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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 final Wednesday slate of the season features the standard 15 games, with just one afternoon affair. Action begins at 2:10 p.m. ET with the Chicago White Sox hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks in a game with playoff implications for the visitors.
The top streaming option is Baltimore Orioles rookie Grayson Rodriguez (42.6%) taking the hill at home against Patrick Corbin and the Washington Nationals. It's always beneficial to rely on hurlers with something on the line. Rodriguez is one of the main reasons the Orioles are in the AL East driver's seat with a 2.32 ERA and 1.05 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 66 innings over his last 11 starts. For the season, the Nationals sport the sixth lowest wOBA facing right-handers, though they've been a tad more productive since the All-Star break.
Next up is Ranger Suarez (31.2%) with the Philadelphia Phillies aiming to secure the top wild card spot in the National League. The lefty has a home date with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Over his prior 10 starts, Suarez has a high 1.41 WHIP, but he's been victimized by a .320 BABIP. Suarez has minimized damage with 53 strikeouts and only six homers allowed in that 52 1/3 innings span. Suarez sets up for a solid outing, facing a lineup with the sixth lowest wOBA, and 10th highest strikeout rate with a lefty on the hill since the break.
Dane Dunning (26.1%) is another hurler in a game with a lot of meaning with the Texas Rangers in a three-way tussle for the AL West championship as well as being in the wild card chase. Dunning isn't dominant, but he'll face a depleted Los Angeles Angels lineup with the third worst wOBA and highest strikeout rate facing righties in September.
Trusting Sean Manaea (17.4%) with a fantasy championship on the line may seem like a fool's errand, but the San Francisco Giants lefty has been effective since converting back to a full-fledged starter. Over his last three appearances, Manaea recorded a 2.00 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. He's only fanned 10 in those 18 frames, but just two walks and one homer allowed has balanced the good luck. There is risk with Manaea facing the San Diego Padres who have hit southpaws well lately, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
As it is about half of the season, the prime spot for hitters is Coors Field with the Los Angeles Dodgers visiting the Colorado Rockies. James Outman (25.5%), Jason Heyward (1.4%) and David Peralta (0.8%) all enjoy the platoon edge on Noah Davis.
Starting pitcher rankings for Wednesday
Bullpen usage for Wednesday
By Todd Zola
The Cincinnati Reds scored twice in the top of the ninth, extending their lead to 11-7 over the Cleveland Guardians. Despite it no longer being a save situation, Alexis Diaz was brought in, and he tossed a scoreless bottom of the ninth to preserve the win and keep the Red slim playoff hopes alive. Diaz threw 17 pitches, giving him 41 over the last three days and 58 over the last four. Diaz appeared on four of five days earlier in the season, but it was with a much lower cumulative pitch count over the previous three days. Still, based on the importance of tonight's contest, Diaz can't be ruled out, especially since the Reds are off tomorrow so he and the rest of Cincinnati's bullpen can refresh.
Josh Hader has thrown a lot of pitches over the past three weeks, but most of them were over a week ago. As such, last night's one-out, six-pitch save coming on two days of rest will not jeopardize his availability for today, so long as he's not asked for more than three outs.
David Bednar recently threw 62 pitches over a five=day period, so he needed a few days to refresh. After three days off, Bednar was brought into the bottom of the 10th of a 2-2 tie with the Philadelphia Phillies. Bednar fanned Brandon Marsh, but then he surrendered a single to Johan Rojas, scoring the ghost runner and clinching a wild card berth for the Phillies. Bednar only used none pitches, so he's available tonight in a contest where the Phillies will likely rest many of their regulars.
The Atlanta Braves rallied from a six-run deficit to defeat the Chicago Cubs 7-6. Raisel Iglesias collected his 31st save with a scoreless ninth inning. He threw 17 pitches, which came two days after tossing 16. If the Braves hadn't already clinched the NL East, Iglesias would probably be available tonight, but there is no reason for the club to push him; he'll get some work over the weekend to stay sharp. A.J. Minter and Kiby Yates are both well rested and could use some work, with recent usage suggesting Yates is the better candidate for a save.
Ryan Helsley collected his sixth save this month and 13th this season on Tuesday night by fanning the side on 14 pitches. The St. Louis Cardinals are playing out the string, but since Helsley appeared after two day's rest, he should be available for tonight's tilt with the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers.
The Toronto Blue Jays are leading the race for the American League's second wild card, but it's not a done deal. Jordan Romano was brought into the top of the ninth last night, to preserve a scoreless tie with the New York Yankees. The deadlock didn't last long as Gleyber Torres singled, followed by Austin Wells leaving the yard with a two-run homer. Romano retired the next three hitter, but the Toronto offense could not score, saddling Romano with his seventh loss of the season. Romano has now been charged with a loss in his last two appearances. Since he only threw 13 pitches, and was appearing after two days off, Romano could have the chance to get back on track tonight.
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.
Bryan De La Cruz (MIA, CF -- 13%) at Lucchesi and Senga
Nolan Jones (COL, RF -- 38%) vs. Sheehan
Jason Heyward (LAD, CF -- 1%) at Davis
Mark Vientos (NYM, DH -- 1%) vs. Garrett and Cueto
Worst over-50% rostered hitters for Wednesday
Salvador Perez (KC, C -- 78%) at Skubal
Teoscar Hernandez (SEA, RF -- 65%) vs. Valdez
The BAT X's Best Stacks for Wednesday
Prop of the Day
Brayan Bello 16.5 pitching outs (+100/-125).
THE BAT sees Bello putting up 17.9 pitching outs for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 60.8% of the time.
THE BAT believes there is positive value on the OVER with an expected value of $21.56.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE OVER
It may be sensible to expect worse numbers for the Tampa Bay Rays offense the rest of the season, given that the BAT X sees them as them as the second-luckiest offense in the majors this year.
Jeremie Rehak projects as a Pitchers Umpire and is anticipated to be behind the plate today.
According to the weather forecast, the temperature and humidity for this contest will be the second-best for pitching of all games on the slate today.
The wind projects to be blowing in from RF at 8.1-mph in this contest, the fourth best of the day for hurlers.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
Fenway Park grades out as the No. 2 stadium in the game for batting average, via THE BAT.
Bello's 94.4-mph velocity on his fastball this year is a significant 1.3-mph drop off from last year's 95.7-mph figure.