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As a team, the Chicago Cubs are starting to come back down to Earth after a strong start to the season in the NL Central. They have lost three games in a row, including two to the rival St. Louis Cardinals, and they are below the .500 mark once again. But individually, Justin Steele of the Cubs is having one of the best individual seasons for a pitcher in Major League Baseball in 2023, and we like that to continue on Wednesday.
Steele is a perfect 5-0 so far this season, posting an ERA of 1.45 along the way. He has gone more than five innings in all seven of his starts this season, allowing no more than two earned runs in any of those outings. That is an ideal recipe to bet on a pitcher to pick up a win, as he should have the combination of longevity in this game and the ability to keep the Cardinals from scoring enough runs to challenge his team.
Also beneficial is the fact that he is facing a St. Louis Cardinals team that is 11 games under .500 already, even after winning three games in a row. Expect the Cubs to pick up a much-needed win here to avoid a third straight loss to St. Louis, and for Steele to be the one credited with the win when this one is completed.
Justin Verlander is making just his second start of the season after injury pushed his debut for the New York Mets back into the month of May. His first start saw him go five innings, giving up two runs in a 2-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers. Verlander struck out five batters in that game, and we like the man who won the AL Cy Young unanimously last year to stay under 6.5 strikeouts in this contest against the Cincinnati Reds.
With Verlander still making his way back to pitching after a long offseason and subsequent injury absence, he will not be expected to go too deep into this game. Even if he is cruising through Reds hitters, going more than six innings would be a stretch for him at this point. With an anticipated 18 outs to work with at most, we are banking on him to fail to strike out more than a third of those hitters.
This season, the Reds rank 14th as a team for the most strikeouts when at the plate. That ranks lower than the Tigers, who have struck out more than all but five teams this season. Cincinnati’s ability to put the ball in play at least semi-regularly will eat up some of the outs that Verlander has allocated for him in this contest, which will result in Verlander staying under his strikeout total on Wednesday.
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Finally, expect Lance Lynn to give up at least six hits when the Chicago White Sox take on the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday. Lynn has had a rough season so far for Chicago, going 1-4 with a 6.86 ERA going into this start. As long as he is not chased from this game too early, he should scatter at least six hits across his time on the mound against a Royals team that has split the first two games of this series with Chicago.
So far this season, Lynn has given up six or more hits in four of his seven starts, including his last outing against the Cincinnati Reds. In that game, Lynn allowed eight hits in 6.2 innings of work, even though he picked up his first win of the season in that contest. While Kansas City has the second-worst record in baseball, their offense has not been the main source of their problems.
In fact, the Royals rank 17th in hits collected during the 2023 MLB season going into Wednesday’s action. It is their pitching that has really plagued them, as the Royals are one of just three teams to allow 200 or more total runs on the year. We expect the Royals to string some hits together in this game to get to at least six for the game and cash this prop bet.
Jay Sanin is a sports bettor and writer from New York. He has been handicapping since the moment he was old enough to gamble legally, with his specialties being niche sports like the WNBA and XFL. He’s been told he has a voice for radio. He also has a face for radio.More info on Jay Sanin
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