Today's Free Picks for
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Posted at 12:00 PM EST and are subject to change.
Oakland +140 over Texas
8:05 PM EST. Do we like Oakland? No. Do we like James Kaprielian (RHP - OAK)? Absolutely, we do not, as his skills are nothing to get excited about. In fact, he’s issued four or more free passes on four occasions. The velocity on Kaprielian’s four-seamer is up but his Whiff% on the pitch has dropped from 27.8% a season ago to 16.6% this year, while his Whiff% on the curve (13% usage) has slipped from 20.7% to 10.9%. His swing & miss rate supports a little better K% than his current 16% mark, but there are no signs of a return to anywhere close to last year's 25%. A low H% has helped him maintain a somewhat respectable ERA. In his successful July, he had luck on his side with a 21% hit-rate, 85% strand rate, and 5% HR/F that helped mask a 4.93 xERA for the month.
Kaprielian was decent in his first lengthy exposure to big league hitters in 2021 and at least looked like he could be a decent starter for years to come. While his slider is still an effective weapon (34.1% Whiff% for the second straight year), the skills have taken a turn for the worse this season. He is missing fewer bats and struggling with his control, and it was simply a run of good luck that drove his success over the past month.
We would recommend selling on Kaprielian if the A’s were favored but they’re not. Instead, a starter that is no better than Kaprielian is favored in the -160 range range, which is our prompt to step in. Glen Otto Jr (RHP - TEX) must be faded when he’s priced in this absurd range. In 83 frames, covering 17 lousy starts, Otto has four wins, eight losses, a 1.42 WHIP and a 5.20/4.69 ERA/xERA split. Today he’s favored like he’s pitching for the Dodgers. Throw in a 9.6% swing and miss rate and 43 walks issued in said 83 frames and we’ll once again question why the Rangers with Otto starting are priced in this range.
Oakland +140 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.80)