Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:40 PM EST
8:05 PM EST. Ivan Nova quietly has gone on a nice run since the All-Star Break. He has a 3.91 xERA since then and that mark has been accompanied by some excellent command sub-indicators: 11% swing and miss rate, 70% first-pitch strike rate and a 31% ball%. A crazy 41% hit rate and 27% hr/f have inflated his surface stats (6.67 ERA, 1.73 WHIP). There's some significant positive regression coming here and while it may not occur here, we’re willing to take our chances when the take-back is this high.
Pitching for the South Side for years, Jose Quintana was never close to being consistently priced so high and that’s because he was the South Side's proficient, easily-projected lefty that was slightly above average and never anything more. Jose Quintana then gets shipped to the Cubs and suddenly he’s priced like he’s Clayton Kershaw almost every outing. Quintana is the same serviceable pitcher he was on the other side of town as he is now. In fact, he might even be slightly worse. Quintana’s WHIP over his last five starts is an atrocious 1.52. He has 28 K’s in his past 27 frames but he’s also walked 12 over that span. His 9% swing and miss rate does not even come close to supporting the 162 K’s in 150 innings that he’s posted this year. Quintana has never put up strikeout numbers like he is right now and the sub-indicators say that is in for regression too. Quintana’s ERA since joining the Cubs is worse than his ERA before he came over. His ERA over his past five starts is 6.00 with an xERA of 5.01. We understand that the Cubbies are not the White Sox but Quintana was pitching for the South Side at a time in which they were a better team than the Cubbies and he was rarely priced in this range unless it was against a complete blow-up artist. Of course Quintana and the Cubs can win going away here, as that would not surprise us one bit. Chicago is hot and the Pirates are not. However, we’re value players and Pittsburgh is among the leaders in fewest team strikeouts. They’ll put the ball in play and they should have the opportunity to string together some hits in the same inning. All told, Jose Quintana is simply not good enough to be a 2-1 favorite every time he pitches at Wrigley. We’re simply playing the value here.
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Pittsburgh +185 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.70)