Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:30 PM EST.
2:00 PM EST. Zach Davies’ (RHP) 17 wins last season add shine to this package but that’s kind of like a street vendor's fake Rolex, he stripped out the guts: Davies’ control got worse and his strikeout rate crashed. That combo wrecked his command and his weak first-pitch strike rate and swinging strikes offer no consolation. Do not buy those wins for a second, as that meaningless number tells us nothing about his skills. His skills, however, scream out that the victories were luck driven. When those wins go away, that's when your wrist turns green. Sell and sell fast.
Miles Mikolas (RHP) last pitched in the majors in 2014 when he started 10 games for the Texas Rangers. That stint didn't go well—4.51 xERA (6.44 ERA) with a 6 K’s/9 and a 2.1 BB’s/9, however, he has turned things around in Japan. His velocity has ticked up into the low 90s and he reportedly threw one of the best sliders in Japan along with a mid-70s curveball. Overall, Mikolas had a 2.18 ERA over 424.2 innings in Japan. In 2017 alone, he threw 188 innings with a 2.25 ERA to go along with 9 K’s/9 and an even better command. For a possible comparable, we can look at Colby Lewis' history. After struggling in the United States, he pitched for two years in Japan, going 26-17 with ERAs below 3.00 and a K-rate above 9. Upon his return to the majors, he became a reliable MLB starter for a few years. Mikolas is at a peak age (29) and if the Cardinals sharp brass likes him enough to sign for 15.5M per, we can take a little gamble on him too.
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