Picks of the Day, April 22th

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Mark Lathrop

Saturday, April 22, 2017 3:21 PM GMT

The theme of today's picks is the relevance of luck in the current statistics of today's starting pitchers. Read on as our MLB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, leads us to value as he breaks down the season results so far.

Cleveland Indians vs Chicago White Sox

James Shields burned me in his last start, as I picked the Over in part because some bad trends against the Minnesota Twins. Turns out he gets some help in this start from the weather, forcing me to change my tune.

James Shields has lucked himself into three awesome starts so far this year, as he has picked up a nifty 1.62 ERA over 3 starts on the season. I say this is lucky in most part because of his fielding independent pitching ERA of 5.13, which indicates that balls hit off of Shields are heat seeking missiles to fielders at the moment.

This luck looks like it is expected to continue on Saturday, as it turns out that the wind will be blowing directly in at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago tonight. A steady wind at 7 mph with gusts to 14 mph will make it hard for balls to leave the yard. Shields is running a career high 58.1% fly ball rate too, which if continues, will only help him in end results for this game.

Opposing Shields is Carlos Carrasco for the Indians, who has been excellent going on 4 years now. He only needs to keep doing what he has for the last 450 innings to put together a good game, and combined with Shields having a favorable weather situation, the Under of 8 runs is the play here at -115 at Heritage.

Free MLB Pick: Under 8 Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Miami Marlins vs San Diego Padres

If you’ve been reading my write ups since the beginning of the season, you would know that this pick was coming. Jered Weaver starts for the Padres on Saturday, and I hope they are at least running a beer special at Petco Stadium for the fans that show up to watch their hometown team.

The peripheral statistics are so bad on Jered Weaver that it is almost comical that he is still in the league right now. His FIP is the highest he has run in his career at 6.27, his fastball is sitting at an average velocity of 83.6, and balls pitched and swung at in the strike zone are getting hit at an 88.3% rate – also a career high. Needless to say, Weavers success is fully a result of luck and where the ball ends up after being put into play. And don’t worry, it is going into play.

After a shaky start to his season on the road at the Nationals, Dan Straily has picked up two good starts. He’s only given up two runs in those starts, but has also been the benefactor of a .194 BABIP. Straily actually runs a very low BABIP over his career though, partially a result of his batted ball profile – not a lot of hard hit and pulled balls for him. He likely won’t pitch a shutout though, so even if I am taking him to win over Weaver (always), I will also take the Over of 8 runs at Pinnacle.

Free MLB Picks: Miami -115 & Over 8 Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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