Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 8:30 AM EST.
3:40 PM EST. What the market will see here is Ubaldo Jimenez’s 2.50 ERA over his last three starts going up against Marco Gonzales and his 8.49 ERA over his last three starts. We’ll now attempt to take advantage of that market perception.
Ubaldo Jimenez just keeps suffering through brutal stretches because his stuff is pedestrian at best and because he has nothing but trouble getting the ball over the plate. Shaky control, a 7% swing and miss rate, a 5.27 xERA and a high percentage of disaster starts show he's extremely flammable, which means we’re in fade mode when he’s favored or when he’s in an evenly priced game like he is here. Jimenez brings his 51% first-pitch strike rate to this start to go along with his 1.54 WHIP and 52 walks in 117 innings. Jimenez’s WHIP is even worse over his last five games at 1.64. Jimenez will either get in and out of jams today or he won’t but he’s always creating them. That provides the opposition with plenty of scoring chances almost every time he takes the hill and now it’s just a matter of how Seattle does with RISP.
Marco Gonzales was traded from the Cardinals to the Mariners near the deadline in exchange for minor league outfielder Tyler O'Neil, the No. 2 prospect in Seattle's organization. Gonzales starred at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington on his way to becoming a first-round pick of the Cardinals in the 2013 MLB draft. The M’s thought highly enough of him to give up one of their best prospects to get him and he’ll now make just his third start for the M’s since the trade. His first two starts were not pretty but we’re not putting a lot of emphasis on them after the excitement of being traded to the team he grew up watching. The dust has settled and hopefully so has Gonzales.
Gonzales has over 300 innings in the minors with close to 200 of those innings having been spent in the pitching difficult PCL league. He only allowed an oppBA of .238 in those aforementioned PCL innings. 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. The 6’1”, 195-pound lefty out of Gonzaga was never considered a high-upside pitcher but his floor is considered to be a rock-solid #3 starter who will pitch above his stuff and offer good ratios, if the Ks aren’t always there. Reports are that the command on his fastball is near to what it was pre-injury, and that he’s working more consistently 91 than 88 or 89 with it. The change is still a plus-to-plus-plus pitch that he continues to throw in any count. Paired with an average curve and a command profile that still projects plus when he’s all the way back, Gonzales still has middle-of-the-rotation upside. He’s always kept his team in games while limiting the damage. Gonzales is a well-established lefty-killer, currently holding them to a .143/.200/.214 slash line and now he’s paid his dues. We like the profile, we like the price and we like the team he pitches for because they can score runs with anyone.
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SEATTLE -105 (Risking 2.10 units - To Win: 2.00)