Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:15 PM EST.
7:10 PM EST. Zach Davies has posted some very appealing surface stats lately. First, he’s 8-1 on the road with a 2.13 ERA. Secondly, Davies is 2-1 over his last three starts with an ERA of 0.90 and he’s coming off a seven-inning, six-hit, two-run performance against the Nationals. Yes indeed, Zach Davies has market appeal but don’t get caught buying into his success. Over his last 39 frames, Davies has 23 K’s with a 7% swing and miss rate. His first-pitch strike rate is 54% while his fastball barely tops off at 88 MPH. Zach Davies’ success this year has been fueled by a high 77% strand rate and an 80% strand rate over his last five starts. While he’s absolutely a serviceable pitcher that has value when taking back a tag, he’s a bigger risk than it appears because he doesn’t miss a lot of bats and is at the mercy of all those luck-driven stats like BABIP, strand %, hit rate and hr/f. Dude is overpriced here. His 1.34 WHIP and 4.94 xERA say so.
Meanwhile, Robert Stephenson has filthy stuff. Stephenson has 62 K’s in 59 frames with an amazing 17% swing and miss rate. Stephenson is a former first-round righty with impressive raw stuff that includes three plus pitches. His fastball will flash plus-plus with run and sink, though he relies on working it high in the zone, which leads to control issues. That’s getting better, however. The curve flashes plus with hard depth and generates swings-and-misses low in the zone while the change fades with tumble and is another plus offering. The risk is that he walks too many batters but his recent form is good enough to get behind because his raw stuff is so good, which matters at this park. Stephenson has ace-stuff without the control but he’s walking less folks and he’ll now face a Brewers’ squad that strikes out more than any team in baseball not named Tampa Bay. The Reds continue to play well at home and hit righties well too. This game is not priced correctly and therefore must be played.
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CINCINNATI +127 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.54)