Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Max Scherzer, Mets are overvalued vs. Braves, plus other best bets for Wednesday

It seems holding in can be an effective strategy for earning a new contract. It certainly worked for Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James, who agreed to a four-year, $76.5 million extension that makes him the highest-paid safety in NFL history. The average annual payout of $19.1 million surpasses the deal Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick signed earlier this year.

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So if Derwin James borrowed $20 from you a few years ago and never bothered to pay you back, now is a good time to shoot him a text. It’s also a good time to read these stories.

Let’s see if we can go 3-0 in our MLB bets like we did Monday night.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook

🔥 The Hot Ticket

Mets at Braves, 7:20 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Atlanta Braves +135

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  • Key Trend: The Braves have won five of the last seven meetings in Atlanta.
  • The Pick: Braves (+135)

It’s not #OperationFadeGrom, but it’s close. The Mets have Max Scherzer taking the bump tonight, and despite all the different uniforms he’s worn in recent years, he’s still Max Scherzer. He’s a terror to step into the box against. He’s also the reason the Mets are overvalued tonight. The Braves are one of the five best teams in the league, and they’re home dogs tonight because of Scherzer. It’s a situation I’ll happily look to take advantage of.

Jake Odorizzi starts for the Braves. He enters with an ERA of 3.80. He’s not Scherzer, but he’s far from a pushover and backed by one of baseball’s best bullpens. New York’s pen had to cover six innings last night and six innings the night before. Odds are Max Scherzer will need a leg or arm amputated for the Mets to pull him out of the game before the sixth, but a tired bullpen is something we can’t ignore when it belongs to a road favorite.

Furthermore, have you seen the Braves offense in this series? They’ve scored 18 runs the last two nights. The Mets have managed one. Even if Scherzer keeps Braves bats in line, the Mets offense has been in a deep sleep and have hit only two home runs in the last week. None of these things make the Mets appealing to me tonight.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: The SportsLine Projection Model agrees with us, posting an A-graded play on the Braves money line, but SportsLine experts Matt Snyder and Matt Severance are going a different direction.

💰 The Picks




Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Under 8.5

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The Pick: Under 8.5 (+100) — The total in the Bronx is a little too high. Domingo German gets the start for the Yankees, but while he hasn’t been great in his first 23.2 innings this season, I have difficulty believing some of the early returns are warning signs more than bad luck. He’ll be up against Corey Kluber, who might have an ERA of 4.40 but has pitched much better than that stat indicates.

Long-time readers know that I love pitchers who avoid walks when it comes to betting unders, and Kluber has truly been elite there this season, walking only 3.5% of hitters he’s faced. He’s also done an excellent job avoiding hard contact, which is crucial against a Yankees lineup that mashes better than any other in the league. It’s always scary betting an under at Yankee Stadium, but it’s the right play tonight.

Key Trend: The under is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings.

Astros at White Sox, 8:10 p.m | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Over 8

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The Pick: Over 8 (-110) — Runs are hard to come by against Houston’s Framber Valdez because even though he allows plenty of contact, it’s almost exclusively on the ground. Valdez’s groundball rate is 60% better than the league average, and his flyball rate is 61% lower. That’s how he gets away with more walks (8.4%) than you’d typically like to see and a league-average strikeout rate (22.1%).

Still, tonight he’s facing a White Sox offense that does a good job of making contact and has posted a wRC+ of 122 in the last week (8th in the league). Michael Kopech starts for the Sox. Like Valdez, he doesn’t have a high strikeout rate, but his walk rate of 11.9% is 47% worse than the league average. He also allows a lot of flyball contact, which won’t work to his advantage at Guaranteed Rate Field (where tonight’s weather forecast tilts strongly in favor of the hitters). Nor does facing a Houston offense with the third-highest home run rate in baseball.

Key Trend: The over is 5-2-1 in the last eight meetings.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: SportsLine expert Mike McClure shares all his best plays for the 2022 FedEx Cup Playoffs, which begin this weekend with the BMW Championship.

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