Under Is The MLB Pick In A’s vs. Brewers As Pitchers Heating Up

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 4:00 PM GMT

In a matchup of two pitchers that are heating up and seem poised to keep going forward, the ‘under’ is the MLB pick when the Athletics visit the Brewers in interleague play.  

 

Two young pitchers in good current form combined with facing unfamiliar interleague lineups sounds like a great recipe for an ‘under’ Tuesday night when southpaw Sean Manaea and the Oakland Athletics (25-32, 12-16 away) pay a visit to right-hander Zach Davies and the Milwaukee Brewers (26-31, 15-15 home) for the first game of a brief two-game series from Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI at 8:10 ET in a game available on Comcast SportsNet - California.

The posted total at Heritage Sports is 9 for this contest with the current MLB Odds on the ‘under’ set at -110.

 

Neither Team Going Anywhere
Neither of these teams is competing for a post-season berth this year, but then again, neither was expected to. The Athletics had the longest Future odds of any American League team to win the World Series before the year due in large part to having the lowest projected offensive WAR in the league, and that prediction seems accurate with Oakland currently in last place in the American League West and 23rd in the majors in scoring at 3.98 runs per game.

The Brewers are not quite a last-place team in the National League Central thanks to being in the same division as the pathetic Cincinnati Reds, but Milwaukee is still a seemingly insurmountable 14½ games behind the first place Chicago Cubs while in fourth place after being the losing MLB pick to the Phillies in Philadelphia 8-1 on Sunday before having yesterday off.


 

Manaea Starting to Live Up to Press Clippings
One good thing about being buried in the standings though is that it gives teams a chance to take a look at their young talent at the Major League level. Manaea fits the bill as the 24-year-old was the highest rated pitching prospect in the Oakland system when he was called up for his big league debut on April 29th. Unfortunately he was hit hard in his first three starts, but the youngster is now flashing why he was so highly regarded.

Sure, Manaea still has a 6.16 ERA and 1.53 WHIP because of those first three Major League outings, but he now has three Quality Starts in his last four starts and he may be coming off of his best outing yet, as he limited the Minnesota Twins to just one run and five hits with eight strikeouts in six innings last Wednesday. Yes, that was vs. a struggling team but he is now facing a Milwaukee lineup batting just .230 vs. southpaws overall this year.

It also speaks to the character of Manaea that he was able to quickly bounce back from his rough start instead of getting disheartened, especially with his nice streak beginning immediately after allowing eight earned runs on 10 hits in just 2.2 innings vs. the Red Sox at Fenway Park, and his improvement should only accelerate once his rather robust .331 BABIP allowed begins to stabilize.

 

Davies Coming Into His Own Too
However, Manaea is not the only encouraging youngster pitching here as the 23-year-old Davies has already pitched a bit better at the Major League level. Sure that may not be obvious from the 3-3 record, 4.53 ERA and 1.31 WHIP, but Davies has allowed two earned runs or less in five of his last six starts and he too is coming off of his best start yet, tossing eight scoreless innings allowing just three hits vs. the St. Louis Cardinals for Milwaukee’s only win that series!

Davies actually got his first taste of the majors in September of last season when he performed commendably as a 22-year-old going 3-2 with a nice 3.71 ERA in six starts for a bad Brewers team. One negative last year was his 3.97 walks per nine innings in those six starts, but he has slashed that figure nicely to 2.72 walks through nine starts this season, which is a nice sign of maturity.

And of course, one advantage that each of these rookies shares tonight is facing their respective opponent for the first time ever, which is usually to the pitcher’s advantage.

 

Trending the ‘under’
Finally, the ‘under’ is 6-1 in the Athletics’ last seven games vs. the National League Central and 4-0 in Manaea’s last four starts overall. The ‘under’ is also 4-1-1 in the Brewers’ last six games vs. left-handed starters and 7-3-1 in their last 11 games following a loss.

Since we are quite high on both of these young starting pitchers, look for those trends to continue and go ‘under’ the total in your MLB Picks when Oakland visits Milwaukee for the series opener on Tuesday.

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MLB Pick: Brewers Under 9 -110
Best Line Offered:  at Heritage
MLB Record: 35-31-1, +7.40