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MLB Best Bets for Wednesday, May 22

Publish Date: 05/22/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe

The MLB betting slate on Wednesday, May 22 is loaded with every team in the league in action. This opens up plenty of exciting opportunities to make money on some moneylines and totals, and we'll cover everything you need to know by breaking down the games below.

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

I've found a great edge in Wednesday night's game between the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, and there should be some value to be found elsewhere with the trendy Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees, who are desperate for a rebound win over the Seattle Mariners at home.

Let's get into our our best bets for Wednesday.

MLB Betting Resources:

BEST BET FOR SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS VS. PITTSBURGH PIRATES

A quick look at the Latest MLB Betting Odds here would suggest that oddsmakers are baiting you into taking the Giants on the road in Blake Snell's long-awaited return from injury.

This is, indeed, a trap in my eyes given San Francisco has one of the hotter offenses in the league and was rather unfortunate to lose on Tuesday after hanging six runs on Pittsburgh and watching closer Camilo Doval fumble away the victory in the ninth.

The thing is, Wednesday's starter Jared Jones is very good.

The young Pirates righty has posted a blistering 30.6% strikeout rate in his rookie season, and while he's pitched to few ground balls the strikeouts and limited walks have done well to mitigate the risk involved with his batted ball profile and his poor 43.7% hard-hit rate.

The Giants are hot at the moment, but they have lacked power this season and even in the last two weeks. A torrid run through a terrible Rockies pitching staff has inflated this team's numbers and in a pitcher-friendly park on Wednesday against a pitcher who can strike them out at a higher clip than they're used to, I think they should quiet down a bit.

On the flip side, we haven't seen Snell in weeks and when we did -- he was very bad. I do think the park upgrade he received when signing with San Francisco will ultimately help him but he's got a long way to go.

Snell, notably, was missing strikeouts earlier in the year and I think that will come back to bite him against a Pirates offense that is rapidly improving and doing damage when the ball is coming back into play. Strikeouts have killed them, but it remains to be seen how good Snell will be in that department after injury.

Best Bet: Pirates ML (-125 at BetMGM)

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Looking to bet this one as the action unfolds? Check out our MLB Live Betting Guide.

BEST BET FOR SEATTLE MARINERS VS. NEW YORK YANKEES

The Mariners own plenty of exciting young arms, and while Bryce Miller has been counted among them it's fair to say he's struggled here in 2024.

Miller, like many of Seattle's pitchers, is an extreme fly-ball pitcher which works very well in their friendly home park but not as well ad bandboxes like Yankee Stadium.

Unlike his teammates, his 25.1% strikeout rate isn't quite good enough to mask the issues that fly balls can present in matchups like this and his hard-hit and barrel rates are unacceptably in the bottom 12% of the league.

I expect Miller to struggle against a Yankees offense that is hitting the ball well at the moment, aside from the innings they had to face Bryan Woo on Tuesday, who's one of the top strikeout arms in the American League.

With more balls in play, and with Miller's awful performance in the quality-of-contact stats, New York should once again hang a crooked number on Wednesday.

Nestor Cortes is getting the ball here for the Yankees, and while he carries with him a similarly-concerning fly ball rate he'll not only be pitching to the weaker of the two offenses -- and one hitting just .228 off of lefties -- but he has posted an excellent barrel rate and expected numbers, putting the Yankees in a great spot here.

Best Bet: Yankees First Five Innings -0.5 (-110)

Not sure where to place your bet? Be sure to check out the Best MLB Betting Apps in 2024.

BEST BET FOR ATLANTA BRAVES VS CHICAGO CUBS

We've arrived at my favorite edge of the day which is over in Chicago where it would appear we've got a pitcher's duel brewing between Max Fried and Justin Steele.

The thing is, while both men carry a solid Expected ERA into this one the matchup is much friendlier for the offenses than those numbers would lead to to believe.

Fried's been the top ground ball pitcher in the league among qualified players, but his strikeout rate has dropped by nearly seven points which should open the door for a Cubs offense which does damage against contact-oriented pitchers.

Chicago grades out as one of the top five fly ball teams in the league and with the wind blowing out to left at its homer-friendly park I think it will land a couple of big punches with home runs off Fried while it continues to populate the bases with a .253 batting average versus ground-ballers this season.

On the flip side, Steele hasn't pitched much due to injury, but even in 19 innings of work we can see there are some glaring issues with the lefty given his unsightly marriage of hard-hit balls and launch angle.

He's been incredibly fortunate to pitch to his low xERA and barrel rates, but with five home runs allowed in the last two games I think the warning signs are certainly there.

Atlanta can elevate and celebrate with the best of them, and with Austin Riley expected back in the lineup it should do plenty of damage here and push the game over the total.

Best Bet: Over 8.5 (-115 at DraftKings)

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