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Posted at 12:40 PM EST.
8:10 PM EST. Facing an always shaky Kyle Gibson last night, the South Side had numerous chances in the first three innings to put up some crooked numbers but failed miserably. With seven base-runners in the first three innings, which including a bases loaded no out opportunity in the third, the White Sox scored one run and it came via the wild pitch. Opportunity would not strike again for the remainder of the game while the Twins managed to score four times on a very good looking rookie. Now the Twins take a huge step down in class from anything they’ve seen over the past three weeks when they face James Shields.
Shields’ is actually throwing better these days with a BB/K split of 10/30 over his last 27 innings but he’s still walking too many and giving up too many hard hit balls. His batted ball profile in his last start was 31% grounders, 46% line-drives and 23% fly-outs. He still has a weak overall BB/K split of 35/74 over 84 frames. Shields’ overall WHIP is also weak at 1.57 and it was weak during that aforementioned 27 innings better stretch too at 1.47. It’s not every pitcher who can rack up a 6-19 record with an ERA approaching 6.00 and still have a job the next year. Such is the case with James Shields who despite his 2016 struggles, opened this year with a spot in the rotation. He’s still in said rotation with an xERA of 5.44 but when you get behind Big Game James" it’s a dangerous game of chicken.
Ervin Santana seemingly has faded since the All-Star Break (4.35 ERA) but nothing could be further from the truth. He has an excellent 13% swing and miss rate and an elite 72% first-pitch strike rate so far in the second half. Santana has a BB/K split of 7/34 over his last 33 frames covering five starts and he’ll now face a young, inexperienced and impatient group of hitters in the White Sox lineup. Not only is Santana in great from but his expertise in sequencing should bode well here in fooling a group that is so raw.
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Minnesota -1½ +112 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.24)