Today's Free Picks for
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Posted at 12:00 PM EST and are subject to change.
Cincinnati -1½ +155 over Milwaukee
6:40 PM EST. This line is a pick-em (-110 both ways at the time of this writing) but it’s not likely to stay there so if the price on Cincinnati increases, we’ll just play them on the run-line. If it comes down or stays the same, we’ll play them straight up. For record keeping purposes, we have them listed as a play at -1½ +155.
Just like with the Reds’ 2022 to this point, you wouldn’t know it just by looking at Hunter Greene’s (RHP - CIN) performance, but he’s been pretty good on the mound of late. Greene is a 22-year-old rookie with “high” variance but as we wrote after his third start of the year, “With just a few more adjustments, he’s an ace.” Given what he was still working on, as well as that projection variance that comes largely from how hittable his fastball might be, absurd velocity be damned, or how far along his still-developing changeup could come—some turbulence was not a major surprise.
Greene began to turn things around before mid-May, as Craig Goldstein noted after he began “weaning himself off” of an overreliance on his fastball, and turning his slider into his primary pitch. After May 5, through his first five starts and 20-plus innings, Greene’s ERA was an unsightly 8.36. Since then, however, Greene has managed a 3.41 mark, with 11.3 strikeouts per nine, 3.4 walks per nine, and 5.8 hits per nine. The strikeouts are lower, but so is how hittable his stuff has been, and he’s also controlling it better.
He’s sequencing and commanding his pitches better than he was: Greene is throwing fewer change-ups against lefties now, and while he’s throwing fewer fastballs, he still leans more on that pitch against left-handers until he has two strikes on them, at which time the slider takes over. Against righties, he attacks early with fastballs or when the batter is ahead, but goes hard on the sliders when they’re behind.
Greene probably would have had a complete game a couple starts back when he went seven full and allowed one lousy hit before the rain put a stop to it. He had thrown just 87 pitches through seven, the Reds were at home, and they were up 7-0 when the skies began to empty. A complete-game shutout one-hitter with at least as many strikeouts as innings is the kind of thing that makes you believe Greene’s figuring things out. His next two starts were also rock solid.
In his last start, Greene was lifted after seven with the Reds (+160) leading 4-1. St. Louis would score two in the eighth and two in the ninth and the books got away with posting a horrible number. Unlike the Reds, who, thanks to their horrific start, are still just 23-40 on the season even though they’re 19-18 over the last 37 games, Greene can still finish the 2022 season with highly respectable numbers. The market is still not aware of how filthy his stuff is and we’re not going to miss him at these bargain prices.
Cincinnati -1½ +155 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.10)