Elias Diaz, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Joe Musgrove
Betting odds: Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers
- Pirates Moneyline: +120 (Joe Musgrove)
- Brewers Moneyline: -130 (Wade Miley)
- Over/Under: 8.5 (o-115/u-105)
- First pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
>> All odds as of 11:30 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets
Another day, another contrarian play. That’s where it seems like things are at this point in the season.
Perhaps because the Pirates were just swept in Atlanta, or because they’re now two games under .500 after a not-so-great August, whatever the case may be, people really don’t want the Pirates tonight.
Per SportsInsights, 79% of the early ML tickets and 89% of the money is on Milwaukee.
So naturally, when I fired up the First-5-innings model and threw in some lineup possibilities, I got projections that went against everyone.
Why would there possibly be value on Pittsburgh? Well, for the most part, it can be traced to waiting for Wade Miley to finally regress.
The Brewers lefty starter has some pretty absurd splits so far this season, with an xFIP more than twice his ERA (generally predictive that negative regression is coming), as well as a BABIP well below average.
It’s quite possible that when Miley pitches to contact, he’s getting all the fortunate bounces in the world, and escaping trouble at every turn. Those types of situations are doomed to fail more often than not over the long term.
Meanwhile, for Pittsburgh, Joe Musgrove has become very reliable, especially in the second half of the season.
Post All-Star break, he’s allowed just 8 ER in 34 innings with a .208 BAA.
Musgrove was acquired as part of the Gerrit Cole trade before the season, and he’s a part of a young Pirates staff, featuring Trevor Williams and Jameson Taillon, that should give Pittsburgh fans a ton of optimism going forward.
He’s facing a Brewers lineup that’s been hitting very well of late (perhaps why early money has been on Milwaukee), but also keep in mind Milwaukee just finished three games against Cincinnati.
The Reds will make your splits jump up like very few other opponents.
I think the Pirates have the starting-pitching advantage, and it isn’t quite being represented effectively by the market.