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Note: This file has been updated with overnight pitching changes and weather-related game postponements, along with the addition of the latest MLB game odds as of the indicated time of publication.
What you need to know for Wednesday's MLB games
By Todd Zola
The Los Angeles Dodgers have clinched the NL West, but they are still vying for the best record in the Senior Circuit and, perhaps, MLB. Rookie Bobby Miller (44.9% rostered in ESPN leagues) takes the Dodgers Stadium hill on Wednesday against the Detroit Tigers. The Dodgers may limit Miller's innings next week in advance of the playoffs, but he's likely to pitch as long as needed Wednesday, which is a good thing considering he has hurled at least six innings in six of his last seven starts, falling one out shy his last time out. Miller has recorded a 3.68 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in this stretch, albeit with a pedestrian 37 strikeouts in 44 innings. Miller is in a favorable position to keep the roll going facing the lineup with the third-lowest wOBA and fourth-worst strikeout rate with a righty on the hill.
Another freshman is next with Eury Perez (41.5% rostered) and the Miami Marlins in the thick of the NL wild-card race. The Marlins have a home date with the New York Mets, which may seem favorable, but Kodai Senga will oppose Perez, and Senga has recorded three double-digit strikeout games in his previous four outings. That said, look for Perez to do his part facing a lineup fanning at a high 25.7% clip against righties over the past month. Since returning from his IL stint, Perez hasn't been quite as effective as earlier in the season, but he's still dominating with 45 punch-outs in 35 frames.
Aaron Civale (48.2%) has never been known as a strikeout pitcher, but since joining the Tampa Bay Rays, the righty has begun missing a lot more bats. Specifically, over his last five starts, Civale has fanned 37 in 25 1/3 innings. On Wednesday, Civale squares off against a depleted Los Angeles Angels lineup sporting the second-highest strikeout rate facing right-handers over the past month.
The San Diego Padres are falling out of the wild-card race, but it isn't Seth Lugo's fault. Since getting lit up for eight runs in 3 1/3 innings against the Dodgers in early August, Lugo (33.7%) has posted a 2.97 ERA and 1.14 ERA over his next seven starts, punching out 36 in 39 1/3 stanzas. Lugo is in a great spot to remain effective in a juicy home date with the Colorado Rockies. For the season, the Rockies sport the second-lowest road wOBA and the highest strikeout rate facing righties.
Royce Lewis (52.5%) is still underappreciated in fantasy circles. In September, Lewis has recorded a .313/.405/.625 line, including six homers and four steals. He has walked at 13.5% clip while fanning at a low 18.9% pace. Adding to Lewis' allure is shortstop and third base eligibility, so he can be shuffled around a lineup to optimize scoring potential. Lewis benefits from the platoon edge over Reid Detmers on Wednesday, but he's clearly comfortable facing righties, as evidenced by hitting 14 of his 15 long balls with the platoon advantage.
Starting pitcher rankings for Wednesday
Bullpen usage watch for Wednesday
By Todd Zola
Josh Hader was summoned to pitch the top of the ninth last night at Petco Park with the Padres and Rockies in a scoreless tie. Blake Snell pitched the first seven frames for the Padres without allowing a hit, then Robert Suarez retired three straight hitters in the eighth. Hader preserved the shutout, but he did surrender a pair of hits to break up the team no-hitter. Xander Bogaerts walked it off in the bottom of the frame with a two-run homer, handing Hader his first win of the season. He threw only 13 pitches, but that came a day after Hader tossed eight while collecting a one-out save. However, the lefty has already appeared for three straight days twice this season, so he can't be ruled out for today's matinee, especially since San Diego is off on Thursday. If the club opts to give Hader two days of rest, Scott Barlow is the probable ninth inning fill-in.
Thursday's schedule consists of just nine games, so there will likely be holes in a fantasy lineup. It's always wise to stay a step ahead of your competition, so picking up closers whose teams are playing tomorrow can be beneficial. Using a tandem of relievers from the same team that doesn't have a set closer is a way to collect a save and a hold. An example is Craig Kimbrel (42.1%) and Jose Alvardo (12.2%) with the Phillies opening a series with the New York Mets tomorrow.
The Cubs bullpen is also worth consideration. With closer Adbert Alzolay on the IL, the Cubs have been playing matchups in the late innings. The Cubs wrap up their series with the Pirates on Thursday, so picking up Julian Merryweather (3.6%) and pairing him with Hayden Wesneski (1.2%) is an option. Both here and with the Phillies, it's not necessary to acquire both relievers today. Alvarado and Merryweather gathered the last save for their respective teams, so picking one of them up today, then grabbing their tag team partner tomorrow is an option.
Best sub-50% rostered hitters for Wednesday
Best and worst hitters from the day are generated by THE BAT X, a projection system created by Derek Carty using advanced methods like those used in MLB front offices, accounting for a variety of factors including player talent, ballparks, bullpens, weather, umpires, defense, catcher pitch-framing and lots more.
Joey Meneses (WSH, 1B -- 28%) vs. Scholtens
Luis Garcia (WSH, SS -- 6%) vs. Scholtens
Mark Canha (MIL, LF -- 12%) at Thompson
Worst over-50% rostered hitters for Wednesday
Ty France (SEA, 1B -- 62%) at Joey Estes
Christian Walker (ARI, 1B -- 92%) vs. Webb
Daulton Varsho (TOR, C -- 74%) at King
Prop of the Day
Chase Anderson, Rockies: Over/Under 2.5 earned runs (+135/-175)
THE BAT sees Anderson allowing 3.23 earned runs for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 59.1% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the OVER, with an expected value of $30.11.
Note: Expected Value is a measure of how good a bet is, factoring the probability that it will win versus the odds the book is providing. If you were to wager $1.00 100 times on a bet with an Expected Value of $25, you would win some and you would lose some, but in the end you would expect to come away with $25 in profit on your $100 investment.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE OVER
The Padres are the second-best projected offense on the slate today in terms of overall batting ability.
It may be sensible to expect better numbers for the Padres offense in future games, considering that THE BAT X has them as the fourth-unluckiest offense in MLB this year.
Brian Knight profiles as a hitters umpire and is expected to be calling pitches in this game.
This contest is projected to have the 12th-best conditions for pitching among all the games scheduled today.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
Petco Park grades out as the No. 24 field in MLB for walks, according to THE BAT.
The Rockies' infield defense is the second-strongest among teams playing today.