Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:00 PM EST.
MILWAUKEE -1½ +140 over Cincinnati
8:10 PM EST. Vladimir Gutiérrez’s (RHP - CIN) surge at Triple-A this year has led to his current big-league chance. Behind his mid-90s heater, Gutiérrez has thrown a curveball 22% of the time and a slider (18%).
That’s three distinct pitches that he throws and hits three distinct parts of the zone. The fastball might be flirting with the heart of the plate a little much, but it has been up enough for now. The breakers each have worked appropriately down. His changeup location, not noted in the Savant heatmaps we charted, has been a wildcard, but he throws it enough that it could catch the occasional hitter off guard. Still, dude has a BB/K split of 8/13 in just 17 innings with a 4.96 xERA. His surface ERA is 2.65 and he had a very good start against these same Brewers last week. That has caught the attention of the efficient market, as Milwaukee opened up as high as a -161 at some joints and has been progressively coming down all day long and it’s not difficult to understand why.
For one, the Reds are winning and they’re winning loudly. They’re coming off a three-game series sweep over the Rockies in which they belted out 33 hits and 27 runs. The Reds have won eight of their last 10 and will face a pitcher without market credibility here.
Do you know what WAR stands for in baseball glossaries? Wins Above Replacement. There are 26 starters going today and Eric Lauer (LHP - MIL) has the lowest WAR on the board at -0.2. What that means is any replacement level pitcher on the planet has a better chance of winning than Eric Lauer does and now this dude is favored in this range over the Reds? Of course the market likes the red-hot Reds, who wouldn’t taking back a price?
Many metrics are misleading in a small sample size and Eric Lauer’s metrics are among those. Lauer has struck out 21 batters over his last 15 frames while posting an xERA of 3.72 this season, not to mention an elite 15% swing and miss rate to support the bg uptick in K’s. Finally, Cincinnati has had nothing but misery facing lefties. Yeah, the Reds look enticing but a deeper look shows the books got it right when they opened with Milwaukee as a significant favorite.
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MILWAUKEE -1½ +140 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.80)