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Minnesota @ CHICAGO
CHICAGO +114 over Minnesota

BEST LINES: Pinnacle +114 Bet365 +110 SportsInteraction +110 5DIMES +109

Posted at 10:30 AM EST.

8:10 PM EST. Lucas Giolito went 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in 21 innings for the Nationals last year before being traded to the South Side in the Adam Eaton deal. This top prospect was indeed knocked around in his MLB cameo. In minors work, however, Giolito showed good progress: fared a lot better in late-season AAA stint (9.6 K’s/9, 3.11 xERA) than in earlier-season AA work. Lucas Giolito was Washington's former #1 prospect, with a high rating that features a fastball/curve/changeup mix that has at times dominated minor league hitters. He has the size, stuff and demeanor to pitch well for a long time but ran into command struggles upon reaching the majors in 2016. Giolito changed some of his mechanics while working in the minors this year and the new Giolito is still very, very good. He's just not a dominant stuff guy anymore, showing elite pitchability and getting outs by outsmarting hitters rather than overpowering them. He uses his two breaking balls to change the hitter's eye level, often pitching backward and starting hitters with breaking balls to get to the fastball later in the plate appearance. His fastball-curve-slider combination is major-league quality, with only consistency and command potentially holding him back. Whether or not his changeup will develop enough to get opposite-handed hitters out enough is an open question. There's also a question of whether or not getting his lower half more engaged might lead to more velocity, or if it would undo some of the command gains he's seen. Giolito brings a maturity to the mound that is clearly evident as he works. He works methodically, setting hitters up with purpose pitches to maximize the effectiveness of pitches later in the plate appearance. His margin for error is much lower than it once was but he seems to have bridged that gap with a more cerebral approach. Right now Giolito is a still a good prospect and at 23 years old there's reason to think he can still improve. It also doesn’t hurt our chances that the Twinkies have never seen him before. His fastball tops off at 96 MPH but he can change speeds with four different pitches. How he fairs here is anyone’s guess but he’s worth a bet against Kyle Gibson’s consistently poor performances.

Giolito brings a maturity to the mound that is clearly evident as he works. He works methodically, setting hitters up with purpose pitches to maximize the effectiveness of pitches later in the plate appearance. His margin for error is much lower than it once was but he seems to have bridged that gap with a more cerebral approach. Right now Giolito is a still a good prospect and at 23 years old there's reason to think he can still improve. It also doesn’t hurt our chances that the Twinkies have never seen him before. His fastball tops off at 96 MPH but he can change speeds with four different pitches. How he fairs here is anyone’s guess but he’s worth a bet against Kyle Gibson’s consistently poor performances.

Gibson has made 21 agonizing starts for Paul Molitor. Of those 21 starts, four were worthy of mentioning while the rest were all struggles that led to crooked innings. On May 5, Gibson earned his ticket to Rochester after going 0-4 with an 8.20 ERA (6.16 xERA) and 1.97 WHIP in 26 innings to start the season. When the Twins acquired Jaime Garcia, they sent Gibson to Triple-A Rochester again. Minnesota flipped Garcia to the Yankees after just one start so the Twins opted to bring Gibson back. Gibson has been unimpressive in the bigs, logging a 6.08 ERA (6.18 xERA). In 109 frames overall, he has a vile BB/K split of 50/75. Gibson has never been able to impress at this level and the only reason that he still has a job in the Twins starting rotation is because Phil Hughes is on the DL and because Frank Viola is 57-years-old. Kyle Gibson is not worthy of being road chalk on his best day against the worst pitcher in baseball but here he is a road favorite against a top prospect with tons of upside.

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Our Pick

CHICAGO +114 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.28)

 

 

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