Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:15 PM EST.
Cleveland +165 over NY Yankees
1:00 PM EST. Pitching matchup heavily favors the Yankees here (at least on paper) but we’re sticking with our early season philosophy of putting less emphasis on starters because they have less impact on outcomes than ever before. Instead, we’ll focus here on Cleveland taking back a big price on the Yanks.
The Yanks took the opener last night despite being outhit 9-7. The Indians Guardians had numerous chances to score but failed to execute in the way they had been in the first dozen games. Meanwhile the Yanks scattered seven hits and scored three of its four runs on two jacks by Aaron Judge. The Yanks play the feast or famine game.
As for the pitchers, well, there’s Cal Quantrill (RHP - CLE) and his misleading 3.72 ERA after two starts. Misleading because he has 4 K’s in 10 frames with four walks issued, thus resulting in an xERA of 5.33. Quantrill did this last year too, or did he? As it turns out, hit and strand rates were the true drivers. A slide in his skills explained by corresponding drop in whiffs, along with alignment of walks with xBB%. He'll be overvalued in many games this year but this isn’t one of them because he’s in New York and the Custodians haven’t established enough market credibility just yet.
Is Nestor Cortes (LHP - NYY) real or not is the question. Dude has 17 K’s and one walk issued in 9 innings. If he is real, he still only averaged 4½ frames per start so it’s fine if he thrives here again. Don’t be surprised however, if he does not. Cortes was a soft-tossing swingman who delivered a season no one expected in 2021 with the final two months of the year being from the rotation. He had everything in his favor: hit%, strand%, HR/F, sudden command vR and a K-BB% for which history gave no warning. His groundball/line-drive/fly-ball rates were weak and nothing has changed. Cortes is still a soft tossing starter. groundball/line-drive/fly-ball rates in his first two starts were 29/35/35 and his strand rate is 100%. Obviously regression is coming but since we’re not in the prediction business, we’re not going to predict that regression here. Instead we’ll hope for it and note and just play the strong value on a very good Cleveland team.
Cleveland +165 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.30)