Major League Baseball is kicking off as players knock off the rust from a longer-than-usual offseason and settle into the usual routine of non-stop action that makes baseball what it is.
The Colorado Rockies moved into first place in the National League West, ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, while the New York Mets have assumed control of the best record in the league at 9-3.
As the stories continue to write themselves, here are the best bets for Wednesday in the MLB.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Milwaukee Brewers -1.5
The Milwaukee Brewers won the first two games in this series 6-1 and 5-2 and have all of the momentum heading into the would-be rubber match; they have an obvious advantage on the mound and are starting to get their bats going, although they rank in the bottom third of the league for the 2022 season.
Pittsburgh is also starting Mitch Keller, who has a 9.39 ERA this year and produced a 6.17 in 2021, whereas the Brewers have ace Brandon Woodruff going for them.
Teams hoping to beat elite pitchers need explosive batters that can change the score at the quickest of moments, and that is exactly what the Pirates do not have. Take the Brewers to win and win comfortably as they wrap up their journey to Steel City.
Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Guardians
This game has already been postponed twice, so who knows, maybe it will never happen. Assuming it does, however, the underdog White Sox has a strong chance of coming out on top. They are 6-3 thus far and have been hitting the ball effectively, especially for a team with such a strong defense.
Shane Bieber will be on the bump for the Guardians, and while that can be a scary prospect, Dallas Keuchel is there to counter for Chicago. Both of these players are very similar in the sense that they dished low ERAs in the past two seasons and have not been great to start the year but have the talent to pull it back at any time.
The White Sox get the nod because they are allowing just over three and a half runs per game, which will put pressure on Cleveland’s vulnerable defense.
Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
There is no love lost between last year’s NLCS contenders; Atlanta won the recent matchup— a game in which the fear-inspiring Dodgers only scored one run— and ended their opponent’s seven-game win streak, while L.A. took game one, leaving Wednesday to decide everything in the rubber match.
The Dodgers have been much better statistically in nearly every category to start the year, while Atlanta, despite yesterday’s win, is still sub .500 with a 6-7 record.
They will likely pull it together and mount a postseason challenge, but for now, they are too inconsistent to earn the nod over one of the best teams in baseball.