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Free Sports Picks: Behind Newcomb, Braves Look to Prevail at Miller Park

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Oskeim Sports previews the MLB game between the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday, July 8.  Oskeim recommends taking the road underdog as one of his free sports picks for July 8.

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Atlanta snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-1 win at Miller Park last night. Prior to his last start against the Yankees (5 runs over 2 2/3 IP), Atlanta southpaw Sean Newcomb had gone 7-1 with a 2.07 ERA in his previous eleven starts. The 25-year-old takes the mound inside Miller Park for the first time in his career boasting a 3.10 ERA and 3.83 FIP in seventeen starts this season.

Newcomb does a nice job in keeping the ball on the ground (46.5% GB%) and is not susceptible to the long ball (0.85 HR/9). His groundball rate (48.5%), strikeout rate (9.96 K/9) and hard contact rate (25.7%) are all better on the road than at home this season.

Newcomb has an opportunity to shut down a scuffling Milwaukee lineup that is averaging just 3.7 runs per game in afternoon affairs (.289 OBP, .665 OPS) and 4.0 runs over its previous seven games (.282 OBP, .676 OPS).

Meanwhile, the Braves are a profitable 19-10 (+11.9 units) in day games this season where they are averaging 5.5 runs per game (.770 OPS). Milwaukee right-hander Junior Guerra continues to outperform his peripherals, posting a 2.87 ERA despite owning a 3.90 FIP and 4.23 xFIP.

Guerra has survived on a .261 BABIP and 84.0% strand rate, both of which are unsustainable. The 33-year-old finished June with a 3.89 ERA, 4.64 FIP and 4.14 xFIP so regression appears to be in motion.

Guerra’s command and control have also been an issue this season as evidenced by his 3.49 BB/9 rate and 9.3% walk percentage. Batters are also squaring up on Guerra’s pitches as evidenced by his alarming 41.0% hard contact rate.

With Atlanta standing at 27-16 in competitively-priced games (-125 to +125) and 23-13 in games with a total of 8 or 8.5 runs, take the Braves as one of Oskeim Sports’ free sports picks for Sunday, July 8.

Oskeim Sports’ Free Sports Picks for June 8:

  • Atlanta Braves (+115) over Milwaukee Brewers
  • New York Mets (+130) over Tampa Bay Rays

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