Today's Free Picks for
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Washington +130 over Colorado
8:40 PM EST. Ever since an elbow injury then a stress fracture in his lower spine that cut his season short, Austin Gomber (LHP - COL) has not been the same pitcher. Gomber had a 4.53 ERA in 2021 but his pre-injury skills suggested he deserved a better fate, and his command sub-indicators were solid (11.3% swing and miss rate, 65% first-pitch strike rate, 35% ball%). Then his skills faded after his return from that aforementioned elbow injury and then his season was cut short. Gomber’s first-pitch strike rate is way down to 53% after 21 innings. His swing & miss rate is also down to 8.9% and his velocity is down almost 2 MPH. He has a 3.86 ERA but don’t buy it because he’s only pitched one of his three starts at Coors. His road starts were at Philadelphia, Detroit and Texas with the former two being in cooler temperatures. In his one home start, Gomber was torched by the Cubs. He’ll now face the hot hitting Nats at Coors.
We may regret this but we cannot get on board with the Rockies being priced in this range. Usually we would suggest that there is absolutely no universe where one should invest in Patrick Corbin (LHP - COL) but we’ll make an exception here. Despite a 8.69 ERA, Corbin has actually struck out 23 batters in 20 innings. He seems to be getting stronger but his ERA doesn’t reflect that, thus, there is hidden value.
His fastball velocity has returned. He has averaged 93 mph over his past 44 frames dating back to last year. It's also worth noting his slider has drawn more swings-and-misses so if he can continue to do that with the aforementioned recent velocity uptick, he could be poised for some strong outings. Meanwhile, his BB%/xBB% is right around the MLB average for starting pitchers. Corbin’s sudden sharp decline following ace-like 2018-19 seasons has been well documented here. If he can’t regain the truly dominant slider he showed in 2018-19, it’s unlikely he’ll return to the level of overall performance he reached during that time. However, with better luck, he could get back into that 4.00-4.25 ERA range and if the recent gains stick, perhaps much better than that.
Note that this is Coors and everything we wrote may not matter as Coors takes no prisoners. We’re merely pointing out that Corbin isn’t as bad as that awful surface ERA and may be worth watching even if he gets crushed here. What we know for sure is that Washington is playing well and came in here last night and belted out 16 hits after going into San Francisco on the weekend and taking two of three from the Giants. The Nats have scored 10 runs or more in three of their last four including twice at pitcher friendly AT&T. You don’t think they can’t wait to get back to the park today?
Washington +130 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.60)