MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Predictions for Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Carlos Correa
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 05: Carlos Correa #4 of the Minnesota Twins looks on against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on October 05, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

We’ll take a nice 2-1 day. The Rays easily won as a +110 underdog, winning 11-3. The over in Boston took four innings to win after a George Springer home run (never before seen). However, my vision for Gerrit Cole did not come to fruition, as he allowed four home runs without recording a strikeout. Aaron Judge tried his best to get us there, closing the gap to two runs, but it wasn’t enough to cash Yankees ML.

Today’s board reeks. So many underwhelming pitching matchups that only one game popped up for me. Let’s travel to Arizona for my pick of the day.

These picks are available on BetMGM. Code “JustBaseball” for a first bet offer up to $1500

2024 Record: 69-78 (-13.44 U)

Minnesota Twins vs. Arizona Diamondbacks @ 9:40 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Simeon Woods-Richardson vs. Ryne Nelson

The Arizona Diamondbacks hold home-field advantage today, and that’s about where the edge to bet them ends. The Twins have a better starting pitcher, a better, more rested bullpen, and a superior offense. I am betting on a rebound after yesterday’s close loss and even this series.

Ryne Nelson will get the ball for Arizona. He’s made 42 starts in his career, and a clear trend is happening for him. He does not like pitching in Arizona, and a change of scenery might be good for him down the line. He’s thrown 98.1 innings at Chase Field, and his numbers are horrible.

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Nelson has a 6.77 career ERA at home, 5.22 FIP, 5.60 xFIP. Opponents are rocking a .326/.379/.563 slash line against him in Arizona. This season, he’s sporting a 5.74 ERA while opponents slash .326/.366/.492.

He’s facing a Twins lineup that is still putting up crooked numbers. The Twins have the third-best wRC+ against right-handed pitching over the last two weeks at 142. They have the third-highest OPS in that span at .855, and they are crushing the ball, rocking the fourth-highest Hard-Hit rate. Nelson gives up a lot of hard-hit baseballs, ranking in the 20th percentile or lower in average exit velocity, hard-hit rate, and barrel rate.

It’s easy to tell why Nelson’s earned run line is juiced to the over at -150. He’s likely to go five innings while allowing three runs, but I think there is upside for more.

Simeon Woods Richardson lines up on the other side. He’s not a pitcher I plan on backing for the rest of the season, but he should keep us in the ballgame. While he’s new to the scene, his best starts have come in night games (2.70 ERA), and on the road (3.12 ERA). He’s also tougher on lefties (.569 OPS), which should help him get through the first three lefties in Arizona’s lineup (Carroll, Marte, Pederson).

I grade SWR as an average pitcher. His 4.08 xERA is in the 44th percentile. He’s not a heavy strikeout arm but he is league average at it, and he’s above league average in limiting walks.

SWR’s slider is his best pitch, and it’s an awesome one, holding opponents to a .194 average this year. The Diamondbacks rank 24th in xwOBA out of 30 teams against sliders, so if he is commanding that pitch today, he should stay under his 2.5 earned run line over five innings of work.

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The Diamondbacks will score, as they have a 132 wRC+ against right-handers over the last two weeks. I expect the Snakes to put up runs, just not as many as Minnesota.

The Twins also own the bullpen advantage. The Diamondbacks bullpen used their three best relievers last night (Ginkel, Sewald, Thompson). All will be available this game, but they’ll be pitching on back-to-backs.

The Twins bullpen is not only better, but none of their critical arms pitched last night outside of Jorge Alcala. Griffin Jax and Johan Duran are fully rested. They also have Okert (3.52 ERA), Staumont (0.00 ERA). They can go even deeper and go with Sands or Alcala again, similar to Arizona’s situation.

The Twins own advantages everywhere. They aren’t monumental, but every area is better. They have the better starter in a better spot, the better bullpen, and the hotter offense. The Twins should be closer to -140, even factoring in home-field advantage. Arizona is 20-18 at home, so they don’t have some significant edge, and their starter hates pitching there. I’d take the Twins to -130.

Also, the Twins are projected to start a rookie making his debut tomorrow in David Festa, so they may be inclined to focus on winning this one. It might mean nothing, but it’s worth telling you.

The Pick: Twins ML (-120) Risk 0.6 Units