MLB Free Picks – June 12, 2018

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MLB Free Pick Today

We've wagered against the Brewers' Chase Anderson six times already in 2018.  Will we do it again tonight?

Welcome back to the LazyBets Free MLB Picks column.  Our pick yesterday looked like it might be foiled by yet another solid performance by Milwaukee’s Junior Guerra, but Jose Quintana was able to keep it close, the Cubs scored a run in the 8th to send it to extras, and then a massive five-run 11th inning led to a Chicago win.   Yet another win-win for us;  we won our bet, and Guerra maintained his low ERA - he remains a target to wager against in the future. He’s scheduled to start against the Phillies (another one of our favorites) this weekend - don’t be surprised to see his name in this space again soon.

We’re having too much fun betting against the Brewers and their overrated starting pitchers, so why stop now?  Let’s take a closer look at today’s matchup, which features our most targeted starting pitcher of the season - Chase Anderson.  

Chicago Cubs (Chatwood) at Milwaukee Brewers (Anderson)

Game Time: 8:10 PM EST

Where to Watch:  MLB.tv

Run Line: Chicago +1.5 (-205)

Moneyline: Chicago +102

Bet the Cubs +102

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Cubs Brewers Pick

If you’ve been following along with our picks thus far this season, you’ll know that we’ve made Chase Anderson the #1 target when it comes to pitchers to bet against - his 2017 season (2.74 ERA over 141.1 innings) appeared to be mostly a fluke, benefitting from a low BABIP, a low HR/9 rate and high LOB%.  These are some of the classic signs of luck for a starting pitcher - his 4.33 xFIP more closely resembled Anderson’s actual skill than his much smaller ERA.

This year, things are going much worse for Anderson, but we still think that there’s room for his 4.57 ERA to grow.  His strikeout and walk rates are terrible - they’ve actually overcorrected from last season, to where now his K/BB rate is a miserable 1.65 (anything below 2 is pretty bad).   While those rates will probably even out a bit, his projected walk rate isn’t much better than where it currently stands. The number that is still way out of line is his BABIP, which stands at .230.  That’s fourth lowest amongst the 103 pitchers with at least 60 IP this season.  Anderson is around the middle of the pack when looking at batted ball statistics, so it’s clear that once again Anderson is getting luckier than he should when it comes to balls in play.  

Tyler Chatwood is no world beater either - his 3.86 ERA in 2018 is miraculously low when looking at his walk rate, which is an absolutely obscene 8.6 per nine.  I actually had to double check to make sure that wasn’t a typo, but it’s true.   As long as the Cubs choose to send Chatwood to the mound, we’re going to trust that he’s not injured, and that he’ll eventually work his way back to his projected numbers.  His projected ERA of 4.36 isn’t spectacular, but it’s over a half run better than Anderson’s (5.00), so we’re confident that the Cubs have the pitching edge today, even if it is tough to shake Chatwood’s ridiculous walk rate.

It took awhile for them to get going last night, but the Cubs offense is still an elite group, featuring sluggers Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo.  As we mentioned yesterday, the Brewers offense ranks in the middle of the pack, and it could get worse if any of their top performers (Cain, Shaw, Yelich) slow down from their hot starts.  There’s no doubt that the Cubs have a huge advantage offensively today.

While Tyler Chatwood isn’t a star, the matchup against Chase Anderson makes him the better starting pitcher taking the mound today in Milwaukee.  With that in mind, plus the huge edge we give to the powerful Cubs lineup, we can’t help but to take the Cubs at +102 over at BetOnline.  While the bookmakers and the general public might see this as a close matchup, we think that the Brewers are set for a steady decline while the Cubs should continue to extend their lead in the NL Central.

Good luck out there everybody, and as always: let’s get a win!

Bet the Cubs +102

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