Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:00 PM EST.
6:05 PM EST. A second half 2016 surge and move to pitcher-friendly Pittsburgh made Ivan Nova an appealing option heading into 2017. However, when the dust settled, his final 2017 line looked a lot like 2016. The drop in Nova’s groundball % coincided with a decision to throw fewer sinkers (sinker usage 2016/1H-2017/2H-2017: 51%/46%/31%). Nova, rather inexplicably, opted to instead throw more four-seam fastballs even though it has historically been his worst pitch with a lifetime .325 BAA, .918 OPS and the results weren’t good, as the pitch was torched to the tune of a .305 BAA and .908 OPS (four-seam usage 2016/1H-2017/2H-2017: 13%/25%/33%).
Nova’s pitching line in his first start this year in Detroit looks fine on paper (5 innings, 6H - 2 ER) but that’s the beautiful thing about results. They do not tell the entire story but anyone that watched Nova walk a tightrope for five innings knows exactly what we’re referring to. That Ivan Nova didn’t allow eight runs in that start is miraculous because that’s how bad he was. Last year, a mid-season bout with knee inflammation never landed him on the DL but his results from that point on seem to indicate lingering issues. This is a run of the mill skill set.
Jake Odorizzi has flashed skills in the past that have flown under the radar. In fact, he had the sixth-highest swing and miss rate for a six week stretch in 2015 and he did so without any contribution from his groundball rate. In 2014, Odorizzi was flashing Max Scherzer type skills and in fact, led MLB in xERA from May until July. The Twins tried to get Yu Darvish to sign but when Darvish declined, Odorizzi was next on their list. Odorizzi has battled injuries in the past, which derailed/stalled his career and he missed two stints with hamstring and back problems, which seemed to take a bite out of his skills but he appears to be all the way back now. He was brilliant in his first start of the year against the O’s in Baltimore, going six full and allowing just two hits and zero runs while whiffing seven. Scouts were raving about him just three years ago but since he didn’t have instant success, his stiock has suffered and we are now the beneficiaries of that because he looks all ready to thrive and has the skills to back it up. Such a great price here on the superior team and pitcher.
Please note: We have leans posted daily on Twitter and you can follow us there for leans, possible late plays or any other info we might have to pass along.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
Minnesota -102 (Risking 2.04 units - To Win: 2.00)