Pirates vs. Brewers Pick MLB – April 12th + Bonus Pick

What’s going on with fans this week??  First, a fan running out onto the field prompted one of the better and more eloquent rants I’ve heard from a calm, but vengeful and angry Adam Jones.  Now last night, some idiot grabs Curtis Granderson’s jersey.  It’s always annoying when the 0.01%; the morons, ruin things for the rest of us rational sports fans.  Don’t be surprised when increasing distances between fans and the game start coming… or if Adam Jones kicks you with metal spikes.

It was an awesome night for pitching, King Felix fanned 11 batters, David Price gave up just one run in 8.1 innings, and Andrew Cashner threw a one-hitter.  Will the awesome pitching continue today, or will offenses get some revenge?

We took a rough night with the Reds leaving bases loaded in the 9th en route to a 2-1 loss, and Jose Fernandez got surpringly roughed up in our first bad loss of the baseball season.  Let’s bounce back today and pluck out a pair of winners to start the weekend off right.

Today’s Free MLB Picks:

Chicago Cubs +205 at St. Louis Cardinals -220 (Total: 7)

Carlos Villanueva (1-2, 4.26 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (1-1, 1.29 ERA)

This is a more interesting matchup than the line suggests.  The Cubbies are swinging the bats well in their last five games, scoring 31 runs against the Pirates, Phillies and Cardinals and scoring at least four runs in every contest.  There is no doubt that Wainwright presents a more stringent challenge, but don’t be surprised if the Cubs put a few runs on the board tonight.

Meanwhile, Carlos Villanueva has a tall order in trying to shut down the yet-to-awaken Cardinal offense.  They are batting just .209 and averaging 3.2 runs per game so far in 2014, but I’ll lean back on the much larger sample size of their 2013 brilliance and bank on them waking up in a major way soon.  As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is today at home against an average starting pitcher and lousy bullpen.

There’s some value in any major league team at +205, but I’m not willing to take that risk today.  I like Wainwright at home.  But I’m not in love with him completely shutting down the Cubbies.  It all adds up to a nice OVER total today in St. Louie.

Free Pick:  Run TOTAL OVER 7

Pittsburgh Pirates +121 at Milwaukee Brewers -130 (Total: 8)

Edinson Volquez (0-0, 1.17 ERA) vs. Yovani Gallardo (2-0, 0.00 ERA)

Has Yovani Gallardo been alright so far this season?  Well, he’s 2-0 and no one has scored a run against him, so, yeah, that’s a pretty good start.  Meanwhile Edinson Volquez was picked up off the scrap heap by the Pirates and has done a good job so far this season.  I’m not sold he’s a consistent option that the Pirates can rely upon all season to replace A.J. Burnett.

The Brewers offense has been fantastic so far this season, averaging 5.0 runs per game.  Their pitching has been even better, allowing only 2.60 runs, making for the largest spread in the MLB this season.  That’s big reason why they are 8-2 and in first place.  The Pirates offense has gotten the job done as well, averaging 4.12 runs per game, but they have a tough matchup tonight with Gallardo, especially with McCutchen likely to miss tonight start with a sore ankle.

I’ll take the UNDER tonight.

Free Pick:  Run TOTAL UNDER 8

Chris Scheeren / Author