Brewers vs. Pirates Pick MLB – July 20th

The miserable bullpens of the Reds and Braves did their usual worst, and they did it just well enough to squeeze out a late push on my run total pick last night.  It probably wasn’t a game you watched (unless perhaps you have friends or family on the team) but it was a pretty entertaining baseball game that was made FAR more entertaining by the fact I was holding on until the end pulling for a few more runs to cross the plate.

Elsewhere in the Senior Circuit, the Cubs lost a third straight start by Jake Arrieta for the first time, though it is hard to blame yesterday on Jake.  Arrieta was excellent, allowing just one run in seven innings and striking out eight batters against just one walk in the process.  However, Syndergaard and the Mets bullpen matched them all the way and a ninth inning run for the Mets secured the 2-1 victory.  The rubber game of the NLCS rematch is this afternoon on ESPN.

It’s getaway day today, so the majority of the action are afternoon games.  Let’s see if we can also get away with a winner tonight.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates

Chase Anderson (4-10, 5.44 ERA) vs. Jeff Locke (8-5, 5.26 ERA)

The Pirates won last night in dramatic walkoff fashion, and the tables could be set for another wild game tonight.  Both starting pitchers have ERA’s over five and both offenses have been effective lately.  So will the batter reign supreme this evening at PNC?

That’s where my money is going.  Jeff Locke has been a little more tricky to figure out.  He has had some terrible outings, but he has also had some really good ones.  In his last seven starts he has allowed 11 runs and seven and five.  He has also allowed no runs twice and just one run once.  It is fair to note that his 11 run outing WAS at Coors Field over a month ago.  It is probably reasonable to expect he is at least decent tonight at home.

Meanwhile, Chase Anderson has ten losses already and has left before the sixth inning began in his last five starts, in which has allowed a massive 21 runs to score.  That is a HUGE edge for the Pirates tonight, despite the fact Locke’s overall numbers look very similar.  Anderson has been consistently struggling while Locke has been more a mixed bag.

I like the OVER 9 tonight, but do recognize the possibility of a good home start from Locke putting some real strain on the Pirate offense to have to get a majority of the runs.  The better play tonight is on the Pirates winning the game.  The value at -150 isn’t terrible, but I’m going to reach for some extra value on the runline tonight at a nice +135.

Free Pick:  Pittsburgh Pirates to WIN RUNLINE -1.5 (+135)