Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:10 AM EST.
7:05 PM EST. Pleasant surprises happen to teams that accrue prospect depth. The Phillies have been collecting merely decent pitchers for years, waiting for some to take a step forward. Zach Eflin (LHP - PHI) is one such starter to rise. His fastball velo is up 1.6 MPH. He was a slightly better than average pitcher through 24 starts and 128 innings last year. He has above average command and control and his swing and miss rate last start was an off the charts 20%. Eflin’s added movement on his slider is notable. Sometimes, young pitchers of this profile experience a second breakout and we mention this because his first half was so good last year that the Phillies reportedly declined to trade him for Manny Machado. That speaks to his upside; for now, he's a sleeper and we’re on it. Incidentally, the Cubbies are batting .234 against southpaws, which ranks 20th in MLB.
Jose Quintana (LHP - CHC) has a nice 3.68 ERA after eight starts and that’s sweet because it makes him overpriced. We’re selling as much as this stock as we can. Quintana was able to adjust his approach in the middle of the 2017 season, giving the North Side a boost down the stretch. Unfortunately for the Cubs, his adjustments didn't carry over into 2018 and it's hard to expect a revival this year despite the early returns. Quintana's embrace of his changeup has faded away, while his curveball remains ineffective for the fourth straight season. It leaves the southpaw focusing on his four-seamer to do the dirty work, as he is essentially a one-pitch pitcher now with his curve being weak and his changeup only being used 9% of the time. A bet on Quintana to return profits in 2019 is a bet on his curveball to return to form. Don't make that bet.
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Philadelphia +125 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.50)