Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:15 PM EST.
4:10 PM EST. This is Game 1 of a double-header and we’re going to play Atlanta in both games. The listed pitchers for Game 1 are Lucas Sims versus Chris Flexen.
Prior to 2017, Sims' biggest problem was control. This year, in both Triple-A and the majors, he appears to have made a significant improvement in that area, backed by an elite first-pitch strike rate. When a high prospect begins to throw strikes, usually good things will start to happen. After a 37% groundball rate for most of the year, Sims’ groundball rate in his last start was 60%. His swinging strike rate is 12% over his last three starts too. The 23-year-old Sims has upside. He has a 96 mph fastball with life and a "great 12-6 curve that ranks among the best in the organization. He’s going to be a major piece in the Braves rotation over the next several years and he’s getting better with each passing start.
Chris Flexen is the opposite of Sims. Flexen was “supposed to be ”MLB ready when he made his debut back in late July but he’s been anything but. Some guys are never MLB ready once they get here and Flexen has not come close to proving he belongs. First, he can’t throw strikes. He’s walked 30 batters in 29 frames and 10 batters over his last 10 innings. He’s constantly behind in the count and he’s not facing a free-swinging squad here. In fact, Atlanta has struck out the fourth fewest times in all of MLB. Flexon brings a 2.12 WHIP into this game, meaning he’s surrounded by traffic every inning. He has a 7.18 ERA, a 9.98 xERA and because he’s forced to use his fastball when behind in the count, hitters are sitting on it. His fastball has been flat and every time he takes the mound, so are the Mets. Give us Atlanta at a short price in Game 1 and as a dog in Game 2 and we’re thrilled to be going with the best of it here in both games.
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Atlanta -113 (Risking 2.26 units - To Win: 2.00)