Marlins @ Braves May 20 Free Pick


We played the Braves in the first game of this series, on the 18th, when Sean Newcomb was the listed starter. Newcomb got pushed back a day and the Braves lost but hopefully you backed him with a similar number yesterday because he was great once again and Atlanta won big.

Newcomb pitched six innings and gave up one run. His scoreless innings streak ended at 21 innings but the win was his fifth.

Julio Teheran takes the ball for Atlanta this afternoon in the rubber match and I like him in this game as much as I liked Newcomb.

Free Pick

Teheran has been one of baseball’s greatest bargains for the past several seasons after Atlanta offered him a six-year, pre-arbitration contact worth just over $30 million. Since, he’s pitched like a borderline ace and a durable one at that.

The 27-year-old out of Colombia is off to another steady start to his 2018 season. This will be his 10th start, his eighth against the NL East and his first against Miami. Teheran has faced Philly, Washington and New York twice each.

So he has to be looking at this start as an opportunity to give his numbers a boost and continue a stellar May. He’s made three clean starts this month, including 13 shutout innings to start it against the Mets and Rays. He finished six innings against the Cubs the last time out and gave up just four hits; unfortunately, two of those hits were home runs with a runner on base, which accounted for all four of his earned runs.

Then there’s Wei-Yin Chen, who began his career with four consecutive seasons as an above average and durable starter with Baltimore. But since signing a five-year $80 million contract in Miami, he hasn’t been close to worthy of such an investment.

Chen was 5–5 with an ERA over 5.00 in his first season as a Marlin, then only pitched 33 innings in his second. After missing the first four weeks of this season, he has been even worse than he was in 2016.

Two of his starts have been good (9.2 innings, 1 earned run) and two have been terribly poor (7 innings, 13 earned runs). What he has done consistently is walk guys. He’s walked at least two in each start and has thrown 11 ball 4s in total.

Atlanta is a young team but it’s in the top-10 of walks league-wide. Freddie Freeman‘s patience as an example has a lot to do with it. Freeman hit another mammoth home run on Saturday night, his eighth of the year. All he’s doing is riding the best OPS+ of his career (172) through 43 games. He hasn’t had a mark lower than 113 since the start of 2011.

I particularly like Teheran and the Braves’ bullpen again today so the only other play I would recommend may be going under on Miami’s team total (currently 3.5). Otherwise, you can play the Braves moneyline, runline and even super runline (-4.5). I like them all.

Free Pick: Atlanta -1.5

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