Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:55 PM EST.
Kansas City +200 over BOSTON
7:10 PM EST. Pardon our French, but 'tha fuck kind of line is this?! Seriously, is Babe Ruth taking the mound for the Red Sox today? Pete Martinez? Roger Clemens? No? It's Nick Pivetta (RHP - BOS), well, then tickle us pink, we have ourselves a play. We'll make our criticism of Pivetta short and sweet. A low ground ball rate, an xERA higher than his surface number, a career-high walk rate, and a below-average swing and miss rate make spotting an inflated number like this with this fucking bum, a fool's game.
Brad Keller might not inspire, but over his near four years in the bigs, he's boasted an elite ground ball rate that has kept his ERA much lower than you might expect. A year over year increase from 2.47 to 6.39 here in 2021 has gotten its fair share of chatter, but in reality, his xERA was 4.45 in 2020, so he may have been living a bit of a charmed life during that weird pandemic season. That didn't stop the preseason hype. When a young pitcher posts a sub 3.00 ERA for a basement dweller, the talking heads notice. The reason for Keller's uptick in ERA has been an increase in his walk rate. However, it appears dude is working on some shit, as he's added (albeit very sparingly) the split-finger fastball he introduced in 2019. That season, Keller's xERA was 4.83 up from 3.78 in his 2018 rookie season. Perhaps he blamed it for his struggle in that department, but after dropping the split in 2020, he was down just .38 points. So it would seem he has gained a bit of confidence and is going back to the well. While compared to some other babyfaced young arms in the game, Keller looks like a grizzled vet, but let's not forget that he is just 25 and was not a primo prospect (drafted in round 8). However, that does not mean he is not a decent starter at this level and that he is willing to go out on a limb to get better shows that he’s got stones.
As we've come to expect from just about anyone wearing Royals’ blue, back to the days of Ned Yost, this squad is disciplined as fuck at the plate. Only the Houston Garbage Pail Bangers punch out less than Kansas City. For reference, the Sawks are ranked 17th south of teams like Colorado and Baltimore. You think the Royals would be priced in this rage against any starting pitcher that either one of those two teams could throw at them? And both have hurlers superior to Pivetta. We think not. Overlay.
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Kansas City +200 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 4.00)