Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST.
7:10 PM EST. Joe Biagini does not have a lot of market appeal right now because he was recently sent down, he’s 3-9 with a 5.01 ERA and he’ll be facing the Red Sox at Fenway. However, Biagini has been one of MLB’s unluckiest pitchers with an unsustainably low 62.5% strand rate that has sabotaged his surface stats. Underneath the hood, Biagini has been very good this year and even better since he returned from spending a bit of time riding buses. Since returning, Biagini has struck out 14 batters over 11 frames. His groundball rate is elite at 58% but it’s been even better since returning at 66%. He also has an elite line-drive rate of just 17%. Joe Biagini’s xERA this season is solid at 3.90 but over his last two starts, it’s in ace territory at 2.95. This dude can pitch and the fact that he’s this big a dog to Doug Fister is somewhat absurd.
Doug Fister wasn’t even supposed to pitch this year (because nobody wanted him) but after injuries to David Price, Drew Pomeranz, Eduardo Rodriguez and Brian Johnson, the Red Sox were desperate. Not too long ago, back in late July, the Red Sox announced that Doug Fister would re-enter the rotation when the next empty slot came up. Fister's 2017 results up to that point were 21 K’s and 17 BB’s in 25 innings with a 7.46 ERA. Had the Red Sox had some healthy bodies, Fister would not have been considered for a turn in the rotation but as fate would have it, the Red Sox had few options so Fister started and it’s been all glory ever since. Fister’s ERA over his past six starts is 3.29 but before you make him a key cog in your betting strategy, note that his command sub-indicators did not support his results: 7% swing and miss rate, 60% first-pitch strikes and 37% ball%. At his peak, Fister relied upon pounding the strike zone, limiting walks and getting plenty of grounders. Each of those areas showed massive erosion, especially control before this “sudden burst”. A puny strikeout rate has long been an issue, so any control/groundball% degradation is magnified. Negative trends in xERA, control, command, disaster starts and xERA painted a bleak picture before and we’re just not satisfied that Doug Fister is back from the dead.
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Toronto +151 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.02)