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Oskeim’s Free Pick Winner: Miami Marlins at Tampa Bay Rays

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Oskeim Sports gives a detailed betting preview and a free pick winner in the MLB game between the Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, September 24.  Be sure to check back on a regular basis for more free pick winners from the #1 Ranked Sports Handicapping Service in the industry.

Miami right-hander Edward Cabrera toes the rubber with a 5.31 ERA, 10.47 xERA and 7.29 FIP in five starts this season, a span covering 20.1 innings of work.  The 23-year-old has struggled with control (5.75 BB/9) and has served up too many home runs (2.21 HR/9).  The fact that the rookie’s walk rate is nearly as high as his strikeout rate speaks volumes about his pedestrian repertoire.

Tampa Bay recently signed David Robertson, who hasn’t pitched in the majors in more than two years but recently helped Team USA win a silver medal at the Summer Olympics.  The veteran hurler secured a pair of saves during the WSBC Baseball Americas Qualifier tournament in May and June, and another pair during the Olympics.  More importantly, Robertson’s fastball sat in the 90-94 mph range, his curve in the 79-83 mph range and his slider in the 83-86 range, all of which were consistent with his previous levels.

The acquisition made sense in light of the fact that the Rays were down seventeen pitchers (IR) at the time, including six of their top eight relievers in terms of total appearances, and five of their top eight in terms of WAR.  From 2009-18, only Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen, and Aroldis Chapman outperformed Robertson’s 14.2 WAR, and only three pitchers surpassed his 629 appearances. Robertson’s 32.6% strikeout rate ranked 13th in the majors, while his 23.1% strikeout-walk differential was 17th.

Robertson has made nine appearances for Tampa Bay this season (8.0 IP) and his underlying metrics have been promising.  The right-hander owns a 3.85 xERA, 2.66 FIP and 2.14 xFIP in those outings, together with an impressive 14.63 K/9 rate.  His ERA (5.63) is grossly misleading due to an unsustainable .421 BABIP and an unlucky 56.6% LOB%, both of which will regress to the mean moving forward.

Robertson is backed by an elite Tampa Bay bullpen that is ranked third in the league in ERA (3.26) and first in both FIP (3.61) and WAR (7.3).  The Rays’ pitching staff should make short order of Miami’s anemic lineup that is 27th in the league in runs scored (601), 28th in home runs (151) and second in strikeout rate (26.2%).

From a technical standpoint, Tampa Bay falls into two of my strongest MLB systems that have produced substantial profits both straight-up and against the run line since 2017.  My best MLB system is 152-40 (79.2%) straight-up and 123-69 on the run line (+15.1% ROI) since 2019.  This situation is a documented 93-26 (78.2%) straight-up and 77-42 on the run line (+17% ROI) in 2021.

Take Tampa Bay on the run line as Oskeim’s Free Pick Winner for Friday, September 24.