MLB picks: 3 best sides bets for Wednesday (July 3) (2024)

A full slate of Major League Baseball this evening, and there are three overs we really like, including one at Mile High.

Play 1: Colorado Rockies vs. Milwaukee Brewers -- Over 11.5 runs (even) ESPN BET

When sinkers don't sink at Coors Field, the ball goes flying -- even more so when they're paired with below-average fastballs.

When the weather is good at Coors -- as it will be this evening, with temps in the low 90s at first pitch -- the ball goes flying.

When you put two below-average pitchers on the mound at Coors -- as will happen this evening, with Colin Rea and Dakota Hudson -- the ball goes flying.

When it add it all up, the over certainly looks like the play.

The Brewers are sending Rea to the mound, and he is OK enough against righties but truly terrible against lefties -- a .225 ISO and .349 wOBA this year gives some idea, and it's no fluke, as he went .251 and .351 last year -- and the Rockies are expected to send five lefties to the plate.

In addition, those lefties are particularly adept at smacking the sinker, especially Nolan Jones, with a .265 ISO and .529 wOBA against that pitch over the last two years. Rea has also only battled the elements at Coors Field once in his career, and half the batters he faced found their way on base.

On the other side, the Rockies are sending Hudson to the hill, and Coors Field has not been good to him in this, his first year in Colorado.

He's pitched 35.2 innings at Coors this year, to the tune of a 8.58 ERA, a 41% hard hit rate, and a .436 wOBA.

Yikes.

And while he's serviceable against righties, lefties mash him, and the Brewers will be sending at least four of them to the plate, including Christian Yelich.

Topping it all off, Rea has a strikeout percentage of 16.8%, and Hudson's is 11.9%. Rea's walk rate is OK at 7.6%; Hudson's is not OK at 11.6%.

In short: Balls will be hit, batters will be walked. Baseball is baseball and anything can happen, but this is about as good a hitting environment as can be imagined tonight. The over is the play.

(Additionally, the Rockies are +140 underdogs on the moneyline, and this game feels more like a toss-up than anything else.)

Play 2: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks -- Dodgers over 5.5 runs (+114) DraftKings

The Dodgers hit the over for us last night, and I'm going right back to it this evening against Cristian Mena, who is making his major league debut.

Mena is a lightly-touted 21-year-old prospect with a high strikeout rate through his three-plus years in the minors.

He also walks a ton of batters and is prone to giving up the long ball.

And the first batter he will face in his MLB career is Shohei Ohtani.

Is it possible Mena comes out and mows down a bunch of batters who have never seen him before? Well of course. But it seems much more likely the Dodgers lineup -- even this watered-down version without Mookie Betts and Max Muncy -- should be able to plate one, two, a few, and more runs against the Diamondbacks rookie.

The first six expected batters in the lineup all have ISOs over .160 against righties over the last two years, and five of them boast wOBAs north of .320.

Of course, Ohtani -- and his .383 ISO and .472 wOBA -- is more than capable of smacking a home run or three at any time.

Given all this, I like the Dodgers, and I like them to score in bunches this evening at Chavez Ravine.

Play 3: New York Yankees vs. Cincinnati Reds -- Over 8.5 runs (-105) FanDuel

This line is too low. It's just that simple.

The Yankees will be facing off -- or, perhaps more to the point, teeing off -- against lefty Andrew Abbott.

Abbott is not a bad pitcher, but he is definitely not a good pitcher against righties, with a .233 ISO and .329 wOBA against this year. Furthermore, his strikeout numbers are down against righties year-over-year, from 24.4% to 18.9%.

He's also giving up a 9% barrel rate against righties, along with an unsustainable BABIP of .226. Some regression is coming, and Aaron Judge + regression = look out below.

Over the last two seasons, against the 4-seam fastball, which Abbott throws nearly 60% of the time, Judge has a .447 ISO and .519 wOBA.

And he's not alone. Against that pitch thrown by lefties, Gleyber Torres is at a .418 ISO and .441 wOBA; J.D. Davis .227 ISO, .393 wOBA; Anthony Volpe, .269 ISO, .430 wOBA.

In fact, everyone in the lineup, outside of Alex Verdugo, has an ISO north of .188 against the pitch thrown by lefties. Even lefty Juan Soto is mashing it, to the tune of a positively Judge-ian .448 ISO and .492 wOBA.

The Yankees could hit the 8.5 number all by their lonesome.

Meanwhile, the Reds will be facing the quickly deteriorating lefty Carlos Rodon. He started out the season just fine, but lately ... yeesh. His last three starts: 13.2 innings, 28 hits (15 of which went for extra bases) and 20 earned runs.

Tonight he'll be facing a Reds lineup that should be all-righty, and Rodon is giving up a .216 ISO and .347 wOBA to righty batters on the season, along with a 10.5% barrel percentage.

Not looking great for Rodon, but looking great for this seemingly mispriced over.

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Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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MLB picks: 3 best sides bets for Wednesday (July 3) (2024)
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