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Posted at 11:00 AM EST.
3:10 PM EST. At this price, the “Coors Field” angle must be played against Kyle Freeland (LHP - COL). Freeland was a popular topic of debate this past winter after a very surprising 2018 campaign in which he posted a sub-3.00 ERA. The doubters have been right so far, as his ERA has more than doubled. Is it time for to bail on him or is it a good time to buy low on the 26-year-old southpaw? We’re bailing because more walks and fly-balls combined with some bad luck equals disaster: Freeland kept the ball on the ground pretty well last year, and ranked in the 91st percentile in Hard Hit % (per Baseball Savant). This year, however, his fly ball rate is up, and balls are leaving the yard, as his Hard Hit % has slipped to the 39th percentile.
Freeland survived Coors Field in 2018, but xERA shows he was pretty lucky, and his skills weren't even very good on the road (10.5 K-BB%, 4.42 xERA). He has taken a dramatic step backward so far in 2019, as he's walking more batters, giving up way more hard contact, and getting blown up at home (7.36 ERA, 4.0% K-BB%). A low strand rate has contributed to Freeland's struggles, but the mediocre skills and tough home venue make for a bad combination. Back in early May, also at Coors, the Diamondbacks lit Freeland up for 8 runs in six innings and in that outing Freeland struck out one batter (the pitcher).
Taylor Clarke (RHP - ARI) sports a 2.93 ERA through two starts and one relief appearance, but he's been helped by a 27% hit rate, 75% strand rate, and 7% hr/f. His xERA is 4.23, and his low-strikeout performance thus far (4.7 K’s/9, 8% swing & miss) could lead to a lot of balls in play, never a good thing in Coors Field. Yes indeed, Taylor Clarke may get blown up but that’s the risk in playing these reverse run lines at a park where the total for this game is 12. We’re just going to hope that the D-Backs put up more crooked innings than the Rocks. Again, this is simply the Coors Field angle being back in play.
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Arizona -1½ +185 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.70)