Brewers & Pirates To Go ‘Under’ Is The MLB Pick Friday

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, April 15, 2016 7:44 PM UTC

Friday, Apr. 15, 2016 7:44 PM UTC

Two pitchers that each have a nice track record vs. their respective opponents tonight could help key an ‘under’ when the Brewers open up a weekend series visiting the Pirates.

MLB Record: 8-6, +3.13

There could be a low scoring game Friday night in the opening game of a three-game weekend series when right-hander Jimmy Nelson and the Milwaukee Brewers (4-5, 1-2 away) pay a visit to southpaw Jeff Locke and the Pittsburgh Pirates (5-5, 3-2 home) at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA at 7:05 ET in a game available on ROOT.

The posted total at Bookmaker is 7½ for this contest with the current MLB odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.


Bucs Cooled Off After Fast Start
The Pirates began this season with a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals and then won their next game to go to 4-0, but they have since lost five of their last six games including dropping three out of four to the Detroit Tigers this week to drop back to the .500 mark. Thus they have dropped to fourth place in the National League Central early on.

The Brewers are in last place, but only one-half game behind the Pirates at 4-5. Milwaukee began the year 0-2, but the Brewers were then the winning MLB picks in three out of four games before losing two out of three to the Cardinals this week in St. Louis in a series that ended with a 7-0 whitewashing at the hands of Jaime Garcia yesterday, when Milwaukee managed just one hit and struck out 13 times vs. Garcia as he had a Complete Game.


Nelson Can be Lethal at Times
Nelson may not have had great numbers on paper last year when he finished 11-13 with a 4.11 ERA, but he did have some dominant outings thanks to his power sinker that averaged 93.5 MPH while topping out at a remarkable 97.2 MPH. That pitch alone allowed Nelson to combine a very decent strikeout rate of 7.51 per nine innings with a 50.6 ground ball rate, and remember that Nelson is still maturing at just 26 years of age.

Thus the Milwaukee second starter has loads of potential, and he has already made two Quality Starts this year allowing two runs on each occasion with a nice 12 strikeouts in 13.1 innings and a terrific ground ball/fly ball ratio of 4.67.

Furthermore, the Pirates cannot be happy to see Nelson as their mound opponent as they have had trouble with his sinker since he was first recalled to the Major Leagues, with Jimmy going 4-2 with a 2.48 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and a .199 batting average allowed in six career starts vs. Pittsburgh.


Struggling vs. Southpaws
Locke has always been a serviceable starter coming up to the Pirates, and he was even named to the All-Star team during his overachieving year of 2013, although he had to be replaced on the All-Star roster due to injury. Locke has not had that kind of success since finishing with a 3.52 ERA that year, but he has served his purpose as either the fifth man in the rotation or a spot starter.

One thing that Locke has usually done well though is pitch well against Milwaukee, as his career 3.75 ERA in 12 starts against them is skewed by two bad starts where he combined to allow 10 earned runs in 8.1 innings. However, he has a 2.83 ERA while going a perfect 10-for-10 in Quality Starts over his other career outings vs. the Brewers!

Moreover, Locke now gets to face a Brewers’ lineup that had been awful vs. southpaws this young season, batting a measly .150 against them. Therefore, this contest could shape up to be a real pitchers’ duel.

Trending the ‘under’
Finally, the ‘under’ is now 4-1 in the Brewers’ last five games vs. left-handed starters, with their inability to hit southpaws playing a huge role in that. Additionally, the ‘under’ is 5-2-1 in Milwaukee’s last eight games following a loss, as well as 7-2 in the Pirates’ last nine games inside the National League Central.

Given the past success these starting pitchers have had vs. these respective opponents, expect those ‘under’ patterns to continue when Milwaukee visits Pittsburgh in the opening game of this series opener on Friday.

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MLB Pick: Under 7.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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