Baseball Betting Picks: Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates

Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates
PNC Park – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 7:05 pm Eastern, TV: MLB Net, FSN-Milwaukee, Root Pittsburgh
Opening Money Line: Milwaukee ( Y. Gallardo) -120 / Pittsburgh ( E. Volquez) +100
Current Money Line: Milwaukee -105 / Pittsburgh -105
Opening Total: under 7 -120 / over 7 +110
Current Total: over 6 1/2 -115 / under 6 1/2 -105
Opening Run Line: Pirates -1 1/2 -110 / Brewers +1 1/2 -110
Current run Line: Pirates -1 1/2 +190 / Brewers -1 1/2 +230

The Pirates look to get back on track after a 3-6 road trip. They return home to face the league's best Milwaukee Brewers Thursday.
The Pirates look to get back on track after a 3-6 road trip. They return home to face the league’s best Milwaukee Brewers Thursday.

Early in the 2014 MLB season, the Milwaukee Brewers have gotten off to the league’s best record at 11-4. Milwaukee opens up a 4 game series at the 7-8 Pittsburgh Pirates Thursday. The Brewers will start Yovani Gallardo tonight, while the Pirates will start Edinson Volquez Milwaukee is 6-0 on the road this season, the best road start in club history. The Pirates return home after a 3-6 road trip, including losing 5 of their last 6 games.

Yesterday, the Brewers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 in Milwaukee. The Cardinals had taken the first 2 games of the series. Prior to those games, Milwaukee had won 9 straight games. The Pirates lost at the Cincinnati Reds 4-0 yesterday afternoon.

Milwaukee is managed by Ron Roenicke. The Brewers are scoring 4.20 runs per game, and have a team ERA of 2.17 which leads the league. Milwaukee also leads the league in WHIP at 1.01. The Brewers are 10th in team strikeouts at 127 for the season. Milwaukee pitchers have 11 quality starts on the season. Milwaukee is batting .253 as a team which is #10 in the league. The Brewers have a team OPS of .705. Milwaukee has hit 13 combined home runs as a team. The Brewers are #8 in stolen bases with 11 for the season. The Brewers have 6 errors on the season.

Gallardo is 2-0 this season with an ERA of 0.96 in three starts. He has 13 strikeouts and a 1.07 WHIP. Gallardo got his first no decision of the year last Saturday also against the Pirates but in Milwaukee. He went 6 innings and gave up 6 hits and the first two earned runs of the season. He had 6 strikeouts and a walk on 96 pitches. Milwaukee would go on to win that game 3-2 in the middle game of a three game sweep. Gallardo is 4-1 in his career at PNC Park with an ERA of 0.59.

Closer Francisco Rodriguez has 4 saves in 7 appearances this season. He has yet to give up an earned run in 7 innings. Rodriguez has 12 strikeouts and a walk on the season and has a WHIP of 0.57. Relief pitcher Miguel De Los Santos is out indefinitely for personal reasons. Relievers Brandon Kintzler and Tom Gorzelanny are both on the 15 day DL with shoulder injuries.

Third baseman Aramis Ramirez is hitting .377 for the season with 23 hits, 2 home runs, 2 doubles, 13 RBI’s, 8 strikeouts, 2 walks and a stolen base. Outfielder Carlos Gomez is batting .328 with 20 hits, 4 home runs, 4 doubles, a triple, 10 RBI’s, 19 strikeouts, 6 walks, and a stolen base. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy is hitting .302 with 16 hits, 6 doubles, a home run, 4 RBI’s, 8 strikeouts, 6 walks, and a slolen base. Outfielder Ryan Braun is batting .269 with 14 hits, 3 home runs, a double, a triple, 10 RBI’s, 12 strikeouts, 2 walks and 2 stolen bases. He has missed the last 2 games with a thumb injury and is questionable today. First baseman Lyle Overbay will miss the game today because of the birth of his child. He should return sometime this weekend.

Pittsburgh is managed by Clint Hurdle. The Pirates are scoring 3.80 runs per game and have a team ERA of 3.74. Pittsburgh pitchers have a combined WHIP of 1.26 with 122 strikeouts and 8 quality starts. The Pirates have a team batting average of .223 with an OPS of .675. Pittsburgh is fourth in MLB in home runs with 19 on the season. The Pirates have stolen 9 bases this season. Defensively Pittsburgh has 11 errors as a team.

Pittsburgh starter Edinson Volquez has only given up 2 earned runs in 3 starts but has yet to have a decision. He is 0-0 with an ERA of 1.29. He has a WHIP of 0.79 with 10 strikeouts and 3 walks. His last start also came against Gallardo and the Brewers last Saturday. He went 6.1 innings with 4 hits allowed, an unearned run, an earned run, 4 strikeouts and 2 walks on 93 pitches.

Closer Jason Grilli has 4 saves in six appearances. He has allowed 1 earned run in 6 innings. He has an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of 1.33. Grilli has 5 strikeouts and 4 walks this season. Tony Watson and Mark Melancon are the set-up men with a combined 8 holds.

Centerfielder Andrew McCutchen is batting .268 with an OBP of .391. He has 15 hits, 4 doubles, a triple, 5 RBI’s, 13 strikeouts, 12 walks, and 3 stolen bases. Second baseman Neil Walker is hitting .259 with 15 hits, 2 doubles, 5 home runs, 9 RBI’s, 7 strikeouts and 2 walks per game. Third baseman Pedro Alvarez has 5 home runs and 10 RBI’s with 9 hits.

Miilwaukee is 7-0 in road games against right handed starters, 6-0 after scoring 5 or more runs in the previous games, 5-0 as an underdog, and against a starter with a WHIP of less than 1.15, 4-0 as a road underdog, 10-1 in road games, 8-1 in road games against teams with losing records, 6-1 in the first game of  a series, and after allowing 2 runs or less in the previous game, 10-2 overall and on grass, 11-3 against right handers, and against teams with losing records, 16-5 after a win, 6-2 when the opponent scores 2 runs or less, 5-2 against National League Central teams, 12-32 in Thursday games. The Brewers have gone 67-29 recently against the Pirates, but have gone 2-7 in their last 9 trips to Pittsburgh. The Brewers have gone 16-4 in Gallardo’s last 20 starts against the Pirates, including 4-1 in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh is 4-1 in series openers, 43-18 after scoring 2 runs or less, 37-16 at after road trips of 7 games or more, 9-4 after a loss, 42-20 as a home favorite, 1-5 against Central Division teams, against a starter with a WHIP of less than 1.15, overall and on grass, and 1-6 against a right handed starter. The under is 6-1 in the last 7 games in this series and 10-4-1 in the last 15 in Pittsburgh between the Brewers and Pirates.

Milwaukee has been great on the road early in this season. Last year, Pittsburgh made the playoffs for the first time since 1991, but the Pirates have gotten off to a slow start. This should be a low scoring game as Gallardo and Volquez have been lights out this season. Volquez has been a little unlucky as he hasn’t gotten much run support in his starts. I think Milwaukee wins today.

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