Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:30 AM EST
3:40 PM EST. To the casual observer, the Diamondbacks are going to look like a steal today, as they are a pooch at home to the Brewers. That is significant when you consider Arizona will send out Matt Koch, who is 2-1 with a very appealing 2.43 ERA in five starts this season while the Crew will send out Brandon Woodruff, a relative unknown newcomer with an 8.03 ERA. One seriously has to ask why the Snakes are the dog here and we’re suggesting it’s another case of buyer beware.
A close look shows that Koch hasn't been nearly as good as those surface stats would suggest, as his xERA is a bloated 4.66. Koch is a 27-year-old second year player that was never a high prospect. Koch struggled mightily last season, split between three levels. A shoulder injury and a terrible August finished his season off. Koch is primarily known as control pitcher with a four-pitch mix but 90% of his pitches are either fastballs or cutters and both pitches grade out as average offerings. In other words. Matt Koch’s 2.43 ERA is all smoke and mirrors. The D-backs will also be without star outfielder A.J. Pollock, who will miss one or two months with a broken thumb. Pollock was arguably Arizona's best hitter this season after leading the team in doubles, home runs and RBIs while posting a nice and tidy .293 batting average. The loss of Pollock cannot be ignored for a lineup that has gone cold over the last two weeks.
Enter Brandon Woodruff, who has never been favored on the road in three career starts. Woodruff went 2-3 for the Brewers last year with a 4.81 ERA in 43 innings. He’s appeared in six games this year with four of those coming in relief but make no mistake that Woodrow is a starter and has the stuff to succeed. This under-the-radar starting pitcher prospect strained his hammy after a mid-season recall last year and never found his footing. However, he topped the minors in Ks in 2016 with mid-90s sinking stuff. The next step is refining his change-up, which will help his struggles vL and enable him to tap into his enormous upside. Reports are that he has refined that changeup. With an 8.03 ERA after 12 innings and a rough start last week, he's firmly a post-hype speculation now and an afterthought to most. However, he looked good over five appearances with Milwaukee earlier in the season and he carries a good pedigree as a product of his mid-90s moving raw stuff. He also got rocked as the starter in Colorado where there is no shame in having a bad night at the office. This kid can pitch and there is a damn good reason he's the betting chalk today with such a poor looking profile so be happy that you’re reading this and getting the true story on Brandon Woodruff. Don't be fooled by the snake oil the Diamondbacks are selling, as it is actually the Brew Crew being disrespected in this spot. Woodruff is buff and he's got stuff.
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Milwaukee -1½ +144 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.88)