Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:05 PM EST.
CINCINNATI -1½ +174 over Philadelphia
2:10 PM EST. Wade Miley (LHP - CIN) returns from a brief hiatus from a foot sprain to host a Philadelphia offense that's been sputtering of late and that sits 22nd in RPG on the road (3.78). Miley has delivered two straight disasters at home, but despite an elevated HR/9 (1.3) and HR/F (18%) at home, his 3.53 xERA at Great American Ballpark is only slightly worse than his outings on the road thus far (3.11 xERA). Miley's 9.1 swing 7 miss rate and 19% K% leave a lot to be desired, but he gets a positive rating today due to the Phillies not being able to make contact against LHP (30% K%, 28th). We also like Miley’s elite 59% groundball rate, which bodes well at these smaller parks.
Although it may not look like it on paper, Vincent Velasquez (RHP - PHI) gets a tough matchup against a Reds’ club that ranks first in RPG at home (5.92) and fourth in OPS against RHP (.758 OPS). Velasquez went on a nice streak since the calendar turned to May, allowing one earned run or less in all five appearances, which is attracting quite a bit of market attention this morning. That stretch has resulted in a 1.11 ERA and 0.95 WHIP, however, it’s all fool’s gold.
Vincent Velasquez has an incredible 94.1% strand rate this year. His strand rate over his last four aforementioned starts was 100%! His Batting Average on Ball in Play (BABIP) is a minuscule .186. To give you an example of how incredibly lucky those marks are, consider that today’s highest rated pitcher, Corbin Burnes has a strand rate of 67% and a BABIP of .258. League average for BABIP is .280, meaning Velasquez is almost 200 points lower than that. The league average for strand rate is 76%.
The Cincinnati offense does an amazing job of making contact against RHP (77% contact rate, seventh) as well. Great American Ballpark offers a 16/18% boost to LHB/RHB HR, and Velasquez has yielded six-of-seven HR allowed this season to RHB, while owning an .818 oOPS against LHB for his career. He's also in the 10th percentile or worse in Barrel% and Hard Hit % this season. We understand that the Reds offense is missing some key pieces right now but it matters not, as one would be hard pressed to find anyone in the past decade with better good fortune than Philadelphia’s starter today.
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CINCINNATI -1½ +174 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.48)