MLB Free Picks – April 16, 2018

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Chicago Cubs (Chatwood) -133 vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Wainwright)  

After yesterday’s column was rained-out, we’re fresh and ready to make some more winning picks for you on this Monday morning.  Not to spoil the rest of the article, but that Cubs-Braves bet we wanted to make yesterday is going to be split into two picks today.

Tyler Chatwood was brought to the Cubs on a three-year deal worth $38 million, and some baseball fans may have been confused - why did the Cubs just pay a guy almost $13 million per year who just went 8-15 with a 4.69 ERA?  The reason is Coors Field, Chatwood’s old home park, which consistently inflates pitcher statistics and did the same to Chatwood - he had a 3.18 ERA on the road, but a 5.17 ERA at home in Coors during his time with the Rockies.

We believe that the true Chatwood lies somewhere in between those home and road figures - somewhere around a 4 ERA.  Nothing spectacular, but solid considering the Cubs have other starters to man the front of the rotation (Quintana, Darvish, Lester).   We also believe that the public probably underrates this guy, given his extended stint in Colorado.

The starter he’ll face today is probably on the other side of the underrated-overrated ledger: Adam Wainwright.  Wainwright will always be remembered for his postseason heroics in his younger days, as well as a dominant stretch in his prime where he finished top 3 in Cy Young voting four out of six years.   However, the current 36-year-old version of Wainwright is merely average, and is projected to actually be worse than Chatwood this year, due to his increasing walk rate and declining strikeout rate.  

We also much prefer the Cubs offense to the Cardinals’, especially with Anthony Rizzo set to return today.  The line of Chicago -133 seems to suggest a much more even matchup - we love those odds and are confident that Chatwood and the Cubs will be the better team on the field today.

Bet the Cubs -133

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Philadelphia Phillies (Nola) -130 at Atlanta Braves (Teheran)  

We don’t really believe in the power of “momentum” in baseball, but if you do, the Phillies would appear to have all of the positive momentum in this matchup.  They’ve won six straight (against the Marlins, Reds, and Rays, but a wins are wins) and have vaulted themselves back into the NL East race - which we are very happy about.  The Braves on the other hand just lost a crushing game out in the cold to the Cubs, and then had a day off to think about it.

Beyond that, the matchup today appears to be hugely in the Phils’ favor.  Aaron Nola is the Phillies best starter, and should be very solid this season as long as he can straighten out his early season K-BB ratio.   Julio Teheran was once a top pitching prospect for the Braves, but all of that optimism is probably gone now - he should only be able to put up an average season at best, due to his walk and homer-prone tendencies.

Walks and homers are what some of our favorite Phillies hitters - Rhys Hoskins and Carlos Santana - do best, so we’ll look for those two to carry us to a victory today.  Phillies -130 looks like great value considering the talent gap on the field today.

Bet the Phillies -130

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We’re hoping for a sunny day across baseball after all of the gloom yesterday.  Let us know on Twitter if you were able to profit yesterday despite all of the rainouts.

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Let’s get some wins!