Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Wednesday.
Although the road team is in last place in the National League Central while the playoff hopeful home team is in third place, the cellar dwellers can complete a sweep Wednesday night when Kyle Lohse and those Milwaukee Brewers (22-37, 13-17 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Charlie Morton and the Pittsburgh Pirates (31-27, 15-11 home) for the final game of a three-game series from PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA at 7:05 ET in a game available on ROOT.
The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Milwaukee as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +128.
Will Brewers Bust out the Brooms?
The Pirates made the playoffs as wild cards each of the last two years to end a long post-season drought, but they are now looking to win their first division title since 1992 and they put themselves in a nice position after a slow start by getting to a season-high six games over .500 last week. However they have hit the skids somewhat by losing the first two games of this series to the last place Brewers.
Milwaukee had the worst record in the Major Leagues five days ago, but the Brew Crew have begun to turn things around by being the winning MLB picks in four of the last five games and they have now passed on that dubious distinction of the league’s worst record on to the Philadelphia Phillies, albeit by just one-half game.
Back-to-Back Winning Series
And not only are the Brewers in a position to complete their first sweep of the season, but they are already assured of winning back-to-back series for the first time this year as they won two out of three game in Minnesota this past weekend before continuing their winning ways here in the Steel City the last two nights. This streak began Friday in Minnesota with tonight’s starting pitcher Lohse on the mound.
Unfortunately, Kyle continued his rough season as he was charged with five earned runs on eight hits in six innings, marking the third straight start that he has allowed at least that many earned runs and leaving him at 3-6 with an ugly 6.59 ERA and 1.38 WHIP for the season. Believe it or not though, the news is not entirely bad for Lohse.
That is because Lohse has actually posted a career high strikeout rate this season at 7.24 per nine innings while keeping his walks down like he always does at 1.98 per nine, and although his 4.00 xFIP is nothing special, it is still more than 2½ runs less than his ERA, leaving room for positive regression. The biggest problem for Lohse has been the home run ball with 14 allowed in 68.1 innings, but that may not be as much an issue vs. a Pittsburgh team 20th in the majors in homers.
Lohse may also benefit from facing a struggling Pirates’ lineup that has scored a total of four runs in the last three games and is batting a mere .208 vs. right-handed pitchers in the last five contests.
Pirates Heading in Wrong Direction
That lack of production is a key reason why the Pirates have lost three of their last four games, leaving them 6½.games behind the division leading St. Louis Cardinals. Furthermore, tonight’s starter Morton may need all the run support he can get, and he may have used up that quota in his last start in Atlanta Friday when he was charged with four runs on seven hits plus three walks in five innings but yet got the win as Pittsburgh ultimately prevailed 10-8.
That improved Morton to 3-0 in his three starts this season since returning from hip surgery, but it was his worst effort of the three and he did not fare well the last time he faced these Brewers last season, allowing five earned runs on eight hits plus two walks in six innings right here at home in PNC Park.
That leaves Morton 2-6 with a bloated 4.63 ERA and 1.49 WHIP in 11 career starts vs. Milwaukee.
Finally, the Brewers are now a wallet-filling 4-0 in their last four games as underdogs, with all four of those upsets coming on the road. Also, despite his record, the Brewers are 5-2 in Lohse’s last seven starts vs. teams with winning records.
Given the directions that these teams have been heading in over the last five days or so, look for the Brewers’ underdog pattern to continue and for Milwaukee to complete the sweep with a third straight road upset in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
MLB Pick: Brewers +128