07/27/2013 04:35 PM
Today's Free Picks for Jul 27, 2013
L.A. Angels @ OAKLAND
L.A. Angels +126 over OAKLAND
The A’s went off for six runs last night and evened up the series with a 6-4 win but it came against career stiff, Jerome Williams. When facing a half-decent pitcher, the A’s have very little chance of scoring more than three times. In fact, they’ve been held to three runs or fewer in 12 of their past 19 games. Over that stretch they scored more than three times against Wade Davis, Luis Mendoza, Jerome Williams twice, and in Houston against three Astro starters. From July 3 to July 20, Oakland was held to three runs or fewer in 10 of 12 games and their .211 batting average in July is the worst in the majors. They A’s are no better than at least three quarters of the teams in MLB but some incredible luck, extremely timely hitting and misleading record continues to have them way overpriced. Enter Tommy Milone. Milone's upside is capped, for now. A control artist in the minors, Milone's ability to maintain similar accuracy in his second MLB season has been integral to his success but it's hard to overlook a few glaring negatives in his skill set. Milone has allowed far too many fly balls and line drives, but pitching home games at O.co Coliseum (-12% RHB HR, -31% LHB HR) has worked to his benefit (3.20 home ERA/4.88 road ERA). His groundball/fly-ball split is an alarming 33%/48%. Righties continue to give him problems, as they have hit .276 against him and the Angels line-up can load up with right-handed hitters. Milone’s 1.26 WHIP is average and his xERA of 4.64 reminds us not to overpay. If you bet on him today, you’re overpaying.
Garrett Richards will be making his first start since April. Despite a 6.26 ERA in those four starts, Richards was pretty solid (18/7 K/BB) and probably didn't deserve to lose his rotation spot. Overall, Richards has been quite good this season, albeit mostly as a reliever, with an elite 57% groundball rate. Over the past month (31 days), Richards’ groundball rate was 64% and he struck out 13 batters in 13 frames while issuing just four walks. Richards has always had the potential and if he seizes this chance he could claim a more permanent rotation spot. At pitcher-friendly O.co Coliseum against the weak hitting Athletics, his chances of winning are greater than the A’s with Milone going.
L.A. Angels +126 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.52)
Minnesota @ SEATTLE
Minnesota +131 over SEATTLE
The Twins won the opener here last night in a Felix Hernandez start and they get a much easier assignment here against Aaron Harang. Harang is coming off a 2-1 victory over the Indians and while that’s impressive, neither he nor the Mariners have won consecutive games that he’s started the entire season. Harang is hit and miss but he's playing with fire now. He’s allowed 15 bombs in just 90 innings and has a fly-ball bias profile of 38% groundballs and 44% fly-balls. Harang’s 5.06 ERA is fully supported by his xERA of 4.70. Harang is prone to the occasional blowup, rarely pitches a gem and his chances of losing remain greater than his chances of winning (5 W’s in 18 starts).
Samuel Deduno has pitched under the radar the entire season and continues to be undervalued. His strikeout total is low with just 36 in 69 innings but he’s a groundball artist with a rate of 64%, the highest mark in the majors among starters with at least 40 innings pitched. Deduno also has a 50%/13% dominant start/disaster start split and at this level, that’s an impressive stat. Deduno also has an elite 17% line-drive rate and 11% line-drive rate over his past four starts. The Mariners were hot but they’ve lost two of their last three and could not win with Felix Hernandez opposing Scott Diamond (one of the biggest mismatches on the mound this year) last night. Surely, they are much too risky (and overvalued) with Harang favored by this much over Deduno.
Minnesota +131 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.62)