After a Thursday split, MLB handicapper Dalton Brown is back with two more plays Friday night looking to end June on a high note.
7:05 p.m. ET: Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates: Pirates First 5 Innings +0.5 (+105) at Bet365
Don't look now, but the Pirates seem to have regained some momentum after this week's sweep of San Diego at PNC Park. Friday, Pittsburgh opens a series with the Milwaukee Brewers, and I think it'll keep that momentum going early in a matchup of starting pitchers that is more advantageous for Pittsburgh than meets the eye.
Freddy Peralta (5-7, 4.65 ERA) starts for Milwaukee in the midst of a sub-par season across the board. He holds an ERA of 4.67 in June, pitched to a 5.61 mark in May, and hasn't won a decision since May 21. Pittsburgh also just saw Peralta two starts ago, and while they only managed two earned runs against him, that recent feedback normally works to an offense's advantage. This time, the Pirates get their shot at Peralta in Pittsburgh, too - for the season, the righty has struggled to a 5.94 ERA away from Milwaukee.
Osvaldo Bido will make his fourth career start for the Pirates, and the rookie has looked pretty solid to date. Bido's 3.45 ERA is more than respectable, as is his 18/5 strikeout-to-walk ratio - and with baseball's worst offense against righties since May 15 coming to town (wRC+ of 72 for the Brew Crew), I'm expecting the rookie to compete effectively here.
I am struggling to find a compelling reason why Pittsburgh should be underdogs here, and wouldn't blame you if you took the first-five moneyline at upwards of plus-130. Let's stay away from a full-game bet, though, as the Pirates rode closer David Bednar for more than an inning on Thursday.
8:10 p.m. ET: Detroit Tigers at Colorado Rockies: Tigers First 5 Innings moneyline (-115)
This price is about as cheap as you'll ever get against Austin Gomber in the first five innings of a game, and I am more than comfortable playing it with Detroit. The Tigers head to Coors Field Friday night to begin an interleague series after an early game Thursday, while Colorado waited out a two-hour hail delay before getting pounded into submission by the Dodgers later that night. Friday, I think the parade of runs against Rockies pitching continues with haste.
Where do I even begin with Austin Gomber? The lefty has surrendered a ridiculous 7.01 ERA this season that is backed up by an xERA of 6.89, and he's at 7.04 for the month of June. He's nothing if not consistently one of baseball's worst starting pitchers, and it doesn't help that he pitches at Coors Field or that the Tigers are in their preferred split against left-handed pitching.
Michael Lorenzen will pitch for Detroit, a middling righty in his own right - but Lorenzen has shown this season that he is more than serviceable against a terrible offense like Colorado. The righty has surrendered two or fewer runs in seven of his last 10 starts, but two of those three exceptions came against elite offenses in Arizona and Atlanta. He's feasted on the dregs of the American League when given the opportunity, and I think he'll do okay - even at Coors Field - against Colorado's lineup. I'm envisioning something like 6-3 Tigers after five innings, so let's not bother involving the bullpens when we can target Austin Gomber this directly.