Willson Contreras and Christopher Morel hit two-run jacks to back Justin Steele's strong start, leading the Cubs to an 8-3 win over the Reds
It's been a rough start to the week for our best bets. The great thing about baseball, though, is there's a large chunk of games to comb through every day.Let's dig into a couple of my favorites for Wednesday as we look to get back on track.Braves (-140) @ Phillies (+120)The Atlanta Braves were able to grind out a win against ace Zack Wheeler and the Philadelphia Phillies in the opener of the series. I like their chances of getting another win Wednesday.While Kyle Wright has been a little more hittable of late, he's also garnered some unlucky results. His ERA (4.02) is nearly a full run higher than his FIP (3.04) over the last month, and opponents have managed an unsustainably high .368 batting average against him on balls put in play.That number should drop significantly over time, especially if Wright continues pitching as he has. He owns an impressive 54% ground ball rate during this period, and he hasn't been giving up the long ball.Wright should be able to put together a bounce-back performance against a Phillies team that's struggling at the plate and is without star Bryce Harper.Over the last two weeks, Philadelphia owns a .268 wOBA (28th), .122 ISO (23rd), and 23.9% hard-hit rate (29th) against right-handed pitching.Ranger Suarez is a solid arm for the Phillies, but he doesn't strike out many batters and puts a lot of balls in play. That's a scary proposition against the Braves.Atlanta has been lethal against lefties, sitting third in wOBA (.392), second in hard-hit rate (37.1%), and first in ISO (.251) over the last six weeks.Suarez has also struggled against the Braves in an admittedly small sample size (38 at-bats), allowing a .313 batting average and .420 wOBA.Look for Atlanta to get to him again Wednesday.Bet: Braves (-140)Reds (+115) @ Cubs (-135)The Cincinnati Reds are one of MLB's worst offenses against righties, but they're quietly very potent against lefties. It just so happens they get a southpaw Wednesday against Justin Steele and the Chicago Cubs.Steele is a pretty solid arm. He doesn't strike out a ton of batters, but he limits hard contact and generally keeps the ball on the ground.Even so, the lefty-smashing Reds haven't had any problems getting to Steele. He's conceded 12 runs and 23 baserunners through three career starts - 11 innings - against Cincinnati, with his worst outing coming in this season's only head-to-head matchup so far.That's probably not a coincidence. The Reds sit fifth in wOBA, sixth in ISO, and seventh in fly-ball rate, and they own one of the league's lowest strikeout rates against lefties over the last six weeks.Considering Steele doesn't strike many out, the Reds will likely put a lot of balls in play, and they're very good at making the most of them. They should plate a few runs in the early going of this game.Hunter Greene appears to be slowly turning a corner. The Cincinnati hurler has a 31.4 K% and 3.99 FIP - well below his 5.26 ERA - over the last month.Greene's biggest issue has been conceding power, which shouldn't be as much of an issue against a Cubs team with a .116 ISO (27th) against righties over the last couple of weeks.At plus money, with the cushion of a push if things are all squared up, there's value in backing the Reds on the F5 moneyline.Bet: Reds F5 ML (+110)Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.Copyright © 2022 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.
Justin Steele has been on a promising stretch as his development takes center stage during this Cubs rebuild.
Justin Steele overcame a first-inning finger injury vs. the Padres to deliver another promising outing at a time the Cubs needed it most.
The Cubs have one left-hander (Justin Steele) left in the rotation with Drew Smyly and Wade Miley on the IL.