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Brewers at Pirates Pick MLB – August 29th

It’s a fairly light day in MLB today, with most teams traveling or enjoying a day off today.  However, there are a few evening games and one in particular that I have my eye on.

So let’s take a look at an NL Central matchup between one of the most promising young arms in MLB facing off against a pitcher who might have worn that same title just five short years ago.

Today’s Free Pick:

Milwaukee Brewers +156  at Pittsburgh Pirates -165 (Total: 7.5)

Yovani Gallardo (9-9, 4.61 ERA) vs. Garrit Cole (6-6, 3.81 ERA)

The Pirates gained a much-needed game in the standings with their big win over the Brewers and the Cardinals Adam Wainwright turning in literally the worst start in his career, allowing nine runs in less than two innings en route to a blowout loss to the Reds.  With the interesting events of last night, the Pirates enter tonight with an opportunity to move back into a first place tie before their series (perhaps the biggest Pirate series in 20 years?) with the visiting Cardinals begins tomorrow.

But first things first.  The Pirates are going to need a good start from young hurler Gerrit Cole tonight facing off against Yovani Gallardo.  Cole has been good this season, but is still “throwing hard” as much as he is “pitching.”  Once he learns to command all his pitches and get a little finer within the strike zone, he could very well be an All-Star.  But for right now, hitters seem to be getting a handle on Cole and his fastball.  In his last three starts he has a 4.24 ERA and a WHIP of 1.41.

Meanwhile, Gallardo has been quietly good of late.  In his last three outings he has an ERA of just 2.65 and more importantly, the Brewers are 3-0 in those games.  I think they pose an interesting underdog value wager opportunity tonight with him on the bump.  In his career, the Brewers are 14-3 against Pittsburgh in games he has started.  That’s a pretty impressive clip.  Granted, many of those starts included Ryan Braun an Prince Fielder, but it is still a pretty impressive mark.

I have been very keen on wagering run totals lately, but tonight’s mark of 7.5 feels about right.  Milwaukee has gone OVER in eight of their last nine games, but in this head to head matchup this year, the run totals have been all over the place.  In the last seven games the totals have been: 8, 13, 3, 3, 13, 9, 7, 3. That’s all over the place – WAY over and WAY under in random succession.  I’m going to avoid the total play tonight, but am going to take a nice flyer at a great value with Gallardo and the Brewers at +156.

Free Pick:  Milwaukee Brewers to WIN +156