MLB DFS picks, PrizePicks for Blue Jays-Astros, Pirates-Nationals

It’s MLB Wednesday, and while there are several afternoon games on getaway day, we have our eyes squarely focused on two night contests.

Mother Nature is causing havoc on the East Coast and might have a thing or two to say regarding the status of some of tonight’s games. Regardless, let’s dive in and find some winners on PrizePicks.

MLB DFS picks for Wednesday

Cristian Javier more than 3.5 strikeouts or more than 6.5 strikeouts

Depending on how aggressive you’re getting with your picks, there is merit behind Javier’s Demon and Goblin numbers on the board against the Jays.

The Astros right-hander has been through the ringer after being crushed for most of last season. Was it mechanics? Did he have the yips? No one knows for sure. 

But he reportedly had a fantastic offseason and lost a ton of weight. He showed up in his MLB debut and threw a gem against the Yankees with six strikeouts against a gritty Yankees lineup.

Most notably, Javier threw his changeup a tick over 27% of the time against New York. That’s significant because it’s the most he’s thrown that pitch in any game in roughly three years. In fact, he has never thrown a changeup 20% of the time in any game during his four previous MLB seasons.

In terms of whiff rate and putaway rate (via baseballsavant), the changeup was his second-best pitch last season, but he only threw it about 4% of the time.

I’m no Javier whisperer, but it’s certainly possible the changeup unlocked another level of pitching for him, or at least one that can make his miserable 2023 season a mirage.

I’m buying a little Javier stock now.

Yordan Alvarez more than 0.5 home runs

The Wednesday night slate is really ugly, and there are some weather concerns in a few games. But let’s have fun and hunt some home runs.

(Disclaimer: Home run calls are really tough to nail. That’s why they’re all listed as Demons on PrizePicks under the “Demons and Goblins” section. A demon is a harder pick to hit, thus a bigger payout. Goblins are the inverse, easier to hit, worse payout than your typical 1:1 exchange. Read more here.)

Chris Bassitt, who gets the start for Toronto, was very good against right-handed batters last season. He was cruising in his first start against Tampa Bay last Friday until he coughed up a grand slam to left-handed hitter Brandon Lowe.

Left-handed hitters have been Bassitt’s Achilles’ heel. Last season, he yielded a .240 ISO and a 12% barrel rate against them.

There are only two left-handed hitters in the Astros’ projected lineup. One is Alvarez, who had a disgusting .358 ISO with a massive 21% barrel rate against righties in 2023.

Bassitt might find success against the majority of this right-handed heavy Astros lineup, but Alvarez and Houston’s other lefty, Kyle Tucker, could give him problems.

Joey Gallo more than 0.5 home runs

Gallo is one of the most maddening players to watch in the batter’s box. The Nationals’ first baseman is notorious for striking out or hitting the ball really, really far. There is no in-between with him.

But all we need is one crack of the bat on Wednesday.

Last year with Minnesota, Gallo struck out 43% of the time against right-handed pitchers. However, he had an almost unheard of 71% hard-contact rate against them.

Most of the time he’s whiffing, but when he connects, the ball is mashed, as evidenced by his 18% barrel rate against righties.

The jury is still out on opposing pitcher Mitch Keller. He was knocked around by the struggling Marlins in his first start for the Pirates. One of those reasons could be that his fastball velocity is down from 2023. 

Some pitchers are still ramping up, but it might be a spot to fade Keller early in the season while there are some doubts.

Betting on Baseball?

He gave up 16 of his 25 home runs to left-handed hitters last season, leaning on his fastball heavily.

And that’s right in Gallo’s wheelhouse.

Read the author’s full story here

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