Series Opener Offers Pirates at Underdog Price Against the Worst Home Team in MLB

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, July 17, 2015 3:48 PM UTC

Friday, Jul. 17, 2015 3:48 PM UTC

Must give this BERD a look, as they are an MLB best 35-13 on the trot! As we are back for the second half of the season we found great betting value in Pirates-Brewers Friday night series opener.

Pittsburgh Pirates (Morton) at Milwaukee Brewers (Fiers) (-120) 8:10 ET
The Pittsburgh Pirates visit the Milwaukee Brewers for the first of this 3-game weekend set to begin the 2nd half of the season. This concept is really quite simple … we are playing the Pittsburgh Pirates as a BERD (better record dog) against an also ran Milwaukee team. It is not often in the 2nd half of the season, that you will find a team whose record is 16 games superior to their opponent in the role of an underdog. That is especially true, when we are looking at our PLAY ON team as being quite motivated despite having the best record in baseball over the previous 48 games, and our PLAY AGAINST team having the worst home record in all of MLB.

In 2014, Milwaukee played .600 baseball through June to put themselves in contention for a rare playoff spot. They faded in the 2nd half of the season, which resulted in 82 victories, but no playoff berth. This season, they confirmed their demise with an 18-36 start.  Though they have gone 20-16 since, the 38-52 mark is the 3rd worst in MLB. Most disappointing is a 16-28 home record, which is the WORST IN MLB.  Fiers has shown occasional brilliance for the Brewers.  But, he comes off a 6 IP stint in which he allowed 4 runs to Atlanta in his most recent outing.  More disturbing is a record of 2-4 with a 6.12 ERA vs. the Pirates in 8 games.  It’s hard to believe that the Brewers and Fiers have been installed as a home favorite against a surging Pirates team.    

In mid-May, the Pirates stood 18-22, one of the biggest underachievers in MLB. But, they flashed a BUY sign on our OPS Ratings chart, mostly based on their MLB best .645 pitching OPS.  The result has been lightening in a bottle for Buc backers. The Pirates, behind a red-hot McCutcheon, have gone 35-13 (MLB best) since the nadir of their discontent, including a recent run of 13-3 and a 3-game weekend sweep of St. Louis to pull within 2 ½ games of the Cards for the NL Central lead.  But, that position leaves them hungry in this series. Earlier this year, Morton worked 7 1/3 IP, allowing just 3 hits in a 2-0 victory over Milwaukee. Although his current form leaves much to be desired, he is a viable option at the bottom of the Pirates’ rotation.

The Pirates are 16 games better than Milwaukee and in no way deserve this underdog status. Must back them in this role against the worst home team in MLB!

MLB Pick: Take Pittsburgh Pirates at 5Dimes

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