I'm in on a pair of night games Wednesday night, picking on a pair of pitchers that I think could give up some runs. The opposing arms in each instance are also high quality, which cements a couple of selections involving the favorites while avoiding an inordinately high price.
All odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook
New York Mets at Washington Nationals 7:05pm ET
Megill has no shortage of impressive numbers to open the season, even after allowing multiple earned runs in three of his last four starts. The emerging right-hander boasts a 4-1 record, 2.43 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and 27.7 percent strikeout rate. Per Statcast, he's also forged an xBA of .222 and xwOBA of .297, and he's taking on a Nationals team averaging an MLB-low 2.2 runs per home game. What's more, Washington has a 25.1 percent strikeout rate, .194 average, and MLB-worst .237 wOBA and -17.6 wRAA against righties at home, and they were already blanked by Megill over five innings on Opening Day at home.
In contrast, Sanchez has gotten the season off to a nightmarish start, pitching to an abysmal 8.56 ERA and 1.54 WHIP. The veteran righty has also given up a .321 average overall, and the 59.6 percent hard-hit rate he's yielded per Statcast is the highest of his career. Additionally, the significant trouble Sanchez is experiencing against right-handed hitters – he's surrendered a .414 average and .467 wOBA in that split – could certainly spell trouble against the likes of Starling Marte and Pete Alonso.
MLB Best Bet #1 for Mets-Nationals Mets: -0.5 – 1st 5 innings (-130) for 1 RW Buck
MLB Best Bet #2 for Mets-Nationals: Moneyline/Total Runs Parlay: Mets/ Under 7.5 Runs (+280) for 1 RW Buck
Baltimore Orioles at St. Louis Cardinals 7:45pm ET
Watkins has arguably been fortunate to head into this matchup with a solid 3.22 ERA, as he's flirted with trouble by combining an ugly 4.0 K/9 with a 4.0 BB/9 and 1.2 HR/9 across his first 22.1 innings. Accordingly, Watkins sports an xERA of 6.06 and a 5.11 xFIP, as well as a .306 xBA and .402 xwOBA. The Cardinals don't exactly have impressive numbers against righties at home, but they have a very modest 19.6 percent strikeout rate in that split that could spell trouble for Watkins given his aforementioned foreboding metrics.
Mikolas' overall numbers carry much more legitimacy. The veteran right-hander's 1.53 ERA is elite, and although his xERA of 2.75 is notably higher, it's still a very impressive figure. He's also doing an excellent job of limiting hard contact, conceding a career-low 4.8 percent barrel rate and 27.9 percent hard-hit rate per Statcast, along with an 0.5 HR/9. Mikolas has yet to give up more than two earned runs in any start and is allowing a .209 average and .265 wOBA at Busch Stadium.