Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:45 AM EST.
2:20 PM EST. Kyle Hendricks’ brilliant effort last year benefited from elite hit % and strand % fortune but first-pitch strike rate and his swing and miss stuff underscore his command and ability to induce swings/misses. MLB-best defense helped, too, but xERA is the reality check. Dallas Keuchel showed volatility of contact-based approach even with plus skills. It would have been unreasonable to expect another year out of Hendricks like he had last year. However, he still brings a skill supported 3.45 ERA into this game. Over his last 27 frames, Hendricks has struck out 24 batters. He’s constantly low in the zone which has resulted in one of the lowest fly-ball rates (27%) in the game. Toronto has nothing but trouble against crafty righties and Hendricks fits the bill.
Then there’s good ol’ Marco Estrada. Estrada had been living right with some very low hit rates for three consecutive starts until his last outing when the Rays peppered him for 10 hits and six earned runs over 4.1 innings. In general, Estrada’s support numbers have not/never been strong and are getting worse. His fly-balls are up (and over the fence) and strikeout indicators (and velocity) are down. Estrada’s vile batted ball profile of 24% grounders and 55% fly-balls are not likely to play well at Wrigley against a surging Cubs’ offense which has scored 6.1 runs per game on the strength of an .855 OPS this month. Estrada is paying us back with interest so the fade will continue here.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
CHICAGO -1½ +107 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.14)