It's going to be interesting to see the adjustments some teams make in order to get to the playoffs. I'm going to look at a total play between Pirates and Brewers.
MLB odds makers have come out with a total of 8 for this game and that just seems a little bit low for me. The good thing about that total is at some places you can still get over that number on the plus money line. Right now at Pinnacle sports book you get this game over 8 at +101. I think there is some good value in taking the over in this game even though the first half of the season has been dominated by the pitchers in the National League.
For the Pirates Charlie Morton takes the mound with a 4.15 ERA and 1.31 WHIP and has been generally okay this season. He gets a lot of outs through groundouts and only has 30 strikeouts and 52 innings. He hasn't had a lot of action on the road this year but in his last outing away from Pittsburgh he got destroyed in Washington allowing nine earned runs in just an inning. He bounced back from that horrible performance and has pitched decently over his last three starts all at home allowing nine runs in 18 innings. As of right now though, and here is the surprising part because this has been a pitcher's league in this first half of the season, Morton's ERA over 4.00 is not that far off from his career ERA of 4.47. For the Brewers Mike Fiers will get the start and comes in with a 3.96 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. Unlike Morton he is more of a strikeout pitcher with 99 K's in 100 innings, but he is still a bit overrated in my opinion. At home this season in 55 innings pitched he has a 4.72 ERA and 1.46 WHIP, and in his most recent start he allowed two home runs against the Braves at home on July 8th, but pitched okay otherwise.
Both the Brewers and the Pirates are right in the middle of the league as far as their offenses are concerned. Pittsburgh ranks 17th in the league in runs scored per game and the Brewers are right behind them ranked 18th. In OPS they are also ranked right next to each other with Milwaukee ranking 20th in the major leagues and Pittsburgh ranking 21st. There is one particular thing I like about each team, the Brewers tend to not leave people in scoring position on base and are ranked third in the league in this category, the Pirates ranked fourth in the league in hits on road games.
This play is backed by two main themes, both these pitchers are overrated, and you can get a good number on the over in this matchup. I think both of these teams will come out and take advantage of the subpar pitching they will see today and get some runs early and often. Look for a final of somewhere around 6-4 or in that area.
MLB Pick: Over at Pinnacle