home team. 

Cardinals vs. Astros Prediction and Pick

Pick: Astros (-165)

St. Louis starter Miles Mikolas’ inability to strike batters out, a meager 18%, is going to be trouble against an Astros team that is the best hitting team in the big leagues at home (.802 OPS). 

Give me the home favorite. 

Reds vs. Rockies Prediction and Pick

Pick: Reds (-125)

Cincinnati is swinging a sweet bat right now, fifth in OPS over the last 15 days, per MLB.com, and now faces Dakota Hudson of the Rockies, who has a ton of red flags on the mound. 

Hudson ranks in the bottom 10 percentile in strikeout rate and chase percentage as well as xBA, per MLB Statcast.

Giants vs. Diamondbacks Prediction and Pick

Pick: Giants (+105)

Jordan Montgomery hasn’t been the same since helping pace the Rangers’ to a World Series title last fall. He is in the eighth percentile in terms of strikeout rate and sixth percentile in xBA. 

Against a Giants team that is 12th in OPS against lefties this season, and has its most effective pitcher in Jordan Hicks on the mound (2.70 ERA), I’ll lean towards the road underdog. 

Mets vs. Nationals Prediction and Pick

Pick: Mets (-140)

Luis Severino has revived his career with the Mets, posting a 3.52 ERA, and New York’s shaky offense gets a reprieve against Patrick Corbin, who has a 5.83 ERA. 

I see little reason to take a flier on the Nationals with Corbin on the mound, the team is 4-8 when he starts. 

Brewers vs. Phillies Prediction and Pick

Pick: Brewers (+155)

Milwaukee has lost both games in Philadelphia by a combined three runs, and now face Aaron Nola, who has posted a 3.03 ERA on the year. 

Aaron Ashby will counter, who struggled in his first start of the year, allowing four earned runs in less than four innings. I’m willing to give the southpaw a pass for that one and will back him as a big underdog with the Brewers top five hitting offense in terms of OPS behind him. 

Rays vs. Marlins Prediction and Pick

Pick: Rays (-120)

Zach Eflin returns from the injured list to face a bottom five offense in the Marlins, a great landing spot for him after showing some upside in the first handful of weeks of the season. 

Eflin has walked fewer than two percent of batters this season through 10 starts, but needs to raise his strikeout rate back above 20% as he is sitting at the lowest mark of his career since 2019 (17.9%). 

Against the Marlins, a healthy Eflin should be in line for a quality start and for the Rays to snag a road win. 

Royals vs. Guardians Prediction and Pick

Pick: Guardians (-125)

Cleveland is in good shape to build on its AL Central lead on Wednesday against Kansas City with Nick Sandlin on the mound. 

The right hander has found his control, posting a career best walk rate of sub-nine percent while striking out 28% of batters. He ranks in the 98th percentile in terms of xBA with a nasty set of offspeed pitches that includes a sinker and a slider. 

This is also partially a fade of Royals’ starter Brady Singer, who has 2.63 ERA but is due a ton of regression with an xERA of 4.35. 

Dodgers vs. Pirates Prediction and Pick

Pick: Dodgers (+100)

Paul Skenes is getting a ton of respect by being favored over the Dodgers, but I can’t trust the Pirates to take advantage and close out a win with a bullpen ERA of 3.95 since the end of May. 

Skenes has passed every test with flying colors thus far, but the Pirates are getting too much respect in this game against a Dodgers team that is still the best lineup in baseball. 

Twins vs. Yankees Prediction and Pick

Pick: Twins (+155)

Carlos Rodon is a major concern for the Yankees pitching staff, far from his Cy Young candidate level in 2022. 

He is striking out 22% of batters, right around the big league average while allowing a ton of hard contact (23rd percentile). With his inability to get past hitters anymore with what was a nasty curveball, Rodon has seen his underlying metrics balloon despite solid surface level marks. 

Rodon has an ERA of 3.09 but an xERA of 4.32. 

Against a Twins team that is 11th in OPS against left handers, I’ll back the visitors to pull an upset. 

Orioles vs. Blue Jays Prediction and Pick

Pick: Orioles (+105)

Jose Berrios is untrustworthy against a high quality lineup like the Orioles. 

The veteran righty has been lucky all season, striking out fewer than 20% of batters while allowing hard contact on 44% of balls in play (19th percentile), but only a 2.79 ERA. Meanwhile, his xERA is up to 4.15. 

Tigers vs. Rangers Prediction and Pick

Pick: Rangers (-135)

Kenta Maeda’s ERA may be a bit unlucky, but part of that is due to his diminished velocity. 

He is striking out a career low 17% of batters and has been unable to keep runners from crossing home, posting a 6.25 ERA despite a 4.84 xERA. 

I can’t trust him to find his form against a Texas team that has an edge at the plate and a resurgent Jose Urena, who has limited his walk rate to eight percent and has posted a 3.75 ERA. 

White Sox vs. Cubs Prediction and Pick

Pick: White Sox (+150)

The Cubs continue to be untrustworthy in the Windy City Showdown, losing at over -300 favorites on Tuesday. 

The team will send out Jameson Taillon on Wednesday as big favorites, but I’ll fade the Cubbies again. 

Taillon is striking out a career low 15% of batters and has an xERA of 3.56, far higher than his surface level ERA of 2.84. 

Meanwhile, the White Sox counter with its most effective pitcher this season in Erick Fedde, who has an ERA of 3.12 on an increased strikeout rate (career high near-23%). 

Over the last 13 games, the Cubs are 26th in OPS and the White Sox are 29th. The gap isn’t that much between the two teams at the moment. 

Padres vs. Angels Prediction and Pick

Pick: Padres (-150)

Dylan Cease has joined the Padres and performed at an incredibly high level, posting a 3.42 ERA with a 30% strikeout rate, setting up nicely against an Angels team that lacks the pitching prowess to match. 

Jose Soriano is on a run of three straight starts pitching six innings or more, but I expect a short outing for him against a Padres team that can make hard contact against Soriano, who is in the eighth percentile in that metric. 

Mariners vs. Athletics Prediction and Pick

Pick: Athletics (+135)

A’s rookie Joey Estes has some upside, striking out 23% of batters with a sub-seven percent walk rate, but his ERA has been crushed by hard contact, resulting in a 6.10 ERA, but his xERA is at 3.46. 

I’ll take a flier on the home underdog. 


Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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Reed Wallach

REED WALLACH

Reed is a Senior Editor at SI Betting. He grew up in New Jersey and graduated from the University of Wisconsin. His passion lies with the Brooklyn Nets, but is always hunting for an edge.