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Free Sports Picks: Can James Paxton Remain Hot vs. Rockies?

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Oskeim Sports previews Saturday’s MLB game between the Colorado Rockies and Seattle Mariners and provides one of its free sports picks in the contest.  Visit Oskeim’s Blog daily for more free sports picks in all the major sports, including football, basketball and baseball.

Seattle southpaw James Paxton entered July as one of the hottest pitchers in baseball. Indeed, the 29-year-old posted a 3.65 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and a 12.16 K/9 rate since May 15, ranking in the top ten among 127 pitchers who started at least six games over that span.

Paxton commended July by throwing an eight-inning shutout against the Royals, allowing just two hits while racking up 11 strikeouts and issuing just 2 walks.

Paxton owns a 3.39 ERA, 2.91 FIP and 3.00 xFIP in eighteen starts this season, together with an 11.69 K/9 rate and a 2.58 BB/9 rate. The talented lefty has been very good inside the friendly confines of Safeco Field where he has compiled a 3.31 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 2.99 FIP and 3.07 xFIP across 49.0 innings of work (12.12 K/9, 33.9% K%, 29.2% Hard%).

The Mariners are 8-2 in Paxton’s last ten starts during game 2 of a series and 5-1 in his previous six outings against .501 or greater opposition, including 5-0 at home.

I also like the fact that Paxton owns a 2.16 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in two career starts against the Rockies, throwing 5 1/3 innings of shutout ball in his most recent outing last May. The home team has won four straight with umpire Marty Foster behind home plate, while the Rockies are a money-burning 2-12 in their last fourteen games with Foster calling balls and strikes.

Colorado lefty Kyle Freeland toes the rubber with a 3.25 ERA but a 3.99 FIP and 4.10 xFIP suggest that regression is on the horizon. Freeland has been aided by a .264 BABIP (career .292 BABIP) and an 80.6% strand rate (career 76.8% LOB%), both of which are unsustainable. Surprisingly, Freeland has been better at home than he has been away from Colorado’s altitude.

Specifically, Freeland owns a 3.50 ERA on the road (2.89 ERA at home) with a pedestrian 6.86 K/9 rate (7.63 K/9 at home). The most significant factor in this game is the team’s respective bullpens. Seattle’s relief staff enters today’s contest with a 3.59 ERA and 1.22 WHIP at home, a 3.42 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in afternoon affairs and a 2.27 ERA and 1.15 WHIP over their last seven games.

In contrast, Colorado’s bullpen owns a 5.39 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 2018, including posting a 6.42 ERA and 1.71 WHIP in day games and an 8.64 ERA and 1.86 WHIP in interleague play.

From a technical standpoint, Seattle is a profitable 21-6 in its last 27 home games, 17-6 in its last 23 games following a loss and 35-17 in its previous 52 games overall.  Meanwhile, the Rockies are just 19-40 in their last 59 interleague road tilts, 15-41 in their last 56 games against American League West foes and 6-20 in their last 26 interleague clashes against left-handed starters.

Take the Mariners behind the surging arm of James Paxton as one of Oskeim Sports’ free sports picks for Saturday, July 7.  Oskeim also likes the UNDER 7.5 runs (at -125 odds or better) in this game as one of his free sports picks for Saturday.

Oskeim Sports’ Free Sports Picks for Saturday, July 7:

  • Seattle Mariners (-185) over Colorado Rockies
  • Colorado/Seattle UNDER 7.5 runs (-125)
  • Houston Astros/Washington Nationals 2-Team Parlay

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