Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:20 PM EST.
7:05 PM EST. Julio Teheran is pitching well on the road recently, with three of his last four resulting in a dominant start. One of his three starts against the Nationals this season has resulted in a gem too. Teheran has been great on the road, where in 13 starts he is 7-2 with a 3.09 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. That’s the skinny on Teheran but he’s not our target here. Our target is the Nationals in a vulnerable spot with a vulnerable starter going.
After a four-game set with Philadelphia this past weekend and a day off yesterday, we would not be a bit surprised to see the Nationals and their 20-game lead in the NL East take a bit of a breather this series. You see, the Nationals have the Dodgers up next in Washington so fans, media and players are obviously anticipating that showdown, especially with the Dodgers in the midst of a remarkable slump that might be even more remarkable than their record before it. In any event, from an emotional or situational standpoint, this would be the perfect time to take back a big price against what could be a disinterested starter and host.
As fate would have it, it is Gio Gonzalez’s turn in the rotation and he’s been a fade target of ours for weeks now. This is by far one of the luckiest pitchers in the game and it’s about to blow up. Mark our words on this one and keep fading him, especially come playoff time when lucky pitchers almost always get exposed. Gonzalez’s swing and miss rate since the beginning of August is 4%. That’s Bartolo Colon territory. His 55% first-pitch strike rate this season is weak but Gonzalez hasn’t paid the price yet. His velocity has decreased every month and now his fastball is averaging 89.2 MPH. Somehow, someway, Gio Gonzalez has been able to post an ERA of 2.50 but hitters have caught on to his 4th consecutive year of fastball velocity decline. Concurrent 2nd half drops in swing and miss rate and first-pitch strike rate shows declining quality of his stuff. With an xERA of 4.29 this season and an xERA of 5.17 since the beginning of August, Gonzalez is ripe for regression. This is at best a league average pitcher that is defying logic to a high degree and when it inevitably blows up, we’ll be there to cash in. Hopefully it happens here.
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Atlanta +150 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.00)