Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 8:50 AM EST.
7:05 PM EST. 13 days ago, the Pirates designated Tyler Lyons, and in his place called up right-handed reliever Montana DuRapau (RHP - PIT). DuRapau is not a big guy, standing just 5'11" and weighing only 175 pounds but he has three good pitches including a plus cutter that he throws in the mid-80s compared to his good low-90s fastball. He also has a good slider sitting in the low-80s. He uses his fastball to set up his cutter, and he commands that cutter well and uses it a lot. With a six-season career 2.3 BB’s/9 and 9.5 K’s/9, it's clear that DuRapau has exceeded expectations and has found success in the pen. With three pitches at his disposal, he has a reasonable chance to make his mark. He repeated Triple-A this year and improved over his line in 2018. His career minor league WHIP is only 0.94. He has skill, he has confidence and he could be successful but he’s probably only going to throw two innings here, as he is a career reliever that has never started a game until last week when he started and pitched two innings in San Diego. The Pirates won that day, 7-2 and DuRapau surrendered one hit in said two innings while striking out four. Previously, DuRapau made five appearances out of the pen since after his call-up and in five innings, he walked zero and struck out five with a 22% swing and miss rate. That’s the skinny on the Pirates starter today but this has nothing to do with backing him because he’ll only pitch two, maybe three innings. This wager is all about getting behind a live underdog at home.
The Rockies’ erstwhile-Ace, Jonathan Gray (RHP - COL) continues to walk through the gates at Coors Field a leaner man than he was last year after battling foot issues in 2018. Thing is, the trimmed down Gray can never really find a groove and a grooveless career is no way to live. Gray continues to rack up strikeouts but his batted ball profile is looking worse than ever with 38% grounders, 27% line-drives and 35% fly-balls over his last five starts. Gray comes in with an ERA of 4.73 and while his xERA always seems to deserve a better fate, it rarely comes and there is a lot of hard contact along the way. Gray’s ERA over his last five starts is 6.00 and he’ll now face a Pirates’ squad that is among the league leaders in fewest strikeouts. Gray is a nice underdog from time to time but as the chalk on the road, we’ll gladly fade him because he never lives up to expectations and he and the Rocks are very beatable.
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PITTSBURGH +110 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.20)