Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:10 PM EST.
8:05 PM EST. Asher Wojciechowski has appeared in 14 games for the Reds this season with eight of those 14 appearances being out of the ‘pen. He enters this start with an ERA of 4.23 after 45 frames. Wojciechowski struggled as an early season replacement starter, yet was very effective in a multiple-inning relief role. He had allowed only two earned runs in 16.2 innings of relief with a remarkable BB/K split of 5/20. He has a big, strong, and durable frame and can fire his fastball into the 91-95 mph range. He generally throws strikes with his well-commanded fastball and counters it with a solid slider and average change-up. Wojciechowski keeps the ball low in the zone and induces a fair amount of groundballs. At Louisville this season, Wojciechowski started five games and struck out 35 batters in 30 innings with an oppBA of .204. For the Reds, he’s struck out 46 while walking just nine in 45 frames. His first-pitch strike rate is elite and so is his BB/K ratio. Wojciechowski is making a serious bid to be a mainstay in this Cincinnati rotation for the remainder of this year and into next season. With an ERA/xERA split 0f 4.23/4.09, he’s a starter to keep close tabs on because of his outstanding profit potential right now.
You will pay large to back Jose Quintana and the Cubbies here. When he pitched for the White Sox for years, Quintana was considered an average pitcher that was priced like one. Now he gets traded to the Cubbies and suddenly the media and most publications make him out to be an elite pitcher and he’s priced like one. There is not a team in the majors that wouldn’t like to have a guy or two like Jose Quintana. Dude will go out there every five days and give it everything he has. He’s proven to be durable and reliable but what he hasn’t proven is that he’s capable of dominating a high percentage of the time. Quintana is the same pitcher he was when he was playing on the South Side, which is an average pitcher that has just as good a chance of losing as he does of winning.
Quintana’s first-pitch strike rate remains strong, but his percentage of pitches in the zone (Zone%) has slipped to a little below average. He's striking batters out at a career high rate, but his swing and miss rate of 10% does not support that high strikeout rate. Expect his K-rate to drop in the final six weeks to his career level. This is the second straight year that his fly-ball rate has been a little higher than usual and his home run per fly-ball rate has jumped this season as well, leading to a 1.3 hr/9. He's already matched a career high with 19 homers allowed to RHB and his new home park increases right-handed home runs by 16 percent, so the issues with the long ball may not completely go away. Quintana has been a model of consistency in recent years but has been a disappointment to this point in 2017. Again, his skills haven't wavered much at all but he’s priced like he’s Madison Bumgarner. At Wrigley, Quintana’s ERA/xERA split is 7.36/5.99 and the Reds are not an easy out.
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Cincinnati +181 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.62)