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Paul Goldschmidt
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Odds and Ends

MLB Best Bets for September 21

by Kenny Ducey
Updated On: September 21, 2022, 4:54 pm ET

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We've got a packed slate of baseball to bet on Wednesday and I've picked out two games which I'm seeing plenty of value in. Let's get to them.

Pittsburgh Pirates (+235) vs. New York Yankees (-280) Total: 8

The Yankees are back. They're third in wRC+ over the last two weeks and have returned the likes of Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo to their lineup. Tuesday night saw the debut of Harrison Bader, which helped spark a much-needed win, and Wednesday will see Luis Severino make his long-awaited return from the injured list.

Severino's strikeout rate was sitting at 27.2% on the season before he strained his lat, with a 3.07 xERA to boot. The Pirates have struck out in 27.6% of plate appearances in the last two weeks with a 20th-ranked wRC+ and shouldn't have much for Severino here on Wednesday.

The Yankees' offense should tee off on Roansy Contreras, who has struggled to get strikeouts and who has also walked many hitters this season. He's due for some regression and should run into a lot of trouble here against New York.

Edge: Yankees -1.5

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St. Louis Cardinals (+115) vs. San Diego Padres (-135) Total: 7.5

This is a spot I couldn't love any more. The Padres have won in just seven of Blake Snell's 21 starts this season, and while he's really calmed down over the last month and a half he's had an incredibly easy schedule drawing the likes of the Nationals and Diamondbacks multiple times.

Snell has leaned on his high 31.3% strikeout rate to get outs and mask his issues with hard-hit balls and walks, but that may be an issue on Wednesday with the Cardinals in town. Not only are they the best team in the league in terms of wRC+ against lefties, they're also sitting pretty with a high walk rate near 20% and a strikeout rate which is under 18%.

Miles Mikolas has been somewhat brilliant in the last few months, especially at pitching to contact, and the Padres are pretty poor right now at the plate in the bottom half of the league in wRC+ in the last 14 days. 

Edge: Cardinals +115

Kenny Ducey

Kenny Ducey is a former member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, writing and editing for Sports Illustrated and Baseball Prospectus. His work also appears at DraftKings and The Action Network. Follow him on Twitter @KennyDucey.