Our resident MLB handicapping professional shares his two top totals selections on Friday’s card, as he focuses on the Braves/Pirates and Cubs/Cardinals games.
Braves (Perez) vs. Pirates (Liriano) 7:05 PM ET
Williams Perez has been a pleasant surprise for the Braves so far this season. In 7 starts he has an outstanding 2.14 ERA. Perez has been especially good in his three starts on the road by posting a microscopic 0.47 ERA in those outings. The Braves have been anemic offensively of late, averaging 1.9 runs per game, and hitting just .231 as a team during their last seven. They’re coming off a 7-0 loss at Washington yesterday. Atlanta is 36-14 under the total following a game they scored 1 run or less, and 16-4 under the number after being shutout in their previous game since the start of the 2014 season.
Francisco Liriano is coming off a shaky start, but I’m going to give him a pass considering it was versus the red-hot hitting Washington Nationals. The Pirates veteran southpaw has posted a terrific 2.21 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and compiled nearly an 8:1 strikeout to walk ratio in his last six starts. Similar to tonight’s opponent, Pittsburgh has struggled offensively of late. They’re averaging just 2.7 runs per game and hitting a miserable .223 as a team in their previous seven outings. The Pirates are 20-9 under the total this season when facing an opponent that averages 0.75 home runs or less per game, and the Braves are at a paltry 0.58 pertaining to that category.
I like this game to be a low scoring affair for one of my MLB picks on Friday. Pinnacle provides us with the best number and price in that regard.
MLB Pick: Braves and Pirates under 7.0 (-129) at Pinnacle.
Cubs (Arrieta) vs. Cardinals (Lackey) 8:15 PM ET
Jake Arrieta has gone 6-1 in his team starts on the road, posting a very good 2.78 ERA, and a better than 7:1 strikeout to walk ratio. He’s also gone 5-1-1 under the total in his career team starts versus St. Louis while compiling an excellent 1.51 ERA, and all of those outings have come since 2013. The Cubs have gone under the total in their last four, and are 9-2-1 under the number during their previous twelve games.
John Lackey is 6-1 under the total at home this season with a superb 1.81 ERA. The Cardinals right-handed hurler has gone 10-1 under the total at home since 2014 when facing a team with a winning record, and those games averaged only a combined 5.4 runs scored per contest. The Cardinals are 22-10-1 under the total at home in 2015, and 21-7 if the posted total is 7.5 or less.
Besides the impressive numbers for both starting pitchers in this game, each bullpen has performed magnificently this year. This has all the ear marks of a low scoring game, and there’s no sense in overanalyzing the situation any further. YouWager is the sportsbook with a combination of best number and price pertaining to an under wager.
MLB Pick: Cubs and Cardinals under 7.0 (-115) at YouWager.