This article is part of our MLB Picks series.
Last article: 0-4 (-4.00 RW Bucks)
Season Record: 19-20-2 (-2.07 RW Bucks)
I'll look to bounce back from my first blanking of the season by riding a couple of AL powerhouses Wednesday night that are facing pitchers whose underlying metrics greatly hint at some overdue regression. Given the firepower on each of the favorites, I'm counting on them to exploit those weaknesses, leading to fruitful offensive nights.
All odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook
New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles 7:05pm ET
Cole has left a shaky start to the season in the dust, as he boasts a 3-0 record, 1.42 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 12.1 K/9 in his last four starts. He's actually done a better job getting swings and misses and limiting the long ball on the road, where he carries an 11.6 K/9 and 0.6 HR/9 over 14 innings. The Orioles have given right-handers trouble at home recently, but Cole has held current Baltimore bats to a collective .200/.300/.339 slash line in 84 career encounters.
Lyles may carry a respectable 4.38 ERA, but he owns a 4.87 xERA, .287 xBA and .366 xwOBA that speaks to the fact he's been fortunate not to have sustained more damage than he has. The veteran has had trouble against several potent Yankees bats as well – the quintet of Josh Donaldson, Joey Gallo, Anthony Rizzo, DJ LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton own a .366 average with four doubles, a triple and four homers against him in 81 career plate appearances.
MLB Best Bet #1 for Yankees-Orioles: Yankees Over 4.5 Total Runs (-114) for 1 RW Buck
MLB Best Bet #2 for Yankees-Orioles: 1st Half Run Line/Total Runs Parlay: Yankees +1.5/Over 3.5 runs (+100) for 1 RW Buck
Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays 7:07pm ET
Gonzales has arguably been even more fortunate than Lyles, as there is a sizable gulf between his actual ERA (3.38) and xERA (5.64). He's also giving up a .297 xBA, .556 xSLG and his highest hard-hit rate (41.4 percent) since his rookie 2015 season, per Statcast. Gonzales' 8.8 percent walk rate is also the highest of his career, and he's facing a Blue Jays team that has a .326 wOBA against left-handed pitching at home, along with the seventh-highest line-drive rate (22.1 percent) in that split.
Gausman's strong start to his Toronto tenure essentially appears as legit as his surface numbers imply. The right-hander has commemorated his return to the AL after three-plus seasons on the Senior Circuit by posting a 3-2 record, 2.40 ERA and 0.98 WHIP, along with a 10.8 K/9, in his first seven starts back. Gausman's .242 xBA, .383 xSLG, .270 xwOBA and 2.51 xERA all underscore how effective he's been, and he now faces a Mariners team averaging the sixth-fewest runs per first five innings per road game (1.57) and carrying a .288 wOBA and -8.0 wRAA against righties on the road.