Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:15 PM EST.
7:10 PM EST. This is Game 2 of a double-header and we’re betting that the Braves win at least one, although we’re expecting them to sweep. In Game 2, the listed pitchers are Max Fried against Seth Lugo. Max Fried was the centerpiece in the trade that landed the Padres Justin Upton despite having just undergone Tommy John surgery, Fried has seen his valuation as a prospect ebb and
Max Fried was the centerpiece in the trade that landed the Padres Justin Upton despite having just undergone Tommy John surgery, Fried has seen his valuation as a prospect ebb and flow heavily in the last few seasons. Originally drafted 7th overall in 2012 out of Harvard Westlake, Fried boasted three pitches that all flashed plus at the time: A low-to-mid-90s fastball, a tight, sweeping curve in the high 70s that flashed double plus (which he now has two versions of), and a change that was already near an average pitch, all in a left-handed package standing at an athletic, 6’4” and 180 pounds. Glimpses of that same pitcher emerged last year after it seemed the 24-year-old Fried was fully back from missing almost two full seasons, rattling off a number of dominant performances for Single-A Rome to end his campaign. Those hopes were put on hold for Fried at Double-A Mississippi this season, where he amassed a 2-11 record and a 6.33 ERA over 86.2 difficult innings. The underlying skills are a bit muddier. While he’s got a problematic command profile, Fried is still keeping the ball on the ground (51.7%) and whiffing near 9 per 9. Fried has battled blisters all season long and ended up on the DL in June. Since he’s been back, he’s been a different pitcher. He held righties to a .231/.300/.269 line over his first three starts back in which he did not allow an earned run. On September 3, he threw a five-inning beauty against the Cubbies. He’s worked out of the ‘pen and as a starter since early August and while he brings risk, Seth Lugo brings a higher risk as the chalk.
Last year, Lugo went 5-2 with a 2.67 ERA in 64 innings for the Mets. It was not a breakout, instead, it was just a lucky MLB hit%/strand% combo (24%/81%), which was the flip side of his fortunes in AAA. Lugo has thrown 91 innings this year over 17 starts. He comes in with 25 BB’s, 74 walks, a 5.03 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. He’s also pitching for a banged up team that just finished a series with Washington over the weekend. Seth Lugo does not own stats or skills worth getting behind. Things have not been any better for him in the second half (5.32 ERA) than they were in the first half. The reality is that he's a late bloomer who didn't arrive 'til 26 and may disappear as fast as he came. The Braves continue to play hard every day and of the two teams playing a double-header in the final week of the season, we trust that New York will be less interested.
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Atlanta +118 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.36)