Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:00 AM EST.
4:05 PM EST. Matt Cain gets bumped to the bullpen and the beneficiary of that is Chris Stratton, who has made five starts since Cain’s demotion. Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy said that Stratton won't be a one-time deal either, meaning the rotation spot is his for the rest of the year with a chance to stick next year too. In his last start at Arizona against the Snakes respected lineup, Stratton three a six-inning, four-hit, two earned runs beauty. Two starts ago against Washington, Stratton struck out 10 batters, walked just one and allowed a mere six baserunners in 6.2 innings of work. He now has 33 K’s in 38 innings this year.
We can’t say just yet if his early results are a fluke or not. What we can say is that Stratton didn’t get overly lucky to get these results, as his fastball command has been on point with a curveball that has induced plenty of bad swings (19.2%). His slider and change hint at upside, though it would be asking a lot for Stratton to touch his ceiling with at least three of his pitches all working on a given night. He does have a four-pitch arsenal and 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.
As the calendar turns to the final month of the season, beware of teams playing the spoiler role, especially underachieving clubs like the Giants. San Fran finally has something to play for and that is to spoil the dreams of teams’ thinking about the post-season. Furthermore, our continued attack on Lance Lynn is not about to stop here.
Lynn has a 3.14 ERA this year after 27 starts. He also has a 3.40 ERA on the road after 14 starts. Over his last three starts, Lynn is 0-0 with an ERA of 3.22. All of that looks sweet on paper and so this market is going to pay dearly to back Lynn’s surface stats but we promise you that ALL OF IT, the overall ERA, the road ERA and his ERA over his last three starts is all a massive fluke. Lance Lynn has been riding a wave of extreme good fortune this entire season and at some point it’s going to catch up to him. Lynn’s swing and miss rate since the beginning of July is 5%. His first-pitch strike rate this year is 51%. Over his last five starts covering 31 innings, Lynn has walked 15 and posted a WHIP of 1.70. Lynn comes in with the highest strand rate in MLB at 86.4%. He also comes in with the lowest BABIP (Batting Average of Balls in Play) among all starters today at .234. His xERA since the beginning of July is 6.22 and yet here he is, priced like he’s pitching like Carlos Martinez when in fact, he’s pitching more like Matt Cain. Lance Lynn is not the worst starter in baseball by any stretch but he is without question one of MLB’s luckiest and most overpriced pitchers and must be faded when he’s road chalk.
NOTE: Late oitching change to Jeff Samardzija, which is even better, Price is now San Fran +100.
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SAN FRAN +100 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.00)