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Minnesota @ CHICAGO
CHICAGO +114 over Minnesota

BEST LINES: Pinnacle +114 Bet365 +110 SportsInteraction +110 5DIMES +109

Posted at 10:30 AM EST.

8:10 PM EST. Lucas Giolito went 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in 21 innings for the Nationals last year before being traded to the South Side in the Adam Eaton deal. This top prospect was indeed knocked around in his MLB cameo. In minors work, however, Giolito showed good progress: fared a lot better in late-season AAA stint (9.6 K’s/9, 3.11 xERA) than in earlier-season AA work. Lucas Giolito was Washington's former #1 prospect, with a high rating that features a fastball/curve/changeup mix that has at times dominated minor league hitters. He has the size, stuff and demeanor to pitch well for a long time but ran into command struggles upon reaching the majors in 2016. Giolito changed some of his mechanics while working in the minors this year and the new Giolito is still very, very good. He's just not a dominant stuff guy anymore, showing elite pitchability and getting outs by outsmarting hitters rather than overpowering them. He uses his two breaking balls to change the hitter's eye level, often pitching backward and starting hitters with breaking balls to get to the fastball later in the plate appearance. His fastball-curve-slider combination is major-league quality, with only consistency and command potentially holding him back. Whether or not his changeup will develop enough to get opposite-handed hitters out enough is an open question. There's also a question of whether or not getting his lower half more engaged might lead to more velocity, or if it would undo some of the command gains he's seen. Giolito brings a maturity to the mound that is clearly evident as he works. He works methodically, setting hitters up with purpose pitches to maximize the effectiveness of pitches later in the plate appearance. His margin for error is much lower than it once was but he seems to have bridged that gap with a more cerebral approach. Right now Giolito is a still a good prospect and at 23 years old there's reason to think he can still improve. It also doesn’t hurt our chances that the Twinkies have never seen him before. His fastball tops off at 96 MPH but he can change speeds with four different pitches. How he fairs here is anyone’s guess but he’s worth a bet against Kyle Gibson’s consistently poor performances.

Giolito brings a maturity to the mound that is clearly evident as he works. He works methodically, setting hitters up with purpose pitches to maximize the effectiveness of pitches later in the plate appearance. His margin for error is much lower than it once was but he seems to have bridged that gap with a more cerebral approach. Right now Giolito is a still a good prospect and at 23 years old there's reason to think he can still improve. It also doesn’t hurt our chances that the Twinkies have never seen him before. His fastball tops off at 96 MPH but he can change speeds with four different pitches. How he fairs here is anyone’s guess but he’s worth a bet against Kyle Gibson’s consistently poor performances.

Gibson has made 21 agonizing starts for Paul Molitor. Of those 21 starts, four were worthy of mentioning while the rest were all struggles that led to crooked innings. On May 5, Gibson earned his ticket to Rochester after going 0-4 with an 8.20 ERA (6.16 xERA) and 1.97 WHIP in 26 innings to start the season. When the Twins acquired Jaime Garcia, they sent Gibson to Triple-A Rochester again. Minnesota flipped Garcia to the Yankees after just one start so the Twins opted to bring Gibson back. Gibson has been unimpressive in the bigs, logging a 6.08 ERA (6.18 xERA). In 109 frames overall, he has a vile BB/K split of 50/75. Gibson has never been able to impress at this level and the only reason that he still has a job in the Twins starting rotation is because Phil Hughes is on the DL and because Frank Viola is 57-years-old. Kyle Gibson is not worthy of being road chalk on his best day against the worst pitcher in baseball but here he is a road favorite against a top prospect with tons of upside.

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Our Pick

CHICAGO +114 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.28)

San Diego @ ST. LOUIS
San Diego +165 over ST. LOUIS

BEST LINES: Pinnacle +165 Bet365 +165 SportsInteraction +175 5DIMES +165

Posted at 10:30 AM EST.

8:10 PM EST. Clayton Richard is another veteran pitcher who can provide value in small doses. Few starters are more successful against lefties than Richard is (1.93 ERA), and that mark has been backed up by an elite 2.67 xERA. He's much more mediocre than good against righties and the Cardinals will send up mostly right-handed bats but with three left-handed bats in the line-up, Clayton may be able to work out of whatever trouble he gets himself into. Richard still has 111 K’s in 153 frames to go along with a 57% groundball rate and we’ll live with whatever result he delivers here because this bet is all about fading Lance Lynn.

Lynn has a 3.05 ERA this year after 25 starts. He also has a 2.62 ERA at home after 11 starts. Over his last three starts, Lynn is 1-0 with an ERA of 2.00. All of that looks sweet on paper and so this market is going to pay dearly to back Lynn’s surface stats but we promise you that ALL OF IT, the overall ERA, the home ERA and his ERA over his last three starts, is all a massive fluke. Lance Lynn has been riding a wave of extreme good fortune this entire season and at some point it’s going to catch up to him. Lynn’s swing and miss rate since the beginning of July is 5%. His first-pitch strike rate this year is 51%. Over his last five starts covering 30 innings, Lynn has walked 18, struck out 19 and posted a WHIP of 2.10. His 2.10 WHIP over those last five games is actually higher than his 1.93 ERA over that same stretch, which is completely absurd. A 2.10 WHIP does not equate to a 1.93 ERA. Lynn comes in with the highest strand rate in MLB at 86.4%. He also comes in with the lowest BABIP (Batting Average of Balls in Play) among all starters today at .234. His xERA since the beginning of July is 6.22 and yet here he is, priced like he’s pitching like Carlos Martinez when in fact, he’s pitching more like Matt Cain. Lance Lynn is MLB’s luckiest and most overpriced pitcher and we’re really hoping that the world finds out just how bad he truly is here.

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Our Pick

San Diego +165 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.30)

Seattle @ ATLANTA
ATLANTA +100 over Seattle

BEST LINES: Pinnacle -102 Bet365 +100 SportsInteraction -110 5DIMES -105

Posted at 10:30 AM EST.

7:10 PM EST. Marco Gonzales faces a Braves lineup today that has a .768 OPS versus left-handed pitching this season. That is good for eighth in MLB. Gonzales has made four starts this season and has thrown a disaster in three of those, while not lasting more than 4.1 innings in any of them. In 16 innings, Gonzales has walked just two batters but he’s only struck out eight. His 1.75 WHIP does not play well anywhere and his 8.44 ERA is fully supported by his 6.61 xERA. Of course all of this is a small sample size but that doesn’t mean we should ignore it.  Originally drafted St. Louis, Gonzales shot through the Cardinals system after being drafted in the first round in 2013, reaching the majors the following season, and then succumbing to Tommy John surgery in 2015. He’s worked as both a starter and out of the bullpen but his splits or skills don't indicate hidden value in either role right now. The recommendation is to decline his next RSVP, which is exactly what we’re doing here. Marco Gonzales has done nothing but get ripped apart at this level.

Needing another starting pitcher, the Braves called up 22-year-old Lucas Sims to make his major league debut on August 1 against the Dodgers of all teams. Talk about a difficult assignment to make your debut in! Sims is a prospect who has seen his reputation fade as he reached the upper minor leagues. The 6'2", 220-pound right-hander was highly touted a couple of years ago but his inconsistency and control problems caused him trouble with Double-A and Triple-A batters. Sims has talent, with a 96-mph fastball that is plus, as well as a great 12-6 curve that ranks among the best in the organization. His changeup is inconsistent, showing great fade when he controls it, but losing that control at times and leading to high walk rates and WHIPs.

In that aforementioned debut against the Dodgers, Sims went six full and surrendered six hits and three runs. At least 90% of the pitchers in this league would take that pitching line against the Dodgers. In his last start, at Colorado, Sims went five full and allowed just five hits and two runs. In between those two starts, he faced a couple more hot-hitting teams in the Cardinals and Marlins and hasn’t looked out of place. The surface stats aren’t great and neither are the underlying metrics but Sims has hung in there and battled and he certainly looks like he belongs. Sims is undeniably talented while his counterpart has shown nothing after being off for nearly two full years. Thus far, one of these starters is MLB ready while the other is not. We’ll get behind the one that is.t. He does have a four-pitch arsenal but he also had a 5.11 ERA through 15 Triple-A starts in 2017 and had been nothing short of a disappointment in his first two starts in the majors way back in April before this second call-up. Nevertheless, even if he doesn’t pitch at his best, Stratton should be heavily considered here because he was a high prospect back in 2012 and has a 14% swing and miss rate since he returned. He’ll now face a Brewers team that strikes out more than any team in baseball and that is coming off an intense and very important three-game set in Colorado in which the Crew won on Saturday and Sunday to take two of three. Physically and mentally, it’s a letdown spot for the Brewers and even if it wasn’t, Davies is a good fade when favored on the road.

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Our Pick

ATLANTA +100 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.00)

RangeWLP+/- (Units)
Yesterday000.000.00
Last 30 Days40510.00+4.18
Season to Date2112380.00+75.45
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