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What you need to know for Wednesday’s MLB Games
By Todd Zola
Wednesday offers the usual 15-game slate, with 11 afternoon affairs. The festivities commence in Cincinnati with the Reds hosting the Rays at 12:25 PM ET. The final contest begins at 8:10 PM ET in Houston with the Astros hosting the Blue Jays. Tampa’s offense still leads the league in runs per game, though their pace has slowed lately. They’re in line to revert to their high-scoring ways with Luke Weaver making his 2023 debut. Further, once Weaver exits, the Rays will face one of the league’s worst bullpens. Luke Raley (1%) and Josh Lowe (16%) are the chief targets as they’ll have the platoon edge on Weaver, but Isaac Paredes (38%) and Harold Ramirez (11%) are also in play.
Those with Max Scherzer on their fantasy roster will want to follow the reports up until the 3:10 p.m. ET gametime. Scherzer is slated to start for the Mets against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. This is Scherzer’s first start since being skipped over the weekend with soreness in his side and back. He reported no issues after throwing off a mound Monday, but it still merits tracking.
Trevor Rogers (8.3%) is the day’s top streaming candidate. It’s rare a hurler with such a low rostership rate lands third on the daily rankings, but Rogers is coming off a disappointing campaign, and hasn’t yet earned back the trust most had heading into the 2022 campaign. He hasn’t been bad this season, but Rogers did fail to throw five frames in his first two outings, both against the Mets. Last time out, Rogers stifled the Diamondbacks at home, tossing six frames with just one run allowed while fanning seven. Sample size warnings apply, but so far, the Giants wOBA versus lefties is the second lowest in MLB, while their strikeout rate is fourth highest.
The Brewers offense is also struggling against southpaw pitching with the sixth worst wOBA and third highest strikeout rate with a lefthander on the hill. Further, since Milwaukee will face Marco Gonzales in Seattle, they’ll incur a significant hitting park downgrade. Gonzales weekend start was skipped when he was on paternity leave. When he last pitched on April 8, Gonzales punched out five Guardians in 5.2 innings, and Cleveland is one of the hardest teams to fan in the league.
After a solid second half last season, Kyle Bradish (1.8%) was a sneaky target for many in draft season. However, he was hit in the foot by a comebacker only four outs into his first start, then put on the IL with a foot contusion. It’s a little risky starting a pitcher fresh off the injured list, but Bradish threw 83 pitches in his lone rehab start, which is sufficient to throw at least five frames in Washington on Wednesday. The Nationals offense sports the third lowest wOBA facing right-handers.
Noah Syndergaard and the Dodgers have a home date with the Mets. Syndergaard pitching against the team for which he toiled from 2015 through 2021 will not doubt garner most of the attention, but the main storyline for fantasy is Syndergaard’s inability to control the running game. The Dodgers only have two steals, both courtesy of James Outman (53%). Outman should probably be rostered at a higher rate even without this juicy match-up as he’s taken over the regular duties in center field and has been hitting in the upper part of a potent lineup. Chris Taylor (4.7%), Miguel Vargas (21%) and Miguel Rojas (1.3%) are all in play to collect their first swipe of the season.
Starting pitcher rankings for Wednesday
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.
Andrew McCutchen (PIT, LF — 19%) at Austin Gomber
Ke’Bryan Hayes (PIT, 3B — 16%) at Gomber
Tyler O’Neill (STL, LF — 36%) vs. Madison Bumgarner
Jurickson Profar (COL, LF — 14%) vs. Johan Oviedo
Carlos Santana (PIT, 1B — 18%) at Gomber
Connor Joe (PIT, LF — 1%) at Gomber
Charlie Blackmon (COL, RF — 30%) vs. Oviedo
Ryan McMahon (COL, 3B — 14%) vs. Oviedo
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Wednesday
Gunnar Henderson (BAL, 3B — 72%) at MacKenzie Gore
Jorge Mateo (BAL, SS — 58%) at Gore
J.D. Martinez (LAD, DH — 69%) vs. Scherzer
Hunter Renfroe (LAA, RF — 76%) at Jhony Brito
Jeremy Pena (HOU, SS — 66%) vs. Jose Berrios
Brian Anderson (MIL, 3B — 56%) at Marco Gonzales
Andres Gimenez (CLE, 2B — 88%) at Spencer Turnbull
Matt Chapman (TOR, 3B — 93%) at Luis Garcia
Keibert Ruiz (WSH, C — 60%) vs. Bradish