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MLB Betting Free Pick: Tampa Bay Rays at Minnesota Twins

FREE PICK: Tampa Bay Rays (Snell) at Minnesota Twins (Gibson)

#970 UNDER 9.5 (Tuesday, June 25 @ 8:10 pm EST)

A year removed from winning the Cy Young Award, Tampa’s Blake Snell has had his fair share of struggles. Most recently, Snell recorded only a single out before being run out of a start vs. the Yankees in which he allowed six runs. In four June starts, Snell has allowed 16 runs over 14 innings. But despite the swoon, there’s still plenty to like about Snell. His K-rate of 12 per 9 innings is actually a full strikeout higher than last season. And his 3.38 FIP and 3.15 xFIP strongly indicate that he’s pitched much better than his 4.40 ERA. Snell had this to say heading into tonight’s matchup vs. Minnesota.

“I do think (the fastball is) something I need to use, but knowing this team I’m going to face, they are aggressive, they do chase, so that’s something I need to be aware of as well,” Snell said. “I do know I need to establish the fastball so they can respect it a lot more to get them to chase and swing at the pitches that are off-speed.

“The way I succeed most is when I make them respect (the fastball) and then throw the off-speed,” he added. “I’ve been pitching backward, but I like how I’ve been pitching. I’m not going to complain about it. I’m going to pitch the way I want to pitch.”

Kyle Gibson is one of many Twins pitchers reaping the benefits of first-year pitching coach Wes Johnson. Gibson’s K-rate is up nearly a full strikeout compared to last season and his walk rate down to a healthy 2.5 per 9. And his average fastball velocity is at a career-high mark.

It feels like we’re getting a bit of value on Snell who of late appears to have been more unfortunate rather than just plain bad. And Gibson continues to quietly and consistently perform at an above average AL-level. Even with some favorable hitting weather, we see two very capable starters as well as two rested bullpens. Play the under.

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