Our MLB handicapper finds a gift of a line in Sunday's MLB odds board. Cash in while everyone is paying attention to Week 1 of the NFL!
Wow. Every once in a while you get tossed an absolute cupcake of a game to cover and that seems to be the case here. What am I talking about? Well, think about it. Would you rather be on a deserted island with a Brewer or a Pirate? One guy is going to plunder all of your rum and the other guy is going to make beer! Is this really a choice at all? And Pirates probably smell (except for Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow), and Brewers smell like hops on a spring day at the dawn of the American Revolution (such as Sam Adams played by Ben Barnes in the miniseries, Sons of Liberty… droooool).
So yes, I like the Brewers in this game, but I’ll go ahead and tell you why. Taylor Jungmann gets the start in this game and he is actually pretty good, even though he gets lit up from time to time. In 17 starts this year Jungmann is carrying a 2.87 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 89/36 K/BB rate, and .231 BAA. To counter all of those touchy feely good numbers is the fact that Jungmann has been absolute crap on the road this year, where he has posted a 4.13 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and .241 BAA. The Pirates haven’t been drinking what this Brewer has been brewing though, because in three starts this year Jungmann is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA, 0.85 ERA, and .159 BAA. There is definitely something that Taylor has that the Pirates want and can’t get (booty perhaps?). Jesus Patrick… I mean Mark, what are you thinking?
It’s not like I don’t like Francisco Liriano in this pitching matchup. He’s had a fantastic season and has put up a 3.28 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 178/63 K/BB rate, and .217 BAA over 164.2 IP so far in 2015. Liriano has already surpassed his best strikeout total from 2011 onward and has a chance to meet the 201 strikeouts he posted in 2010. It’s been an impressive comeback for the left-hander since joining the Pirates and leaving Minnesota. But this Pirate doesn’t like beer as the Brewers have pasted him so far this year. In his two starts, Liriano is 0-2 and has posted a 4.85 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, and .245 BAA. Oddly enough, Liriano doesn’t like home cooking either, as he has a 3.99 ERA at home versus a 2.47 ERA on the road. Most of this statistical difference is due to the 11 HR’s that Liriano has given up at PNC Park, versus 2 HR’s on the road.
Now for the kicker, the Brewers have won 8 of 10 games against Pittsburgh coming into Saturday night’s game. None of those wins have been close either. Sometimes a team has another team’s number and that seems to be the case here.
With the Pirates having the superior season record, naturally the money line favors them at -190 MLB odds at multiple sportsbooks. However, this is about the closest I’ve come to calling a “lock” all season, but the Brewers on the run line here +1.5 at -125 is a gift. The trends, starting pitcher, home pitcher record at home, all meet up to call a close game. Take the Brewers +1.5 at -125 at Pinnacle as your Sunday MLB pick.
MLB Pick: Brewers +1.5 (-125) at Pinnacle