Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:35 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Pittsburgh +125 over Minnesota
2:10 PM EST. It appears as though the Pirates are going with a “bullpen” start, as Ryan Borucki (LHP - PIT) is the scheduled starter and he’ll likely go just one or two innings before right-hander Osvaldo Bido takes over. Bido may be asked to go two, three or four innings. He’s an under-the-radar starting pitching prospect that is very slowly coming on. He’s made two starts recently and both were serviceable. He has a BB/K split of 3/12 over his past 14 innings covering two starts and three relief appearances.
Bido throws both a 4-seam and 2-seam fastball both around 94 mph average velocity with arm-side run though more so on the two-seamer. His 83-mph slider is his go to secondary and it generates a lot of swings. He rounds out his arsenal with a cutter and changeup though they're both sub-10% in usage and more change-of-pace. The stuff plays up a bit due to his lower slot. His swing and miss rate is modest at 11.6% but he's likely not a starter long term, as he can get inefficient and struggles to keep it in the zone when things aren't going right, leading to shortened starts. There's some juice here but frankly, we’re going to live with whatever results the Pirates pitching delivers, as this is a pure fade on Minnesota’s starter.
We looked at several ways to attack Dallas Keuchel (LHP - MIN) and if you’re so inclined, you could play o2½-runs at -140. His strikeouts are listed at u3½ -160. His hits allowed are at o5½ -135. The problem is that any attack on Keuchel involves spotting a price except for betting on Pittsburgh to win outright. It seems highly likely that Keuchel will surrender three or more runs but we’re going to play Pittsburgh to win because Keuchel is the nuggets stiff in the game.
Keuchel has made two starts this year and in 6.2 innings, he has surrendered 14 hits, seven runs and has walked four batters. He’s actually quite fortunate that the damage wasn’t even worse because his WHIP is now at 2.70. Essentially what that means is that Keuchel has been pitching with the bases loaded just about every inning he’s pitched this year. Furthermore, he has not struck out a single batter. That’s right, zero K’s in two starts and now he’s favored like he’s Bert Blyleven? Keuchel has an xERA of 8.37. He’s batting practice out there and while it's a small sample size, if we combine it with his final three starts last year in which he allowed 26 hits (4 jacks) and 22 runs over 12.1 frames, the sample size gets a little larger. With no K’s, a 2.70 WHIP, a 8.37 xERA, and throwing straight fastball at 86 MPH, we have no idea why the Twins are employing this stiff but he must be faded.
Pittsburgh +125 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.50)