We go to the west coast for our baseball profit in our MLB Free Pick for April 19th. Pittsburgh (7-6) had an off day for Monday and prepares for a gauntlet starting in San Diego(4-9). The Pirates are starting out a string of 16 straight days with a game. What are the real world ramifications of this entering tonight’s action. Did our linesmaker take this into account at posting a road ML for Pitt near the -140 level. Did he just look at them starting Liriano and decided it was a closed case against the Padres?
MLB Free Pick : Hamstring Concern
Truth be told, the oddsmakers dinged the Pirates over the status of Liriano. Yes he will be pitching tonight but he missed a scheduled start against Detroit last week. The reason was a hamstring that felt a little too tight. Rest seemed to do the trick as the bullpen session on Saturday had no problems. However, this is a real game situation so flair ups are more likely here. Good news is that since he became a Pirate, he has owned San Diego. Padres offense exploded at Coors Field but has fizzled everywhere else. So when looking at Liriano against SD, his 41k’s in 31 innings with a sub two ERA really stands out here.
Can Colin(0-1) outduel Pittsburgh here? Two outings in which the first one he got swatted all over the field. Less than four innings with five runs allowed will not win many games. He did tame the Phillies and held them to two runs but still San Diego lost that game by only scoring once. The odds for this one are narrow in the difference between ML and RL. The – 1 1/2 on the road Pirates gets only +115 where the ML is near -140’s. Is this small gap worth the risk of spotting that run and a half?
Only real concern here is the penchant for the Pirates for stranding runners on base. Close to 120 leads the MLB in this dubious honor. Their team avg of .295 is excellent. On base of .385 translates to them getting more than their fair share of walks. Pivotal factor is the self destructive nature of San Diego. We generally avoid wagering ML favorites in April. If we invest in the favorite then we go RL for that extra boost to the bankroll. This is what we do here. Our MLB Free Pick is the Pirates – 1 1/2 tonight. Good fortune and we will see you tomorrow here at the HRW.