MLB Betting Free Pick: Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds
FREE PICK: Chicago Cubs (Quintana) at Cincinnati Reds (Castillo)
#955 Chicago +125 (Thursday, May 16 @ 6:40 pm EST)
One of the hardest things for a bettor is to know when to jump ship when a positive profile as lost its value. I began this season with Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo as one of my top “bet on” starters and he hasn’t disappointed with a 1.76 ERA. I haven’t been rewarded as much as I would have liked with the Reds 5-4 in his starts (four losses by 1 run!) but I was certainly correct in my assessment of his potential as a premium arm. The problem though is everything that Castillo has accomplished thus far — and some — is being accounted for in the line as the Reds opened as short home underdogs and now find themselves as high as -140. And as much as I like Castillo, his 1.76 ERA, .242 BABIP, and 87% LOB rate are simply unsustainable.
Jose Quintana continues to be not only a workhorse but an effective one. I saw him second game of the season get torched by Milwaukee for eight runs but despite that, he sports a healthy 3.50 ERA, 3.38 xFIP, and 52% ground ball rate. He’s in a good spot to thrive tonight at Cincinnati’s offense currently ranks 25th in MLB in wRC+.
I would be on board with such a big line move on Castillo had he been pitted against a weak offense and fringe opposing starter. That’s simply not to case tonight which is why I ended up playing Chicago at +125.