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Texas @ MINNESOTA
Texas -104 over MINNESOTA

BEST LINES:  Pinnacle -104 BET365 -110 SportsInteraction -105 5DIMES -105

Posted at 12:00 PM EST.

8:10 PM EST. First Impression: Fernando Romero (RHP)

Called up: May 1/2018

2018 Minor League Stats: Rochester (AAA)--2.57 ERA, 21.0 IP/3 GS, 4.3 BB’s/9, 8.6 K’s/9.

2018 has been a solid step forward for Romero but he still has work to do and plenty of it. With a fastball that touches 98 with good sink, Romero has the makings of a power pitcher, and his swing and miss rate of 11% suggests his strikeout rate, which has only been average so far, has the potential to rise higher. Control, however, remains an issue, due to a below average number of first pitch strikes (52%) and while his walk rate has gone down over his last five starts, his first-pitch strike rate has also been lower (50%), which makes the improvement unlikely to stick. Over his last five starts, Romero has a 6.20 ERA and 5.17 xERA, which might be a sign that opponents are starting to figure him out. In his last start, his swing and miss rate was 3%. Romero has middle-of-the-rotation upside, and has certainly flashed some of those skills in his major league debut but his recent struggles and control issues might lead him back to Triple-A, where he only has 21 innings of experience--and the looming return of Ervin Santana could force that issue. Long-term, he remains a pitcher to watch, but for 2018, there are far too many negatives to get behind him as the chalk. Remember, this is a Double-A pitcher that made a big leap this year to Triple-A for a cup of coffee before being forced into duty at this level and now the film is out on him.

Mike Minor (LHP) remains one of the more undervalued starters in the game, especially after the horrible results he delivered in May (6.91 ERA, 1.50 WHIP). Nonetheless, Minor flashed well-above average skills in May with 8.6 K’s/9, 2 BB’s/9 43% grounders and an xERA of 3.95. He threw a lot of strikes early (68%) and often (33% ball%). A 35% hit rate, 61% strand rate and 22% hr/f all conspired to work against him. Minor has delivered a BB/K split of 17/62 in 72 frames. He’s not an ace and he’s not a top-tier pitcher but he brings experience, amped velocity and increased slider use and there are 29 other teams in this league that would employ him in a heartbeat.

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Our Pick

Texas -104 (Risking 2.08 units - To Win: 2.00)

Philadelphia @ WASHINGTON
Philadelphia +143 over WASHINGTON

BEST LINES:  Pinnacle +143 BET365 +135 SportsInteraction +140 5DIMES +141

Posted at 12:00 PM EST.

7:05 PM EST. Zach Eflin (RHP) was a disaster in the rotation the past two seasons, compiling a 5.85 ERA, 4.7 K’s/9, and 2.0 hr/9 across 22 starts. He's looked like a different pitcher this year, at least on the surface, as he's put up a 3.63 ERA while striking out a lot more batters over his first seven starts. Is it time to invest? Yes as Eflin's skills have taken a major step up. He's bumped up his velocity pretty significantly, and is generating far more swings and misses, leading to just over a strikeout per inning so far. The added juice on his fastball has likely played a role in an increased swing and miss rate on his sinker, change, and slider, the three other pitches he throws more than 10% of the time. Eflin has cut down on his sinker usage, from 46% in 2017 to 13% so far this season. The pitch wasn't very effective for him the past two seasons but has been better in limited use this year. Eflin has a low home run per fly ball rate, which is impressive when considering that he pitches in a home park that increases LHB HR by 20%, and RHB HR by 24%. In 45 frames, Eflin has walked 11 and struck out 46.  Given that this year's success is still quite a small sample, and that his track record is mediocre at best, it's tough to gauge how much to buy into Eflin's performance. He has made some intriguing changes, though, and looks like a completely different pitcher, as he has increased his velocity to 94.3 MPH, and missing more bats has supported his 9.3 K’s/9. Creating softer contact and his 3.77 xERA suggest he's worth a wager against a Nationals’ team that is reeling and that is just a half game better than the Phillies right now.

Tanner Roark (RHP) has not fared well in his last five starts, as he owns a 5.87 ERA and three weak starts in that span. Roark started the year well but he’s getting progressively worse in each start, which is usually a sign of fatigue. His swing and miss rate over his past two starts was a weak 4% after being 9% in his previous 12 starts. Over his last five starts covering 30 innings, Roark has a weak BB/K split of 12/19. He is currently sporting his highest ball% of his career, meaning he is constantly behind in the count. His 3.43 ERA is significantly outperforming his xERA of 4.94, which is 91st of the 144 pitchers qualified pitchers. If the Nats have been beatable with Strasburg, Scherzer or Gonzalez starting lately, surely they’re beatable when this well-below average starter takes the hil

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Our Pick

Philadelphia +143 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.86)

RangeWLP+/- (Units)
Yesterday000.000.00
Last 30 Days32640.00-35.82
Season to Date1051440.00+13.04