Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST.
1:10 PM EST. Blake Snell put up the best stats and skills of his season in August. Underneath his 2.97 ERA and 1.09 WHIP was this collection of skills: 8.3 K’s/9, 2.7 BB’s/9, 51% grounders and an xERA of 4.17. He also missed bats a high rate (12%). The piece holding back Snell from fulfilling his high ceiling is poor control, a weakness that continued to plague him under the surface in August (57% first-pitch strike rate, 40% ball%). You may remember that Blake Snell did not have a win after 15 starts this season. On August 15 of this year, Snell was 0-6 after 15 starts with a 4.69 ERA and he was an underdog every time he took the mound. He has now won three of his last four starts with a no-decision thrown in for good measure to run his record to 3-6 with a 4.02 ERA. This market will also see his 0.89 ERA over his last three starts. Snell is decent to be sure. However, he’s the poster boy for how luck plays a big part in outcomes. Through his first 15 starts, he had none. Over his last five starts, his strand rate was 84%. He’s also walked 50 batters in 105 frames so his control comes and goes so he brings that risk with him. Snell is a high-risk/reward play for September, meaning he’s a high risk here, as a big favorite against the Twins.
Called up as the 26th-man for a doubleheader on August 18, Aaron Slegers made his major league debut for the Twins before returning to Rochester after the game. The 24-year-old right-hander is tall (6'10" and 245 pounds) and polished. Unfortunately he does not have much velocity on his fastball (92 mph at best), so that limits his ceiling to pretty much how the Twins are using him now: an occasional starter, a swingman when needed, perhaps multiple innings out of the bullpen. If it all comes together, he could become a serviceable starter in the majors. He's a command-and-control pitcher, sequencing his three pitches well and keeping the walks down. His slider and curve are not out pitches, so with his average fastball he is not going to dominate batters. A career strikeout rate of 6.6 K’s/9 in the minors confirms this. He limits damage to his WHIP because of his control, and can be a durable arm for the team one way or the other. Slegers has been steadily climbing the minor league levels, and his skills have been remarkably consistent year after year and level after level. With a credible 130 IP at Triple-A now, he's ready for his major league debut, and should be able to help the Twins this year and beyond. He certainly had a nice first game, pitching 6.1 innings and allowing only two earned runs on two hits. He only struck out three while also walking two, but for the Twins those 6+ innings were just what they needed in the back half of a doubleheader. Just keep expectations in check as his ceiling is modest. So, what we know for sure is that Siegers will be throwing strikes and he’ll put the ball in play. Siegers is not the first pitcher that is often at the mercy of BABIP and he won’t be the last. This is generally a decent park for pitchers that put the ball in play and so Siegers and the Twinkies are worth a bet at this price.
So, what we know for sure is that Siegers will be throwing strikes and he’ll put the ball in play. Siegers is not the first pitcher that is often at the mercy of BABIP and he won’t be the last. This is generally a decent park for pitchers that put the ball in play and so Siegers and the Twinkies are worth a bet at this price.
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Minnesota +154 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.08)