Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:45 PM EST.
Pittsburgh +139 over ST. LOUIS
8:15 PM EST. For Carlos Martinez (RHP - STL) to be favored in this range against anybody, even these Pirates, is from our perch, a little rich. While Martinez sports an xERA lower than his 6.62 mark (5.91), it's one small drop of honey into the shit pot. Dude's strikeout rate is in a three year freefall and is down over 3.5 K/9 since 2019. Sure much of that was injury-plagued, and pandemic shortened, but the reality is, Martinez has not been the same starter since he signed his big money deal in 2017. He underperformed greatly in 2018 and began 2019 on the shelf. Then he made the move to the bullpen, where he rotted until the Cards finally threw him back in the rotation because of his $11.5 million a year salary. That figure jumps to $17 million in 2022 and $18 million in 2023. Get used to this rodeo, the Cardinals will ride poor Carlos even though it’s long past time to put him out to pasture.
On the surface, Chad Kuhl does not look that much better than Martinez, but that's the point. The fact he wears black and gold, and not Cardinal red, dude is priced like he's Rick Ankiel (post meltdown) playing the '86 Mets. While the Pirates are doing their usual cellar dwelling, it's not like the Red Birds are doing much better. Unless Adam Wainwright is pitching, the Cards are a mess; that's saying something. We could use this space to pump up the Pirates, but would it matter? Instead, we'll highlight just how bad the Cardinals are going. They were steamrolled in Detroit, losing back to back tilts by 6-2 and 8-2 finals. When we tell you that those boxscores flattered St. Louis, we are not being hyperbolic. Prior to that, the Red Birds lost three of four against the Braves. A three game sweep of Miami just over a week ago might as well have been two months in the past. The Cards are wounded, bad, and now you're telling us that Carlos Martinez is going to stop the bleeding? The Red Birds may win this game, but it won't be because of their starting pitcher. When you're going bad, it's hard to flip the switch. Not only can the Bucs compete, they can win. Overly.
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Pittsburgh +139 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.78)