Today's Free Picks for
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Posted at 1:45 PM EST and odds are subject to change.
Detroit +115 over Kansas City
8:10 PM EST. Joey Wentz (LHP - DET) started two games in May for the Tigers before being sent back down to Triple-A Toledo. He had one beauty start (4 IP 1H, 0 ER) at this level against the Twins and one weak one (2.2 IP 7H 6 ER) against Oakland. Part of the return for Shane Greene back in 2019 after being a supplemental first round selection for Atlanta in 2016, Wentz looked like he was ready to take off before going down with an elbow injury requiring Tommy John surgery during spring training in 2020. That time off coincided with the pandemic, so he didn't lose the same kind of developmental time but still required time back to get to full strength.
6'5" and 220 pounds, Wentz has never had a dominating fastball and relied more on solid command of his secondaries. The fastball does play up due to shape and movement, but the loss of velocity last year forced more work on his secondaries to get by. He did well by most estimations, though the walks ballooned upon reaching Double-A Erie, issuing a whopping 33 of them in 53.1 IP for a 14.2% BB%. Wentz's stuff also wasn't dominating, with only an 11.5% swing and miss rate though batters did have a tough time hitting him (.206 oppBA).
Wentz has looked like a new man in 2022, as his fastball velocity has fully returned, helping the pitch to play up to an above-average offering. He's also locating his secondaries better, but a new wrinkle is that Wentz just started throwing a cutter. The pitch generated a bunch of swing-and-misses and now he returns to the majors after striking out 59 batters in 53 innings at Toledo. The kid has patiently waited for this moment to return and we have to trust his teammates will be fired up to get him some support.
Meanwhile, David Lynch is running on fumes. Over his last 26 innings, he has walked 13 batters while striking out just 15. His ERA/xERA over that span is an alarming 4.91/5.65. Lynch threw just 68 innings last year and is up to 108 this year. Despite next-to-no high minors experience, he made his MLB debut in May of 2021 but lasted just 3 starts. After a mediocre 57 IP at AAA, Lynch got another try and fared better at first, though skill support was lacking, and minor injuries helped his results head south. Third time's a charm? It was at first when he was getting batters out but it’s not a charm anymore. Everything looks rough including his groundball rate (34%), hard hit balls, WHIP (1.54), swing and miss rate of 6.8% over his last six starts, and constantly falling behind in the count. If you spot 35 cents with David Lynch, maybe you’ll win but seeing some AAA dominance first would be nice, no? Another great value bet.
Detroit +115 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.30)