Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:45 AM EST.
4:05 PM EST. Cole Hamels’ pedigree is as good as any active pitcher in the game right now. He’s a World Series winner, a playoff winning pitcher, he’s finished top-5 in Cy Young voting six times in his career and he’s had a long and very successful career. This year, Hamels is 9-1 with a 3.42 ERA but it’s all a mirage. In 105 frames, Hamels has a weak BB/K split of 33/65. In his last start covering seven full innings, Hamels struck out three batters. He’s been the fortunate recipient of the major’s lowest BABIP among qualified starters at .230. Hamels’ winning ways are not sustainable. He’s posted the worst control and command of his career with a notable drop in first-pitch strike rate. It’s also the first time that his skills have fallen below league average and when you add in ERA/xERA (3.42/4.81) difference, he's at risk for ROI regression.
Sean Manaea fell off a cliff recently to post a 17.27 ERA over his last four starts. That looks really ugly on paper but we’ll attribute it to a bit of fatigue, perhaps a hidden injury and a lot of bad luck too. However, in his last start against the dangerous Astros, Manaea got back on his horse and looked so much better when he went six full and surrendered just six hits and three runs against the dangerous Astros. This is a starter that is producing whiffs with ease. His change-up (25% of pitches) and slider (20%) have been dominant, as each has produced a 20% swing and miss rate. We’re seeing an odd combination of fortunate hit %, unfortunate strand %. On the aggregate, his xERA and overall skills peg Manaea as a better pitcher than his surface stats. We have tabbed Manaea as "one of the best breakout targets in the game," which makes complete sense given his electric swing-and-miss rate, his groundball tilt and favorable home park. The Rangers bats cooled off last night and now we’re getting the better pitcher at home, plus a price but the market believes that Hamels is the bargain here. That provides us with this very good opportunity.
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.
OAKLAND +100 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.00)