MLB Betting Guide for Wednesday 8/16/23: Can the Reds Right the Ship?

Facing arguably baseball's worst offense against lefties, Andrew Abbott could carry the Reds to a much-needed win today. How should we bet that one, and what else stands out on today's full slate?

Baseball has you covered if you want a large inventory of options to bet.

From moneylines to run totals to first-five-inning wagers, we have plenty of ways to bet the long, arduous MLB schedule daily. Outlooks can be vastly different due to starting pitchers, and a wealth of advanced stats can let us know if an individual pitcher, a bullpen, or a team is due for positive -- or negative -- regression.

Using numberFire's projections as a guide, which MLB odds from FanDuel Sportsbook are most appealing today?

Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All stats come from FanGraphs and Baseball Savant unless noted otherwise. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated projections.

Cleveland Guardians at Cincinnati Reds

Reds -1.5 (+120)

The Cincinnati Reds have won just 3 of their 13 games this month, but they're well-positioned to add to that total today at home.

Andrew Abbott will toe the slab for the Redlegs, and that's generally been good news for them. Abbott has a stellar 2.95 ERA that's supported by a 3.35 expected ERA (xERA), and he's also amassed a sizable 27.0% strikeout rate. It will aid him even further that the opposing Cleveland Guardians have a dreadful 46 wRC+ against lefties in the past 30 days -- comfortably last in MLB.

Cleveland will start Noah Syndergaard on the other side, and Syndergaard's up-and-down season has continued with his new squad. All in all, Syndergaard still has a 5.87 xFIP in August with a paltry 15.4% strikeout rate, and he is throwing today in one of baseball's best parks for offense.

The bulk of Cincinnati's recent offensive struggles have come against southpaws; they've still got a respectable .769 OPS against righties in the past 30 days, and the struggling Syndergaard isn't an imposing righty.

Recency bias might be why this number is so long compared to what we saw during the Reds' torrid summer, but this is an appealing bet in a matchup in which the Reds have the edge on both sides of the ball.

Boston Red Sox at Washington Nationals

Nationals +0.5 in F5 Innings (-114)

There are two sides to a pitching matchup. How good are the pitchers on their own, and how good will they perform in this matchup?

It's easy to like the Boston Red Sox when James Paxton is on the bump. "The Big Maple" has a 3.32 xERA, 27.4% strikeout rate, and a minuscule 6.6% walk rate in what has been a 2023 turnaround. While Paxton is the better pitcher here, he's not so much better that we should ignore the other side.

That's because MacKenzie Gore isn't a bad hurler, either. He's posted a modest 4.12 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) with a gigantic 26.9% strikeout rate this season. While the youngster hasn't been overly consistent, he's flashed dominant traits, and there's no doubt that he's been victimized by a HR/FB ratio (17.6%) that is well above the league average (13.1%).

To Gore's benefit, the Boston Red Sox have largely wavered against left-handed pitching recently. Their 71 wRC+ in this split over the past month is the seventh-worst mark in MLB. Surprisingly, the spunky Washington Nationals (111 wRC+) have significantly outperformed the BoSox in the split.

With a significantly easier matchup, Gore should be able to hang with Paxton tonight. The Nats' bullpen (4.76 xFIP this season) still hasn't earned my trust despite improved play during the month of August, so this wager is a middle ground to support a quality effort from MacKenzie.

If this one is tied after five, this spread will cash. That could make all the difference in what figures to be a low-scoring affair until the starters depart.

Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers

Over 9.0 (-108)

In May, a matchup between Reid Detmers and Jon Gray might have carried a total of 7.5. Their peripherals have risen like summer's ambient temperature.

Fresh off getting shelled by the Houston Astros, the Los Angeles Angels' lefty has felt a more precipitous decline than Gray. Detmers has an unsightly 7.73 xFIP in August, and his elevated punchout rate has plummeted to just 10.8% this month. It's not really a fluke when he's ceded a 46.4% hard-hit rate during this time, too. Detmers could have been classified as an "underperformer" previously, but his 5.27 ERA isn't that far from a 4.63 xERA at this stage.

As for Gray, he's still likely due for a bit of a regression. The Texas Rangers' pre-deadline ace has a 3.65 ERA, but Gray's 4.52 SIERA implies trouble might be ahead. He's still rocking a 20.8% strikeout rate that would be his lowest in a full season of his entire career, and with him ceding a 38.1% hard-hit rate allowed, it's an act of wizardry that things haven't yet come back to bite the former Oklahoma Sooner.

Of course, Detmers will enter a war zone against Texas' lethal offense. They've held an .833 OPS against left-handers during the past month. The Halos (.761 OPS versus righties in the past 30 days) are also a pretty dangerous offense for Gray to contend with.

Add in the fact that both of these teams have bottom-half bullpens (by xFIP) in the past month, and the over -- which would be a third straight in this series -- seems like a good wager.

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