Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:45 PM EST
CHICAGO -1½ +150 over Minnesota
8:10 PM EST. The White Sox are a bargain at -123 (or thereabouts) if you prefer to go that way but we prefer to go the more difficult way with a bigger takeback.
Before having Tommy John surgery in 2019 Dane Dunning (RHP - CHW) was a borderline top 100 prospect. He has a deep arsenal with above-average command and of course, wears those fashionable glasses but when it comes to pitchers coming off Tommy John, it is tough to tell how they will bounce back, leaving him as a big question mark coming into 2020. Dunning has been called up for four starts and so far has produced an awe-inspiring 2.70 ERA, 2.78 xERA, and BB/K split of 7/21 over 20 innings.
So far Dunning has shown a unique ability to produce weak contact and high strikeout potential. He boasts a 53.8% groundball rate, 25.9 K% and a 15.4% swing and miss rate. All of these marks are above average and again exemplify what every pitcher tries to accomplish. Creating weak contact as well as strikeouts. We like this kid and we also like that the Twins have never seen a pitch they didn’t like. Minnesota’s impressive record is better than they are.
This wager is more about fading Randy Dobnak (RHP - MIN). Dude is a Cinderella story, but keep an eye on the clock. Dobnak has gone from undrafted pitcher plucked out of an independent league to major league success story, but as the large differences between his ERAs and xERAs show, he's had a lot of help. His strand rates have been very high, and his HR/F rates have been quite low.
Dobnak has 23 K’s in 42 frames. Of equal or greater concern is the slide in his control, coupled with a drop in first-pitch strike rate, which was above average in 2019, but now sits below average. Any rise in walks could be potentially damaging to his ERA given how low his strikeout rate is. His saving grace is an extremely high groundball rate and very low fly-ball rate. His current groundball rate ranks 3rd among pitchers with at least 30 IP, and his eight double plays are tied for 4th in the majors. As a former indy ball player and Uber driver, Dobnak has been a great story worth rooting for, but 71 innings of success in the majors is too small a sample size to put too much weight on the results. There is still a lot to be learned about his skills as we get more data, so hedge your bets because a lot is going to hinge on where his strikeout rate eventually lands, and his ability to maintain elite control, So far all we’re seeing is a very high strand rate and very low strikeout rate and that’s just not going to do it at this level for an extended period of time.
A GREAT OFFER FOR SPORTSWAGERS READERS:
We’re offering a better and cheaper alternative to cable TV. You will literally save thousands of dollars. If you’re sick of paying a fortune for programming that you don’t even want or need, this is for you. All pro sports -- EVERY GAME, tons of college football and basketball games and tons of regular programming (non-sports). Over 2500 channels all in HD for a mere $20 per month. You have to be nuts not to get it.
CHICAGO -1½ +152 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.04)