MLB Odds: Dodgers Rare Underdogs Vs. Paul Skenes, Pirates Wednesday Night

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
MLB Picks

Rookie phenom Paul Skenes takes the mound for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night against Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. ET in the finale of this two-game series. The Dodgers are moneyline underdogs, a rarity for their typical day-to-day MLB odds. The Pirates are favored at . Let’s examine whether Skenes’ dominance will continue before considering any MLB picks.

Click any MLB odds below to place a wager. These prices are the best available in your state.

MLB expert picks: dodgers at Pirates odds

Not only are the Dodgers underdogs for the fifth time in 2024, but they’re also 0-2 on the road in these instances. Los Angeles was last seen as an underdog versus Pittsburgh on June 7, 2018, at PNC Park. Dodgers spot starter Dennis Santana was scratched minutes before the first pitch, leading to a franchise-record nine relievers staving off the Pirates in an 8-7 victory.

However, the NL West leaders have a more difficult task ahead of this outing. Skenes boasts a 2.45 ERA, 2.41 FIP, and 35.7% strikeout rate.

His four-seam fastball velocity ranks in the 99th percentile. Conversely, Los Angeles has compiled a below-average run value against this pitch type.

As surprising as that may seem, some of it correlates with Shohei Ohtani’s recent scuffles after suffering a hamstring contusion when he was hit in the leg by a pickoff throw during a recent homestand. Since May 16, the reigning American League MVP has produced just two home runs, a .268 wOBA, and a 74 wRC+.

Ahead of Tuesday’s loss, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts wasn’t shy about suggesting the injury has impacted Ohtani at the plate. Given that he’s one of the elite fastball hitters when he is healthy, the Dodgers’ inconsistent lineup has another difficult task ahead of them after fellow rookie Jared Jones shut them out in the series opener.

Will Skenes Haunt Dodgers?

The market suggests these concerns, as LA’s team total is 3.5 with vig on the over. Meanwhile, Skenes’ strikeout prop is . In his major-league debut against the Cubs, he sat at 100.1 mph with his four-seamer — almost two mph harder than any starter this season.

Among starting pitchers, the Angels’ Jose Soriano generated the second-best fastball with a 98.4 mph average velocity.

Bettors can actually wager on Skenes’ first-pitch velocity at FanDuel Sportsbook. Betting odds are below. You will also find his alternate strikeout props.

velo on first pitch vs. dodgers
100.1-101 mph
99.0-100.0 mph
Under 99.0 mph
Over 101
Last Updated on 06.05.2024
alternate Strikeout props
Last Updated on 06.05.2024

Skenes Rookie of the Year Odds

Skenes is behind Cubs left-hander Shota Imanaga in the NL Rookie of the Year odds. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft is priced at in this market.

In his fifth career MLB start, he’ll oppose Dodgers veteran southpaw James Paxton. If Skenes tallies another dazzling outing against these World Series contenders, expect his NL ROY odds to shorten even more. Hence, there’s reason to bet them pregame.

Here are the best prices on Skenes props and futures, like NL ROY.

MLB betting Odds

Photo by Associated Press