Finally got knocked off my high horse last week with a 1-2 day bringing my overall record to 6-2-1 (+4u). I know for damn sure Zach Eflin would have hit his strikeout number if not for a rain delay knocking him out of his rhythm, but that is neither here nor there. Nevertheless, here are my picks for this week.
Mitch Keller O/U 4.5 Ks
Keller is one of the more difficult pitchers to pin down in the league. He broke out in a big way a handful of years ago and ascended to top-30 prospect status. He saw big league success almost immediately with a 28.6 K% and 3.19 FIP across a 48-inning sample in 2019 before losing his control (-2.3 K-BB%) last year. Hot and cold to start this season, I don’t like him to hit this number today.
His fastball, while above-average in spin and velocity, is incredibly straight and gets little ride. Thrown at around a 55% clip, there is not enough swing and miss (right now) in his repertoire to count on consistent Ks. Moreover, he’s going up against the red-hot Royals today. Owner of the best record in baseball, Kansas City has ridden their age-old contact-oriented philosophy to success and have the third-lowest K% in baseball. Look for them to put the ball in play today vs Keller.
Pick: UNDER 4.5 Ks (+130 DraftKings)
Sandy Alcántara O/U 6.5 Ks
Alcántara has built upon his breakout 2020 campaign and taken another step forward so far this season. Traditionally reliant on his sinker, he has cut its usage by nearly 10 points this year in favor of more four-seamers and changeups. Those two offerings are proving to be a weapon in tandem with a nearly identical spin axis, a six mph difference in velocity, and 15 inches of drop. Those last two figures are not even that great, but batters still can’t seem to hit either.
Alcántara is facing off with the Brewers today. Without Christian Yelich, this lineup instills no fear in me. They have the eighth-highest Whiff% and third-highest K% in baseball, both great marks for this over.
Pick: OVER 6.5 Ks ( +126 FanDuel)
Blue Jays O/U 5.5 Runs
The Nationals have had a disappointing start to their season and a lack of consistent pitching is a huge reason why. They are the only team in baseball with a team FIP of at least 5.00, and the illustrious Erick Fedde will be on the bump this evening in Dunedin. For those hip to Statcast-lingo, Fedde is the Blue King. From 2018-2020 (178.2 IP), Fedde did not earn even one red statistic on Statcast’s player page. That means he did not have one skill that was at least in the 50th percentile of all major league pitchers.
He has been more effective this season, showing off a new and improved cutter en route to a respectable 24.3 K%, but the Blue Jays should be able to chase him rather quickly and feast on the poor Nationals’ bullpen.
Pick: OVER 5.5 Runs (+110 DK)
Bonus NFL Draft Prop
Our friends over at QB List have been doing an unbelievable job with NFL Draft coverage over the last few weeks and have me geared up for the spectacle that is the NFL Draft. Such a massive event brings tons and TONS of fun bets to sportsbooks everywhere. I’ll be putting a little action down on Thursday night, and my favorite play is Jayson Oweh in the first round.
Oweh is 6’5″, 257 lbs, and ran a 4.37 40 yard dash. Those are alien numbers. He is a physical specimen and, despite a severe lack of production (0 sacks in 2020), will almost certainly come off the board in Round 1 on his physical attributes alone.
Pick: YES Round 1 (+100 DK)
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)