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Arizona's Zack Godley can be wild at times, but he's an effective pitcher on the whole. Can he best the Rockies on Saturday night?
Welcome back to the LazyBets MLB Picks column for Saturday, July 21st. Yesterday’s pick didn’t get off to a hot start - the Padres hopped all over Phillies starter Jake Arrieta in the first inning for four quick runs. Luckily for us, the Phils quickly came roaring back, getting six runs off of San Diego’s Clayton Richard in the second inning en route to a 11-5 win.
The win was great, but we were most happy to see how the line moved after we made our pick last night - Philadelphia ended up as a -172 closing-line favorite at BetOnline after we took them at -153 the previous evening. That’s a great amount of value and a good sign that we’re spotting value with our selections.
For Saturday’s pick, we’re going back to a matchup that we’ve picked once already this year for a win. The Diamondbacks’ Zack Godley faces off against Colorado’s Kyle Freeland in Arizona this time around, and we think the line is off once again. Let’s get into the reasons why.
Colorado Rockies (Freeland) at Arizona Diamondbacks (Godley)
The bullet points are the same as the last time we bet on Godley against Freeland. While Godley is certainly a higher variance pitcher than Freeland - his walk rate can become a problem at times (4.53 BB/9 in 2018, second highest in baseball amongst qualified starters) - he’s far better on average than Freeland.
Godley makes his wildness work for him, as he’s also sporting a well-above average strikeout rate (9.23 per nine). Freeland is on the other side of the mean in that regard (7.16 Ks per nine) and doesn’t really avoid walks at a particularly great rate himself. Godley’s got better projected ground-ball and homer rates than Freeland too; to us, this matchup is not close.
There are clearly some out there getting fooled by the ERA of these two pitchers. Godley’s ERA is a full point and a half higher than Freeland’s as of Saturday, but that gap should close quickly. This is exactly the kind of matchup we’re looking for when we’re trying to poach value - matchups that are more uneven than the basic stats suggest they are.
After a shootout on Friday night that ended in a 11-10 Colorado win, we’ll have to see if the Rockies edged out the D’Backs in the offensive ranks - they came into that game 24th and 25th place in wRC+. Regardless, these offenses are pretty evenly matched. The lefty Kyle Freeland may have difficulty getting Paul Goldschmidt out - against lefties this season, Goldy is hitting an outstanding .311/.423/.631.
With such a massive edge in the starting pitching matchup, we feel like the Diamondbacks at -123 on the moneyline is an absolute steal. We’d honestly place this line somewhere around -150 in Arizona’s favor; it sure seems like it could move that way by game time tomorrow.
That’ll be Saturday’s free MLB pick. If you’re itching for some football as training camps start to open, be sure to check out our first NFL futures column, covering the best bets to win the NFC. We’ve got a serious sleeper for you as our best bet, and you might want to grab the value now before the bandwagon gets full.
Enjoy the weekend y’all, let’s get a win!
Bet the D'Backs -123
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