MLB Betting: Brault's Left Arm Adding Value To Pirates In Game Against Brewers

Jason Lake

Friday, July 29, 2016 12:14 PM UTC

Friday, Jul. 29, 2016 12:14 PM UTC

The Pittsburgh Pirates are giving Steven Brault another start Friday against the Milwaukee Brewers. Brault's on the wrong side of the baseball odds, but don't be fooled.

At press time, the Milwaukee Brewers are –110 home favorites on the MLB odds board for Friday's game (8:10 p.m. ET) against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wait, what? The Brewers are the favorites? Sure, they paid out handsomely for us at +150 last week against the Chicago Cubs, and sure, they just took three of four from the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, all as home faves. But against the Pirates (52-48, +4.26 units)?

Maybe it's not so crazy after all. Friday's pitching matchup has hot rookie Junior Guerra (3.80 FIP) taking the hill for Milwaukee versus southpaw Steven Brault, who will be making just his second big-league start. FiveThirtyEight even has the Brewers winning this game 51 percent of the time, although that only works out to –104 on our SBR Betting Odds Converter. Hmmm. Steven Brault, you say?


Don't Tase Me, Brault
Ah, yes, I remember you. Brault was called up earlier this month from AAA-Indianapolis to make a spot start for the injured Jameson Taillon against the St. Louis Cardinals. And Brault did quite well in his MLB debut, holding the Cards to four hits and one earned run in four innings while striking out five. Pittsburgh (+126 away) went on to win 5-2, sliding UNDER the closing total of nine runs and spoiling our MLB pick for the day. Fizz.

Given how well Brault has pitched in Indianapolis (2.45 FIP in 50.1 innings), this might be a good spot to pile on the Pirates. They're eighth overall in hitting value at 15.3 WAR over at FanGraphs. However, Guerra (3.80 FIP) has been a serious moneymaker for Milwaukee. The Venezuela native is up 7.25 units on a team record of 10-5, with the UNDER at 10-4-1. Doubly impressive, since the Brewers are 43-56 overall and 6.65 units in the hole.

This is where we do our little BABIP dance. Guerra has been rather fortunate this year, allowing a .240 BABIP while stranding 79.0 percent of runners. Brault, meanwhile, has been kneecapped by a .320 BABIP at Indianapolis, leaving him with a personal win-loss record of just 2-4. The regression monsters are bound to switch targets and feed on Guerra at some point.


Fantasy Corner
Having said that, Guerra did hold the Pirates to three hits and two earned runs over six innings on July 19, although the Brewers lost 3-2 as +141 road dogs. Not much of a sample size to work with for your fantasy team. Let's go with a Pittsburgh reliever instead – the Pirates were idle Thursday, so that will help. Neftali Feliz (3.75 FIP) is owned in 6.6 percent of ESPN leagues at press time, he has a win and four holds in his last five games, and he just might bogart another win in what could be a close game Friday night.


Free MLB Pick: Pirates +106
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline
Record: 19-16 ML, 7-3-1 Totals (+7.97 units)

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