Thursday’s finale has both clubs sending righties to the hill, with Pittsburgh’s Gerrit Cole meeting Milwaukee’s Yovani Gallardo. Which team should you add to your Thursday MLB picks?
Pirates, Byrd cruise at PNC
Pirates outfielder Marlon Byrd cracked a three-run homer in Wednesday’s win, while mates Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer united to hit 5-for-7. Pittsburgh finished with 13 hits, including Jose Tabata’s third triple of the year.
Brewers shortstop Jean Segura had his club’s coldest bat, leaving three men on base in a 0-for-5 night. The contest’s combined eight runs jumped above the total of 7.5 by a ‘hook,’ lifting the ‘Over’ to 2-0 in the series.
Cole edged in San Diego
Cole (6-6, 3.81 ERA) has been idle since last Wednesday, logging his third loss in five starts with a 2-1 defeat for Pittsburgh to the San Diego Padres. The Newport Beach native allowed both of San Diego’s runs, giving up 10 hits over six innings.
Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen notched a 2-for-2 night, driving in his side’s sole run. Pittsburgh’s Garrett Jones left three men on base in a 0-for-4 outing, while Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin each struck out twice en route to a combined 0-for-6.
Gallardo collects in upset
Gallardo (9-9, 4.61 ERA) came away with a no-decision in Friday’s 6-4 victory for Milwaukee over the Cincinnati Reds, cashing as a 176 road dog. The 27-year-old allowed two earned runs on six hits, lasting for six frames.
Milwaukee’s Khristopher Davis drilled a pair of his side’s three long balls, including a two-run homer in the eighth inning to give his club a 5-3 lead. Brewers reliever Robert Wooten picked up his staff’s win with a hitless seventh inning, while closer Jim Henderson later notched his 20th save.
Back the ‘Under’ in Pittsburgh
Cole opened as a 151 home sports betting favorite, with early wagers on the home ‘chalk’ lifting the premium to minus 156 in the MLB odds. The ‘total’ was first set at 7.5, while adding a minus 115 lean to the ‘Under’.
I am backing the ‘Under’ in this finale for my sports picks, looking for both sides to have runs come at a premium.
Cole has given up just three homers in 51 2/3 IP at PNC Park, with the ‘Under’ going 3-2 in the span’s most recent five starts. Pittsburgh has seen the ‘Under’ cash at 5-1 in Cole’s last six outings against clubs with losing records, while facing a Brewers club that has hit just .239 against righties on the road.
Gallardo has tightened up in his last three outings away from home, allowing eight earned runs over a combined 16 2/3 IP. The ‘Under’ is 5-0 in Gallardo’s last five road starts against the Pirates, including May’s most recent visit with a 3-1 victory for Pittsburgh.
Umpire Dan Iassogna has seen the ‘Under’ cash at a 12-0-2 clip through his last 14 called games, with the stretch including one road matchup for the Brewers in Washington. Look for this trend to stay strong here, giving ‘Under’ backers the money again.
Share your betting picks on our Major League Baseball message board!