Home run (Safe bet)
Go with the Atlanta Braves - on at 1.50 - to prevail at their ballpark versus the Philadelphia Philles.
Only one team in this Wednesday contest has something to play for, and it’s the Atlanta Braves. Atlanta currently sits just outside of a wildcard spot and will be motivated to make progress toward the post-season with a win against a Phillies team that currently sits last in the National League East.
Braves starter Ervin Santana should lead the Atlanta charge. He’s been a winner all season at home (9-2 record there) and is currently coming off a two-game stretch in which he’s posted a 1.38 ERA. He’ll likely be happy to see the Phillies, a team he’s gone 2-1 against, including a win in his last match up at Turner Field back on June 17.
As for the Phillies starter, David Buchanan, he’s been okay this year, delivering a 4.03 ERA. That said his fielding independent pitching (FIP), which is scaled like ERA but tends to be a better indicator of performance, is a weaker 4.24. This suggests he’s had a bit of luck along the way. In his only appearance against the Braves back on June 29, he took the loss, going five innings and giving up three runs.
Squeeze play (Gutsiest call)
Take the Oakland A’s – on at 1.79 - to win at home against the Seattle Mariners.
It may seem a bit off to go against Felix Hernandez. After all, he’s been one of the American League’s best pitchers all season long. But his recent work coupled with his opposing pitcher and the location of this match-up give the A’s the advantage.
Hernandez is currently in a bit of a funk. In his past two starts he’s put up a 5.68 ERA. As he’ll cross the 200 innings threshold in this game, “King Felix,” despite his reputation as a stalwart workhorse, may be getting a bit tired.
Even a good performance from the Seattle starter may not be enough to win. The A’s will counter with Jon Lester, who has continued to throw well since he was traded in July from the Boston Red Sox. In the month of August, Lester delivered a solid 2.66 ERA. While Lester doesn’t have a ton of experience against Mariners’ hitters, he has pitched well against the club’s most important bat – Robinson Cano. In 75 career plate appearances versus Lester, Cano owns a .246 batting average, .293 on base percentage and a .319 slugging percentage. None of those are good numbers.
As for the venue, Oakland currently holds the second-best home winning percentage in the American League.