Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 8:50 AM EST.
1:10 PM EST. Luis Castillo (RHP - CIN) should be priced in the same range as the best starters in baseball because that’s precisely what he is. In fact, he might be the very best. Castillo’s strong finish to his rookie 2017 season spawned off-the-charts expectations last year, thus making his 1st half performance a profound disappointment (on paper). Truth be told, his velocity was up in the 2nd half, as was everything else and it has carried over to this year with everything trending upwards even more. Castillo brings a sick 62% groundball rate into this start. His 13% line-drive rate is the best (lowest) mark among all qualified starters. His 17% swing & miss rate is also off the charts and supports his 76 K’s in 62 innings. There are no flaws or flukes in this profile only the signs of Luis Castillo being the most dominant starter in baseball but he’s priced like he’s Jonathan Gray. The Reds are a big time bargain today against a Milwaukee nine that has never seen a pitch they didn’t like. No team has struck out more than the Crew.
Zachary Davies (RHP - MIL) draws a Cincinnati nine that has started to break out a bit after a horrendous—and partly silly-low-hit-rate-deadened—start to the season (.635 OPS over first 21 games). The Reds own a .728 OPS over the last three weeks, and that number is still tamped down by a subpar hit rate. Meanwhile, losing a mile-and-a-half off his fastball, throwing less strikes, and running into more bats has resulted in a 1.54 ERA for Davies after nine starts. You will not find a luckier or flukier profile in baseball. Davies has hit the trifecta luck jackpot with extreme fortune in hit rate, strand rate and hr/f and is a strong fade candidate for this contest against Luis Castillo and likely a few others in the near future. On the whole, average-stuff righties will find some struggles in the NL Central this summer. Davies has 36 K’s in 53 frames with a 44% groundball rate. Every skill in his profile is pedestrian but his gorgeous 1.54 surface ERA (4.77 xERA) means we get the Reds as the best value play of the day here and maybe the best value play of the season so far. It would be very disappointing to lose this one.
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Cincinnati -107 (Risking 2.14 units - To Win: 2.00)