Lohse with League's Worst ERA Signals Bet-Against Material

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 1:31 PM GMT

As some MLB handicappers are expecting a sweep in Pittsburgh by the Milwaukee Brewers, we expect a different result. Find out why we are confidently betting the run-line today.

Milwaukee Brewers (Lohse) at Pittsburgh Pirates (Morton) (-1 ½ R/+155) 7:05 ET
The Milwaukee Brewers conclude their 3-game set vs. the Pirates looking for the unlikely sweep.  It is shades of 5 years ago when Milwaukee won 43 of 50 from Pittsburgh.  This, however, in no way resembles either of those teams.  Milwaukee is the worst team in MLB, while the Pirates, entering this series, were one of the hottest.  

Milwaukee’s rating as the worst team in baseball is confirmed by their .664 OPS batting number and their .752 OPS pitching number.  Each of those is in the bottom 3 of the league.  But, the first two games of this series would have one believe that Milwaukee is the superior team.  On Monday, behind a starter with a +4.00 ERA, the Brewers beat the Bucs (2-0) in a 5-hour game with 2 rain delays.  Last night was even more improbable, making his Major League debut, sidewinder Jungmann, translated his 6.37 ERA, 1.52 WHIP and 54/29 K/BB from Triple A Colorado Springs into a 4-1 win vs. the Bucs.    Tonight, Milwaukee sends Kyle Lohse to the mound with a 6.59 ERA, the worst of any starter in MLB.  In the previous 4 years, Lohse was 54-30 with a 3.28 ERA.  As a microcosm of his horrible season, in his last 3 outings, Lohse has gone 0-2 with a 10.43 ERA.  In his previous 3 starts vs. Pittsburgh, Lohse has spun a 9.35 ERA.  We are happy to take our chances that the Brewers, behind Lohse, does not get the sweep.

Following 18-22 start, the underachieving Pirates returned home from a successful road trip on a 13-3 surge, in which they outscored the opposition 87-43.  The .148 BA and one total run in 2 games is quite dichotomous to that.  Look for the Pittsburgh bats to return to form against Lohse.  On their behalf, they send Charlie Morton to the mound.  Since coming off the DL in late May, Morton has won all 3 of his starts with a 2.84 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.   He has worked 19 successful innings with his trademark sinkerball inducing many ground outs.  Most notably is Morton’s work from this mound.  In 10 recent starts at PNC Park, Morton has a 1.98 ERA.   

Run line players take note, 30 of 37 Milwaukee losses have come by 2 or more runs, while 27 of 31 Pirate victories have come by 2 or more runs.  In the value priced pitching mismatch of the day, place your MLB pick expecting the Pirate bats to come alive vs. Lohse and for Morton to shut down a dormant Milwaukee attack.  We and the Pirates avoid the sweep in this run line/MLB odds underdog blowout.  

MLB Picks: Take Pittsburgh Pirates -1 ½ R/+165 at Pinnacle