Today's Free Picks for
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Posted at 11:15 AM EST and odds are subject to change.
Cincinnati -1½ +145 over Washington
1:35 PM EST. If you prefer to play straight up and not spot 1½ runs, the Reds in the -115 range is a bargain. We’ll take back +150 and spot the extra half run and let the chips fall where they may because Patrick Corbin (LHP - WAS) is one of the best fades in the biz. Aside from that, let’s look at the value here in betting against this stiff. Corbin was +249 last game in San Diego. Over his last five starts, he has been an underdog five times while taking back +249, +145, +243, +223 and +225. The +145 was against the Cubs in Washington no less. We could go back even further but what’s the point? Dude is almost always a 2-1 underdog or a big underdog and today he’s evenly priced? What the f**k is that?
Cincy has kicked Washington’s ass in the first two games of this series and there is nothing suggesting it won’t continue here. Meanwhile, Nick Lodolo (LHP - CIN) is one of the game’s most underrated starters. Buy now. Lodolo was called up early in the season, and made three starts before a back strain put him on the IL. He was originally expected to only miss the minimum, but his return kept getting pushed back, and pushed back again, and then he needed a rehab start, and more rehab starts, and finally, the Reds transferred him to the 60-day IL in late June. (Which was more of a procedural move, since he was finally activated and returned to the MLB roster on July 5th).
Lodolo didn't fare that well in those three April starts (5.52 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, but his skills looked very promising: 7% BB%, 28% K%, 20% K-BB%, 3.35 xERA. Over the seven starts he's made since his return from the IL, his surface stats look average on paper (4.35 ERA, 1.52 WHIP) but average they are not. He has been a consistent ground-ball pitcher in the minors (55% in 2021) and over his last five starts, his groundball rate is back up to 51%. His K% has remained consistently elite throughout his season and he now has an elite 77 K’s in 60 innings. His curveball looks like a potential weapon (26.2% usage, 18.7% swing and miss rate), and his change-up shows some promise (16.1% usage, 12.4% SwK), so the long-term outlook is encouraging.
Given that his back strain went from a 10-day IL stint to a two-plus-month absence, it seems fair to assume that the injury had an impact on his 2022 season. Even so, a 3.44 xERA makes him a seriously undervalued asset for the remainder of the year. He might quickly emerge as the dominant starter we've seen flashes of in 2022 so we repeat, buy low. We’ll play him at this bargain of a price.
Cincinnati -1½ +150 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.00)