Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:00 PM EST.
Detroit -1½ +169 over KANSAS CITY
7:10 PM EST. We like the Royals as an under the radar pooch, but as the chalk? Not so much. Like the Tigers, the Royals have a crop of exciting young pitching prospects that are about as highly touted as they come. You’ll not find one of them near the mound today. Instead, it will be Carlos Hernandez (RHP - KAN).
Hernandez is coming off his first start of the season last Sunday, where he allowed two earned runs on four hits over four innings against the Orioles. Hernandez does not have the pedigree of the other Royals prospects and he has pitched just 25.2 innings in the bigs in 2021, adding another 26.1 down in Triple-A Omaha. While both sample sizes are small, we've seen a big uptick in dude's walk rate on the Major League level (2.05 BB/9 to 5.96 BB/9). Hernandez's groundball rate has also taken a 4.9% dip since he hit the bigs. As far as Hernandez's pedigree, he was nearly 20 notches down the list on the Royals preseason prospect rankings depending on the publication. Now, that doesn't mean he won't be successful at this level, but if not for injuries, he would not be in this spot. The Likes of Asa Lacy or Daniel Lynch are still a couple of years away and so Hernandez has been thrust into a role he might not be well suited for. Regardless, the price one must pay to back the 24-year old is too high. Sure he can flame them, but his gas can is always close by.
The Tigers outhit the Royals eight to five last night, but it wasn't enough, as they dropped the opener of this series 5-3. Today, former #1 pick Casey Mize (RHP - DET) will again trot out to the bump to strut his stuff. We backed Mize in his last turn (and quite a few others) and see no reason to back off. Sure, dude might have a pitch count (even if his manager denies this), but does it really matter? The Tigers bullpen has some quality arms that pitched six innings of shutout ball behind Mize in his last turn against Texas. Prior to last night's setback, the Tigers were winners of seven straight after the All-Star break. Tigers stock still remains low, at least for this game and that prompts us to move in again.
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Detroit -1½ +169 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.38)