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Seven of the 12 playoff spots around Major League Baseball have been claimed, and we look at the games with the most on the line with our top MLB prop picks and best bets for Wednesday, based on the best MLB odds.

It's amazing how quickly a team’s playoff odds can flip with each passing day. Prior to Tuesday’s matchup between the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners, Houston had a 75.2% chance of making the playoffs, while Seattle’s playoff odds stood at 28.5%.

However, after the Mariners' win, Houston now has a 58.9% chance of claiming a playoff spot, while Seattle’s chances spiked to 48.9%, per FanGraphs.

Here are our top MLB prop picks and best bets for Wednesday (odds via our best MLB betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Wednesday’s MLB schedule and odds

(Odds via DraftKings)

Wednesday’s MLB best bets

  • Player prop: Josh Lowe Over 0.5 RBIs vs. Red Sox (+175 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Player prop: Framber Valdez Under 5.5 strikeouts vs. Mariners (+120 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Player prop: Sean Manaea to record a win vs. Padres (+265 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Total: Reds-Guardians Under 8.5 (-105 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Wednesday’s MLB prop picks

Player prop: Josh Lowe Over 0.5 RBIs vs. Red Sox (+175 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐

By season's end, Boston Red Sox righty Brayan Bello will throw over 100 more innings this year than he did last year (his first season in the majors), and that heavy workload is seemingly catching up to him down the stretch.

Bello has a 5.32 ERA post-All-Star Break (compared to a 3.04 ERA in the first half of the season), and his OBA has shot up 56 points despite inducing ground-ball outs at a much higher rate.

Bello has been burned by left-handed batters all season, allowing a .304 OBA and 1.51 WHIP, with 12 of his 22 home runs allowed to lefties in 21 fewer at-bats. Thus, we have identified Tampa Bay Rays righty Josh Lowe as a three-star play to drive in a run, as Lowe has four hits and three RBIs in 11 at-bats against Bello, with a .364 wOBA.

Lowe entered Tuesday slashing .375/.444/.625 over the previous seven days and was one of four Rays hitters with 10-plus total bases in that span.

The +175 odds found at bet365 are a steal compared to the prices found at our other best sports betting apps, which are hovering around +150.

Player prop: Framber Valdez Under 5.5 strikeouts vs. Mariners (+120 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Framber Valdez has been an innings-eater for the Houston Astros of late, recording 21 or more outs in seven of his last 10 starts. And while he has recorded double-digit strikeouts in two of his previous three appearances, both starts were at home against the two worst teams in the American League (the Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics). Thus, the backdrop behind this road start against a Seattle Mariners team fighting for a playoff spot completely changes the narrative.

Valdez has an 8.4 K/9 rate in road starts compared to a 9.4 K/9 rate at Minute Maid Park this season. He has topped five strikeouts in just one of his last seven road starts, so we expect him to have a similar ceiling even when facing a Seattle Mariners team with the second-highest strikeout rate (25.4%) in home games against southpaws this season.

The Mariners tagged Valdez for six runs on 10 hits over five innings on Aug. 19, and we would expect manager Dusty Baker to have a quicker hook with Valdez in a game of this magnitude if he gets into similar trouble. 

The odds for this wager range from +104 at Caesars to +115 at DraftKings, making FanDuel’s price of +120 the best value.

Player prop: Sean Manaea to record a win vs. Padres (+265 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐

We are only making this a three-star play, as the San Francisco Giants are 8-16 in September and have gotten just five wins from their starting pitchers in that span. However, two of those wins have come from ace Logan Webb, and two others have come from Sean Manaea, who has adapted beautifully from primarily a bulk reliever role this year to a dependable starter down the stretch.

Manaea's teams had been 0-8 in an eight-start road stretch, but he has led the Giants to consecutive road wins against the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers, allowing just three earned runs in 12 2/3 combined innings. Manaea is pitching more to contact, with three or fewer strikeouts in five of his previous seven starts. However, he is inducing more ground balls (1.36 GO/AO ratio in September is his highest of any month thus far) and faces a San Diego Padres team that ranks just 15th in BABIP in road games against southpaws. 

The +265 odds at bet365 are a great value compared to Caesars, which is on the low end at +234, especially when considering Manaea has lower odds to win than his counterpart, Matt Waldron, despite his team being a small moneyline favorite in the game.

Wednesday’s MLB game picks

Total: Reds-Guardians Under 8.5 (-105 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Cleveland Guardians ace Shane Bieber is making his second start since July 9. And while he allowed four earned runs over five innings in his last outing against the Baltimore Orioles, this low total suggests oddsmakers believe he is due to end the season on a high note.

Bieber has held Cincinnati Reds hitters to a combined .197/.252/.385 slash line in 131 combined plate appearances in his career. He should find success again versus a Reds lineup that ranks 18th in wRC+, 23rd in BABIP, and 26th in hard-hit contact over the last 14 days.

Bieber is opposed by Reds southpaw Andrew Abbott, who should find success against a Guardians lineup that ranks dead-last in wOBA and OPS against left-handed pitchers in home games this season.

FanDuel is the only one of our best sports betting sites at which one can back the Under of 8.5 at longer than -108 odds.

MLB best bets made 9/27/2023 at 6:21 a.m. ET.

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