Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:10 PM EST.
10:10 PM EST. We faded Yovani Gallardo in his last start in Oakland and ended up ripping up our ticket but that’s not going to deter us from sticking with the plan because Gallardo is a blowup waiting to happen. Gallardo’s surface stats do not reveal just how bad he truly is. Over his last three starts, you’ll see a 4.20 ERA but the truth is underneath the surface, where Gallardo’s xERA over those three starts was 7.78. Over his last 21 innings, covering five starts, Gallardo has walked more batters (12) than he’s struck out (11). His 4% swing and miss rate since returning to the rotation is putrid. His WHIP is poor, his batted ball profile is poor and his overall skills are not even replacement level anymore. He’s pitching at this level only because the Mariners have to pay him 9M this year.
The Orioles have tremendous value here at -113 or in that range but if we thought for a second that is was going to be that close, we’d be looking elsewhere. This is a pitching mismatch of mammoth proportions. Kevin Gausman, despite his atrocious start to the season, has been magnificent the last five weeks. In seven starts from July 2 onward, he’s posted a 3.24 ERA, supported peripherally by a 2.81 xERA with 11.4 strikeouts and 2.6 walks per nine innings. The strikeout rate is fueled by a 15% swinging strike rate, which has come consistently, ascending into double-digit percentages in all seven starts (and in eight of his last nine). His strikeout-to-walk differential (K-BB%) by month: 2.0%, 8.8%, 9.2% and 23.4%. Meanwhile, Gausman’s inducing ground balls almost half the time (49.5% GB). Increased usage of his splitter and its 22.4% whiff rate has helped, but all three (four, five, six) of his pitches recorded double-digit whiff rates in his latest seven starts. Gausman’s dominance has largely gone unnoticed because of his downright repulsive first half and he’ll now oppose one of MLB’s worst starters. If in-game variance doesn’t work against the Orioles here, this ticket will cash. Play Baltimore on the money line if you like or play it on the RL with a takeback but play them because a bigger bargain you will not find.
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Baltimore -1½ +137 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.74)