Today's Free Picks for
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.
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.
ATLANTA +100 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.00)