One of the best young pitchers in the game is lined at one of the highest prices we'll see this season. How do we play Gerrit Cole against the hapless Phillies?
Phillies-Pirates Saturday Betting Odds
Today's game looks like it will go off with one of the biggest lines of this season. In the early betting the best price we could find on Pittsburgh and Gerrit Cole was the -250 offered at Pinnacle, while 5Dimes was giving Philly and Sean O'Sullivan +248. And most books were listing the total on today's game at seven runs.
Pittsburgh took Game 1 of this series Friday night 1-0 in 13 innings. The Pirates now lead this season series three games to two, with the totals leaning UNDER by a 4-1 margin.
At 33-27 Pittsburgh, for the moment, owns the second National League wild-card spot.
Philly, meanwhile, at 22-40, has lost four in a row, owns the worst record in the Majors, and is also now a ML-worst 7-24 on the road this season.
Cy Young candidate Cole (9-2, 1.73) owns a string of six straight quality starts. Last Sunday he threw seven scoreless innings against Atlanta, and over his last six starts he's allowed just six earned runs through 42 1/3 innings. On the season Pittsburgh is 9-3 in Cole's starts, with the totals skewing UNDER by a 7-3 margin.
In his last two starts against Philadelphia, including a quality effort one month ago, Cole has allowed two ER through 12 innings; the Pirates won both those games.
O'Sullivan (1-4, 4.96) is coming off a decent outing last Sunday in which he gave up three runs in six innings against San Francisco. But in his two starts previous to that he allowed 11 runs. Philly lost O'Sullivan's first three starts this year, but has won three of his last five.
In his only career start against Pittsburgh, one month ago, O'Sullivan allowed three runs – all on one swing of the bat - through five innings of a 7-2 Phillies defeat.
Phillies-Pirates Saturday Free Picks
Pittsburgh is the MLB pick here today, thanks mainly to Cole, but that price is outrageous. So we'll take a chance on the home team against the run line. Also, Philly has scored a total of eight runs over its last four games, while Pittsburgh has scored four runs over its last four games. So we're thinking UNDER.