In order to maximize our profit with Monday's MLB picks, we are playing the run-line odds on offer for the Pirates in Pittsburgh as they take on the Milwaukee Brewers.
Milwaukee Brewers (Nelson) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Burnett) (-1 ½ R/+140) 7:05 ET
The Milwaukee Brewers visit the Pittsburgh Pirates for this early week, 3-game set that will wind up a 9-game road trip for the Brewers. The Pittsburgh Pirates return home from a 10-game road trip in which they went 7-3. It was not many years ago that a far better Milwaukee team than this was dominating the Pittsburgh Pirates, winning almost 90% of their matchups in a 50-game span. But, the tables have since turned as these teams are headed different directions. Pittsburgh has captured 5 of 6 in the series this season, outscoring Milwaukee by a combined count of 33-17. All 5 of those victories have come by 2 or more runs. Following their 3-game sweep of Milwaukee at PNC Park in April, Pittsburgh now stands 5-1 at this site in the series, outscoring Milwaukee 22-10.
At the end of last June, Milwaukee was playing .600 baseball, looking like a division champ and World Series contender. The bottom fell out the last half of the season and the Brewers finished with an 82-80 mark. That downslide has continued in even greater proportions this year with the Brewers’ 20-37 record being the worst in MLB. In this matchup, Pittsburgh has a batting OPS that is approximately 50 points higher than Milwaukee, while the Pirates’ pitching OPS has a 100 point edge on their Brewer counterparts. In short, the Milwaukee numbers say they deserve to have the worst record in the league! It appeared that Milwaukee starter, Nelson, had found a groove, allowing 3 runs in 13 1/3 IP of 2 recent starts. But in his last two outings, Nelson has allowed 11 runs in 11 IP, returning to the form that has seen Milwaukee win just 3 of his 11 starts in which he has a 4.41 ERA.
The MLB odds favored Pirates underperforming at 18-22 in late May. But, it has all come together for the Pirates in recent weeks.They enter tonight's encounter on a run of 13-3 in which they have outscored the opposition by a better than 2 to 1 margin of 87-43. That’s 5.5 to 2.7 RPG. Tonight, they send Burnett to the hill, who has won his last 6 decisions and posted a 2.20 ERA for the season to date. In what he claims to be his last year in MLB, Burnett is motivated to go out in style and lead the Pirates to their 3rd consecutive playoff appearance. Pittsburgh now has the 3rd best record in the NL, behind only St. Louis and the LA Dodgers. No surprise if this record continues to improve, as Pittsburgh has played 24 home games compared to 32 games on the road. In their 9-game home stand, the Pirates face Milwaukee, Philadelphia and CWS (three of the weakest teams in MLB).
Run line players take note, reinforced by the series dominance discussed in the first paragraph, is the fact that 24 of 31 Pittsburgh wins (77%) have come by 2 or more runs. 30 of 37 Milwaukee losses (81%) have come by 2 or more runs. For the best MLB pick in this match, lay the runs and take the money in what should be a comfortable Pittsburgh victory.
MLB Picks: Take Pittsburgh Pirates -1.5 +155 at 5Dimes