Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:30 PM EST.
7:10 PM EST. We’re not going to discuss Steven Brualt (LHP - PIT) because it matters not, as Pittsburgh’s starter here has only made five starts and has walked 15 over his past 16 innings. We’ll live with whatever Brault and the Pirates pen delivers because this wager has nothing to do with getting behind either. This is a straight bet on the superior Pirates to beat the inferior Marlins.
You see, if we can bet Pittsburgh as a pooch in both Milwaukee and Atlanta, damn straight we can back them against this host. The Pirates losing streak has hit seven games and as a result, their stock is low and sinking fast but let us remind you that Pittsburgh’s offense is on fire. The Pirates have scored 46 times over their past nine games with an off the charts OPS of .875 over that span. If not for a battered bullpen, the Pirates could easily be 6-1 over that aforementioned seven-game losing streak because they had the lead in all games but one over that stretch and they now get a crack at Trevor Richards (RHP - MIA).
Richards may have a 1.74 ERA over his last five games, but he can credit much of that to a low 21% hit rate and high 88% strand rate. His xERA during that time is 4.58. Richards has posted some impressive, and pretty surprising, strikeout numbers during his first 170 innings in the big leagues between last year and this year. His change-up is a truly excellent pitch, and should continue to generate plenty of whiffs or close to a strikeout per inning. However, Richards lacks an effective second pitch, and his fastball is awful, and without further improvements, it will be difficult to take a significant step forward. In other words, regression is on the way and he’s not the type of pitcher to be playing when his stock is high. He’s simply an average pitcher with good results but the league, as it always does, will catch up to him.
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Pittsburgh +107 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.14)