Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:45 AM EST.
4:40 PM EST. Dinelson Lamet brings his 4.78 ERA after 14 starts into this one and he’s not someone you'd think would be on a list of the most skilled young starters in the game. While there is no such official list, we’ve made our own and Lamet is near the top becaause his skills confirm that he's been a much better pitcher than he shows on the surface. With a BB/K split of 29/92 in 75 innings (11.9 K’s/9) his 14% swing and miss rate backs up his excellent strikeout rate. Lamet is now getting ahead of hitters at a higher clip than earlier and we’re attributing that to his growing confidence that he can trust his stuff at this level and even dominate. With an xERA of 2.71 since the beginning of July 7, Lamet has been outstanding but he’s not even the target today.
Well, this is an interesting line, no? The first place Nationals were a -190 favorite on Friday and they were a -163 favorite yesterday. Today, with Gio Gonzalez starting with his 2.42 ERA, backing the Nationals will only cost a fraction of that price and we’re pretty sure a lot of this market will bite at the opportunity. Don’t be one of them because the line says that the Padres are the prudent choice. Gonzalez has one of MLB’s best ERA’s, he plays for a top team and he’s up against a relatively unknown pitcher that is starting for one of MLB’s worst teams. Again, the Nationals look like a gift here but be forewarned that when it looks too good to be true……
Gonzalez is coming off a six-inning, two-hit, zero runs gem against the Angels. He’s 11-5 with a 2.42 ERA and a BB/K split of 61/142 over 155 frames. On the surface, he looks like a gem but underneath is where we find plenty of holes. Gonzalez’s swing and miss rate in that last start against the Angels was 1%. His overall swing and miss rate is 9% but it is just 7% over his last eight starts. His velocity is also down from 90.1 MPH in May and June to 89.1 in July and August. Gonzalez has the second highest strand rate in MLB at 85.7%. He also has one of the lowest BABIP at .241. To give you an idea of how fortunate those marks are, consider that Danny Salazar’s and Rick Porcello’s BABIP are both .332. As for strand rates, consider that Gonzalez’s LOB% is 16 percentage points higher than the average strand percentage of the other 28 starters today. Gio Gonzalez is not close to being as good as his shiny ERA suggests so put him high on your fade list for the rest of the year and into the playoffs. His charmed life is about to blow up and the line today strongly suggests it starts here. So does his 4.66 xERA.
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SAN DIEGO +101 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.02)