Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST.
10:07 PM EST. The Angels have to be thrilled to see the Twins leave town after Minnesota swept them at the Big A to run the Halos losing streak to four games. Texas has won four in a row and so the combined current form of these two means we get the Halos at a great price here.
Drew Smyly (LHP - TEX) allowed two runs on three hits with four strikeouts and four walks across four innings during a no-decision against the Cardinals on Sunday. For Drew Smyly, that’s about as good as it gets. M.I.A. since a March 2016 flexor strain turned into mid-season Tommy John surgery, Smyly was a Cub in November of 2018 but they wanted no part of him so they traded him to Texas for a “player to be named later”. The trade for a player to be named later is one GM paying back a favor to another or it’s the start of “you owe me a solid for taking this motherfu**er off your hands”.
Drew Smyly has the worst groundball rate (28%) among all starters. His control is also among the worst in the game. Smyly has walked 20 batters in 28 innings and he’s walked 10 over his last 13 innings. His swing & miss rate last game was 5% and it’s now 8% for the year, which does not come close to supporting his 31 K’s in 28 innings. Regression is his K’s is an absolute and he’ll now face an Angels’ squad that has struck out the fewest times in the majors by a wide margin. Smyly has a 6.51/6.13 ERA/xERA split and looks to be getting weaker instead of stronger.
Griffin Canning (RHP- LAA) showed first-round ability throughout his tenure at UCLA but dipped to the second round (47th overall) in 2017 due to some injury concerns leading up to and immediately following the draft. After signing him that summer, the Angels opted to shut him down and focus on preparation for the 2018 season. Once he made his professional debut he breezed through High-A and Double-A in just 12 combined starts before a promotion to Triple-A Salt Lake in the second half of last year.
Canning is a polished college arm with little development left to accomplish. His fastball, commanded extremely well, sits in the low-90s both deep into individual starts and across outings. He touches 95-96 mph with his four-seam fastball when he reaches back for a little more, but those instances are increasingly rare and largely unnecessary. His command and ability to add and subtract to provide variance allows the pitch to play to a plus level. To round out the aforementioned “polished college arm” profile, Canning brings three secondary pitches to the table, including a slider, curveball, and changeup. He will mix all three to any hitter in any count, relying on the across-the-board average rating of the offerings to keep hitters at bay. His curveball shows a bit more promise with 12-6 break, tight spin and quality depth, earning more consistent above-average grades compared to his other secondary pitches. Canning throws his changeup with conviction, maintaining his arm slot and speed to provide added deception to a pitch with above average movement.
All-in-all, Canning has the broad arsenal, command profile, and pitching IQ to work through lineups multiple times without facing some of the challenges of other starters with solid stuff. This 23-year-old kid is not getting the same credit as Chris Paddack in San Diego is but make no mistake that this rookie is just as good. Canning has an off-the-charts 18% swing & miss rate through his first 21 innings covering four starts. He has a BB/K split of 7/24 over that same stretch and he’ll now face a Rangers’ squad that has never seen him before and that has won just seven of 21 road games. Canning has Ace potential but isn't priced like it. Start buying.
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L.A. ANGELS -1½ +128 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.56)