Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST.
2:20 PM EST. As the weather warms up, so, too, is Aaron Nola (RHP - PHI). Nola has struggled on the road, allowing 10 earned runs in 14.2 innings over three starts, but most of that damage was a three-inning, six earned runs outing in Washington. We’ll pay more attention to his last five starts in which he’s struck out 32 batters over 27 innings with an ERA/xERA split of 2.30/3.14. We get Nola at a deflated price today because of his 4.47 surface ERA but it’s a misleading number caused mostly by a high BABIP of .364 and a couple of very rough outings. He gets tons of whiffs and plenty of volume to an already-stable control/groundball% profile. As he joins the ace conversation, use xERA as a guide and get behind him when he’s a pooch against an inferior starter like the one he'll face here.
On the surface, Jon Lester (LHP - CHC) has been spectacular thus far, with a 2.09 ERA and a 0.46 ERA in four starts at Wrigley. Those misleading surface stats means that folks will pay a premium to get behind Lester today and we’re urging you to sell. In his last outing, Lester allowed 10 hits in 4.1 frames at Washington. The start previous, at home against Milwaukee, he allowed nine hits, walked one, hit one batter but miraculously didn’t allow an earned run. The start previous to that, also at home, this time against the anemic Marlins, he allowed eight hits in six frames and once again escaped without allowing an earned run. To recap, Lester has been tagged for 27 hits in his last 17 innings but a 91% strand rate over that stretch masks his deficiencies. Lester has a weak 8% swing & miss rate. It was 6% in his last start. His batted ball profile is also trending the wrong way, as his groundball rate decreases and hard hit balls increase. Jon Lester is one of MLB’s luckiest starters thus far but on the surface it looks like vintage Lester. In reality, it’s a continuation of his decline. He struggles to generate both grounders and swinging strikes, while his career-long dominance v lefties came to a screeching halt last year and is continuing this year. Yesterday, we gave out Zach Davies’ 1.54 ERA as a complete fluke and we lost that game because the Crew scored 11 times. Davies lasted three inning and gave up six runs and Lester is very much in that same category.
Open an account today at and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks
Philadelphia +112 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.24)