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Oskeim Sports’ Free Pick for Saturday: Chicago at Tampa Bay

Free Pick from Oskeim Sports, Free pick for Saturday, Free Pick for April 16

Chicago southpaw John Danks has been consistently bad since undergoing shoulder surgery in 2012. Specifically, Danks posted a 4.75 ERA and 5.06 FIP in 2013, a 4.74 ERA and 4.76 FIP in 2014 and a 4.71 ERA and 4.49 FIP last season. Danks’ commenced the 2016 campaign with another poor outing, allowing seven runs on eight hits over five innings against Cleveland.

In his lone start against Tampa Bay last year, Danks yielded five runs on eight hits in just 5 1/3-innings of work so the outlook is grim tonight for the 31-year-old hurler.  Danks is always on the radar for being a free pick when he takes the mound.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay right-hander Erasmo Ramirez is coming off a terrific season wherein he posted a 3.75 ERA and 3.76 FIP over 163.1 innings. The promising 25-year-old improved his command and control (2.20 BB/9), while also cutting down on the number of long balls allowed (0.88 HR/9).

Ramirez is poised for a strong start to the 2016 campaign against a scuffling Chicago lineup that is averaging just 3.5 runs per game, including 3.4 runs per game on the road and 2.8 runs per game at night.

I also like the fact that Ramirez is supported by a very good Tampa Bay bullpen that boasts a 2.54 ERA and 0.98 WHIP this season, including a 1.23 ERA and 0.88 WHIP at night. From a technical standpoint, the White Sox are 9-24 in Danks’ last 33 starts versus .499 or worse opposition, 1-5 in his last six road starts and 0-4 in his last four outings overall.

With Chicago standing at 1-6 in Danks’ last seven starts against Tampa Bay, take the Rays as Oskeim Sports’ Free Pick and invest with confidence.

Oskeim Sports’ Free Pick for Saturday: Tampa Bay Rays (-134)