Welcome back to another PrizePicks MLB Wednesday!
There are plenty of bad pitchers taking the bump, which means there should be some juicy numbers to crunch.
Let’s dive in and look for some winners.
MLB PrizePicks predictions and player picks
Ken Waldichuk less than 5.0 pitcher strikeouts
If you’ve followed any of my content this season, it’s obvious that I don’t think Waldichuk is very good at pitching.
The southpaw is sporting a 6.32 xFIP, while striking out 17% of hitters and giving up a 43% fly-ball rate. Which part of that is good?
The reason this number is mildly interesting is due to Seattle’s horrendous team strikeout rate.
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However, the Mariners have plenty of bats that can chase Waldichuk out of the game early, while guys such as Suarez and Rodriguez typically feast on lefties.
Waldichuk is very predictable (which is part of his problem), throwing over 70% of fastballs to hitters this season.
The hitters at the top and bottom of the Seattle order have decent enough contact rates to make me back this pick.
Tyler Anderson less than 4.0 pitcher strikeouts
I have no idea what’s happening with Anderson this season.
He always pitched to contact, but this season, he’s getting completely shelled. The lefty owns a 6.59 xFIP and is striking out just 13% of batters.
He also appears to have control issues with a 10% walk rate. In years past, Anderson was able to limit hard contact, but so far, that number is hovering around 40% in 2023.
Boston is much better at Fenway and typically better against right-handed pitching.
However, there are still six hitters in the Red Sox projected lineup with a strikeout rate of 20% or better against left-handed pitchers this season.
Anderson has only exceeded this number twice in eight starts and struck out just two Red Sox in an April matchup.
Anderson’s velocity is fluctuating quite a bit this season.
During the majority of 2022, his fastball velocity was clocked at 90 mph fairly consistently, but he’s now logged three straight starts topping out around 89 in 2023. That’s not good.
Bryan De La Cruz more than 1.5 total bases
The overall numbers for De La Cruz aren’t overwhelmingly positive, but he’s on a heater, hitting .366 in May with 26 hits in 71 at-bats with three home runs.
Today he gets a matchup at Coors Field against rookie Karl Kauffmann, who I can’t figure out why is still in the rotation today.
Kauffman has been getting destroyed in the minors since 2022 and didn’t fare well in his MLB debut against the Rangers five days ago.
Kauffman gave up an egregious 54 hits in 37 innings at Triple-A Albuquerque before getting promoted.
Must be nice to get promoted while not performing at your job!
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Anyway, Texas wasn’t very nice to him last week, picking up four earned runs on seven hits a few days ago.
The Rangers right-handed batters recorded an average exit velocity of 102 mph off the bat. Karl wasn’t fooling anyone.
De La Cruz owns just a 2% soft-contact rate and leads the Marlins in line-drive rate against right-handed pitchers this season.
I’m backing him to pick up two total bases on Wednesday in friendly elevation.
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