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Welcome back to the LazyBets Free MLB picks column for Thursday, June 28th. Our boy Bieber (not that one) got the job done against the Cardinals on Tuesday, holding them to one run over 6 innings in a 5-1 Indians win, which gave us the even money win on the moneyline.
The win pushes us to 60-42 on the year, and 8-4 in our last twelve picks - check the archive if you don’t believe us. We’re looking to get win #61 in short order, and we’re taking a shot at one of our favorite targets to get it done on Thursday. Let’s get right into it.
Milwaukee Brewers (Guerra) at Cincinnati Reds (DeSclafani)
We’ve been picking our spots against Milwaukee starter Junior Guerra pretty well of late. We bet against him in threestraightstarts earlier this month, going 3-0 over that span, before passing on his most recent start which was a 2-1 Brewers win. It’s time to jump back in on Wednesday, as Guerra’s ERA is still deceptively low and it’s providing tons of value for those willing to take the other side.
As we’ve covered in our previous picks, Guerra doesn’t project to maintain his 2.82 ERA, as it’s taken quite a bit of luck to get there in the first place. His BABIP is well below league average at .259, while simultaneously allowing a lot of hard hit balls; these stats simply don’t jive, and if we had to bank on one of them regressing to the mean, it’d be the BABIP. While he’s been lucky to have batters line into outs, the ones who are getting on base aren’t even scoring at a typical rate - Guerra’s left on base percentage (LOB%) is over 11% higher than projected, and is also amongst the highest in baseball. Again, Guerra has just been plain lucky this season, and we’re going to grab the value while some are still fooled by his early season success.
Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani missed the entirety of 2017 with an elbow injury, and has made four solid (if unspectacular) starts for Cincinnati thus far in 2018. He’s gone 3-1 with a 4.09 ERA with a rather pedestrian strikeout rate and a homer rate that is a bit high. Those are the same reasons the 28 year-old DeSclafani probably won’t be headlining a rotation any time soon, but he’s a perfectly average major league starter - significantly better than Junior Guerra, which is all we’re looking for when considering the line being offered in Thursday’s matchup between the two.
Despite the wide chasm between the two teams in the standings, you wouldn’t know it by looking at the offensive rankings - the Reds actually rate as the better offense (12th in wRC+ to the Brewers’ 17th). While we don’t expect Scooter Gennett to keep up his torrid pace (.334/.374/.533), Joey Votto’s been making a career out of getting on base - he’ll be the best hitter in the stadium on Thursday night. Even if you want to call this offensive matchup a wash or even give the Brewers a slight edge, we still love the odds we’re getting, especially given Votto’s patience against the erratic Guerra.
With the better pitcher on the mound, it’s remarkable that the Reds are only -105 at home; especially considering their lead in the offensive ranks versus the visiting Brewers. While the standings may be fooling a lot of bettors, we aren’t going to fall for it - the Reds will be fielding the better team on Thursday night, and that’s why we’re confidently making Cincinnati -105 our free pick of the day.
Good luck to all of you LazyBets readers out there. We hope you’ve been enjoying the World Cup as much as we have; be sure to check our homepage for our daily picks, especially if you’re a Germany supporter looking for a new team to root for.
As always, let’s get a win!
Bet the Reds -105
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