Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:10 AM EST.
5:10 PM EST. This is Game 1 of a double-header with the listed pitchers being Tim Melville versus Carlos Rodon.
After beginning the season in independent ball, the 27-year-old Tim Melville now finds himself in the majors with a spot start in today’s doubleheader (Monday, Aug. 21). Melville was signed by the Twins to a minor league contract in June and is back in the majors for the first time since starting two games with the Reds in 2016. The Twins are his fourth organization—he was with the Royals from 2008 through 2014, the Tigers organization in 2015, and the Reds for 2016. Melville was formerly highly regarded with the Royals, but injuries derailed him in 2012 and 2013. He primarily works off of his 90-94 mph fastball and mixes in a curveball and changeup. Inconsistency, particularly with his fastball command, has been a significant issue for him throughout his career. He has a smooth, repeatable delivery, but he can often live in the fat part of the plate, leaving him vulnerable to hard hit balls. Melville has a curveball that can flash plus, but it lacks velocity and may not deceive advanced hitters. As a flyball pitcher, he’ll need to learn to sequence better and spot his fastball lower in the zone, especially as it lacks movement. Melville has a career 4.58 ERA in the minors over 747 innings. Melville’s 2017 minor league stats are good but it’s a small sample size. However, his first start against the South Side is not a bad matchup and he could therefore hold some value. Is he worth a bet in Chicago? Probably, yes because Chicago is not worthy of being favored over too many teams these days. Melville’s 2017 STATS:
Rochester (AAA) – 10 gs, 4-3, 2.70 ERA, 66.2 IP, 3.1 BB’s/9, 8.6 K’s/9, 5 HR, .199 oppBA
A year removed from all the hype in 2015, Carlos Rodon enjoyed a quiet growth season last year. It initially looked like a replay of 2015, but he then he parlayed his July misfortune (7.92 ERA, sprained wrist) into a 7-2 Aug/Sept, as his fastball approached triple digits. His first-pitch strike rate and control trends were positive responses to an increased workload. Step by step, inch by inch, yes but he’s not there yet after getting off to a late start this year because of a biceps injury. Rodon has made just eight starts so once again, he’s battling to keep pace.
Carlos Rodon was more famine than feast in July, at least on the surface (6.23 ERA, 1.65 WHIP). He’s been better in August and those wanting to gamble on a starter down the stretch could do worse than speculating on Rondon.
His skills in July were very good even if his wildness (4.9 BB’s/9) was predictable given his ugly 52% first-pitch strike rate and 40% ball%. Rodon will probably hold some great profit potential when being offered a price but he’s a big risk as the favorite because the South Side do not win enough games.
Lastly, Paul Molitor is proving to be one of the best in-game managers in the league. We’re often critical of manager moves because they are so questionable half the time but Molitor has impressed us greatly. His baseball instincts are unmatched because he was such a great player and he’s carried that over to his managerial job. Unlike other managers, Molitor will get the starter out at the first sign of trouble before the damage is done and that’s another good reason to back the Twins here taking back a price.
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Minnesota +126 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.52)