Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:00 PM EST.
7:05 PM EST. OT included. Before we discuss the meat and potatoes of this choice, we’ll add this fodder. The Coyotes, dead in the water at the midway point and on pace for a measly 46 points this season, have had a resurgence in the second half. The team is 13-5-2 since February 8th, with wins over divisional foes in playoff spots in the Ducks, Kings, and Sharks. They have already far surpassed 46 points, hitting 61 on the year with their seventh win in their last 11 games on Wednesday night. Arizona is quietly playing very well with the metrics to back it up. Antti Raanta played last night and will likely sit here but that’s fine, as we get a bigger number with Arizona’s backup, Darcy Kuemper in goal.
For Carolina, Brett Pesce has been shut down for the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury. Pesce played a big role with the Hurricanes, as he was averaging 21:00 minutes per game. They now have to replace his minutes, which likely means more shots on net for the opposition, which in turn increases the risk on the Hurricanes.
Who is the worst starting pitcher in MLB? Jordan Zimmerman was tagged for 108 runs last season in 160 innings for a 6.08 ERA. Matt Moore went 6-15 with the Giants and posted an ERA of 5.52 after allowing 107 runs in 174 frames. Ubaldo Jimenez of the Orioles threw 142 innings and was tagged for 108 runs to go along with a 6.81 ERA over 25 starts. Pick anyone. Bartolo Colon perhaps? Now send out that starting pitcher and make the team he plays for -175 favorite over anyone and the public would hammer the dog because pitchers of that awful caliber are not worthy of being so heavily favored. We trust you know where we’re going with this.
Starting goaltenders in hockey might have a bigger effect on the outcome of games than starting pitchers in baseball but the market does not reflect that. You can pick any night in the NHL and you’ll find teams’ that get badly outplayed and win because they had the better goaltender. That the Hurricanes are priced in this range with Cam Ward in net, who is a huge liability to be sure, is lunacy and it does not matter if we win or lose. All of the above mentioned starting pitchers won games last year. Cam Ward has won games too but the chances of losing for these weak starting pitchers or goaltenders are greater than their chances of winning and it’s for that reason alone that the Coyotes are very worthy of a bet here. Cam Ward is garbage, who can easily get tagged for four, five or more goals on any night.
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Arizona +170 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.40)