Today's Free Picks for
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Posted at 12:45 PM EST and are subject to change.
Cincinnati +135 over St. Louis
6:40 PM EST. Graham Ashcraft (RHP - CIN) has pitched about as expected so far in his major league debut, as he's been viewed as a possible back-end starter, and skill-wise, that's pretty much what he's been. He's exhibited stellar control (12 BB in 55 innings) and above-average groundball tendencies (53%), which was true of his work in the minors as well. Where he's been coming up short is in generating strikeouts, and that's hardly a surprise given his well-below-average swing and miss rate of 8.2%. Even at the individual pitch level, he's lacking a way to generate swings and misses, as his best pitch, his slider, is only getting a league-average 11.2% swing & miss rate on 29.4% usage. Still, he throws 96 MPH and he has an elite groundball rate.
You know who else has a swing and miss rate of 8%? Adam Wainwright (RHP - ST. L). No, check that, Wainwright’s swing and miss rate is 6.8%. Adam Wainwright is 40-years old and last season he logged the most IP of any 39+ year-old since 2007 and did it with a second straight sub-3.20 ERA. This year, Wainwright has a 3.00 after 18 starts. His fastball tops off at 88 MPH. Another fortunate strand rate of 82% is making his ratios look much better than their xERA/xWHIP counterparts, as his swing and miss rate is amongst the lowest of any qualified starter. We don’t know how his luck can hold up for so long but what we do know is that his nifty 3.00 ERA is hiding some really shaky skills. He is not fooling hitters at all but he’s getting them out because everything is being hit at people. Let’s see how he does as a 7½-5 favorite at Great American Smallpark.
Cincinnati +135 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.70)