07/09/2013 01:14 PM
Yesterday 2 1 0.00 +2.50
Last 30 Days 42 38 0.00 +28.38
Season to Date 131 137 0.00 +32.40
Today's Free Picks for Jul 09, 2013
Oakland @ PITTSBURGH
Oakland +107 over PITTSBURGH
Gerrit Cole has made five starts since being called up and three of those five were of the pure quality variety. This hard-throwing youngster made it through three levels last season. In AA, Cole kept the ball on the ground and had an elite strikeout rate but this isn’t AA. In his 30 innings at this level, Cole has just 16 K’s to go along with a troubling 28% line-drive rate. His WHIP of 1.31 is also bordering on unacceptable. Cole has a high ceiling but he’s going to suffer the ups and downs of a pitcher with very little experience at both Triple-AAA (just 74 innings) and the big leagues.
Dan Straily is very similar to Cole in that he is a former minor-league K leader that rocketed from AA to majors by August of last season. His first seven starts last year in the majors had its ups and downs too and in the end, Straily went 2-1 with a 3.89 ERA in 39 innings. After his June 22 start of this year, Straily was temporarily assigned back to Triple-A because the A’s didn’t need a fifth starter. He was subsequently called back up for a July 4 start in which he threw a 7-inning, one-hit gem against the Cubbies. While his overall skills in June weren't exciting, he bumped up his swinging strike rate to 10.0% that month, a mark which gives his decent strikeout rate even more upside. Straily’s 5.00 ERA is the result of his 59% stand rate but a close looks shows that he still carries plenty of profit potential pitching for this determined A’s squad. Among his great starts this year aside from the aforementioned beauty against the Cubs, Straily threw a two-hitter in Texas in seven frames and a four hitter in six innings against the Giants. Straily’s style should bode well here against a Pirates team that strikes out far too often and that has suddenly lost five of seven and three in a row.
Oakland +107 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.14)
Los Angeles @ ARIZONA
Los Angeles +103 over ARIZONA
The Dodgers are one of the hottest offensive teams in the league right now and have been so for well over three weeks now. Over that span, L.A. is in the top two in the NL and top four in the entire league in most offensive categories that include runs scored, team BA, on base % and OPS. They scored six times here last night but that could have easily been twice that after the Dodgers belted out 17 hits and left 11 on base. Expect the Dodgers to be a little extra jacked up tonight against Ian Kennedy, who wwill face the Dodgers for the first time since he was suspended for plunking Yasiel Puig. Kennedy has an ugly overall 5.16 ERA, including a 5.40 ERA the first time he goes through lineups. His skills tank after that. He has a BAA of .295 the second time through lineups and a .344 BAA the third time through. He also comes in with an ugly 34%/24%/41% groundball/line-drive/fly-ball profile and over his last five starts, that groundball rate is even lower at 31%. The hot-hitting Dodgers could and probably will tee off against this heavy fly-ball and line-drive pitcher at this unforgiving park.
Ricky Nolasco was once a near-elite skill set just waiting for some hit/strand rate regression to facilitate a breakout. But while the Marlins were waiting for that regression, Nolasco turned 35 and is no longer in the Marlins long term plans. Now Nolasco gets a reprieve of sorts, as he instantly joins a true contender and he figures to be very much focused in his first start in his new digs. Nolasco also brings with him elite control and a good strikeout rate (25BB/90K in 112 IP). Over his last two starts, Nolasco has whiffed 13 batters without issuing a single walk. He also has a 53% groundball rate over his past three starts. The Marlins had won three of Nolasco’s past four starts and now he gets the benefit of starting for a team whose offense is clicking and that is winning a lot of games recently. That works.
Los Angeles +103 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.06)
Colorado @ SAN DIEGO
Colorado +115 over SAN DIEGO
After posting some pretty sweet numbers in five April starts and holding steady until recently, Eric Stults' skills have come back down to earth. Over his last six starts, he has just 16 K’s in 37 frames and we’re seeing both his line-drive rate increase and his groundball rate decrease. Those are three definite warning signs that tell us to avoid him. Stults is a 33-year-old journeyman that has spent 111 days on the DL over the past three seasons and many more days in the minors (over 800 minor league innings) since he was drafted way back in 2002. Prior to this season, Stults had never thrown more than 99 innings in a season at this level. He’s up to 112 innings already this year and this now becomes unchartered waters for a guy with a long history of poor durability and very average stuff. Furthermore, the Padres have dropped 10 in a row and 12 of their past 13 games.
Jhouly’s Chacin has started 16 games this season and comes in with an ERA of 3.74 and xERA of 4.19. While there is nothing remarkable about that on paper, a close look reveals that 11 of Chacin’s 16 starts have come at Coors Field, the best park for hitters in the majors. On the road, Chacin’s numbers are elite, where his ERA is 2.05 and his groundball rate is 52%. Chacin has not allowed a HR in his last four road starts and he has a much better chance of thriving in this game than his mound opponent. The Rockies also have a better chance of winning this one than the reeling Padres and that is value at its best.
Colorado +115 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.30)