Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:45 AM EST.
2:15 PM EST. Erik Skoglund and Lucas Giolito are both four starts into this season but they are a very different four starts. Skoglund made his major league debut on May 30th after Danny Duffy was placed in the DL. Skoglund tossed a six-inning, two-hit gem in his MLB debut but then two subsequent disasters got him sent him back down to AAA-Omaha where he remained until getting the call again on August 27. He lasted 1.1 innings against the Indians on Aug 27 and surrendered seven runs. He then appeared in relief on Sept 2 against the Twins and pitched three more poor innings, allowing three runs and walking three. All of that adds up to just 14 MLB innings in four starts and one relief appearance. In those 14 frames, Skoglund has been tagged for 23 hits while walking 10 batters and striking out 11. That’s 33 base-runners in 14 innings for a WHIP of 2.36. Skoglund is a decent enough prospect but he’s not the first decent prospect to fall apart at this level once getting here. Some guys can handle it and thrive while others cannot and while it is way too early to put the latter label on him, we’re not going to ignore it either. His confidence can’t be thriving right now either. Incidentally, Skoglund is a lefty and the South Side have been very good all year v southpaws.
Lucas Giolito’s plight is much different and more promising. He made a brief appearance last season as a member of the Nats and it didn’t go well. He was, however, the key cog in the subsequent trade that sent Adam Eaton over to Washington. After arriving in Chicago, Giolito showed good progress. In the minors this year he was working on his wicked curve and other pitches before his most recent call-up. This top prospect was called up on August 22 and four starts later, he has not looked a bit out of place. With a BB/K split of 8/23 in 25 frames to go along with a 2.84 ERA, Giolito’s small sample size results have the full support of his underlying skills. He has a first-pitch strike rate of 65% to go along with a nifty 12% swing and miss rate. With an xERA of 3.51, Giolito might be here for good. This kid looks very comfortable on the mound and in complete control of what he’s trying to do. He looks very good also. We’ll bite.
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Chicago +126 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.52)