Indians vs. Pirates Odds & Pick: Value on Cleveland First 5
Joe Sargant/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyler Naquin, left, and Delino DeShields of the Indians collide during a play.
Indians vs. Pirates Odds
|Indians Odds||-215 [BET NOW]|
|Reds Odds||+175 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||9 (-121/+100) [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||7:05 p.m. ET|
Since the Major League Baseball restart, the Pittsburgh Pirates have already faced two series postponements due to COVID-19 outbreak.
In their first game back, the Pirates used the added rest to their advantage and plated nine runs in the first two innings, en route to a 9-6 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
The Pirates followed that game by repeating the same feat of scoring again in the first inning. However, they failed to hold the lead and eventually suffered a 6-3 defeat against the Cleveland Innings in 10 innings.
Perhaps, the Pirates are who we thought they were all along and not among the strongest franchises in baseball. Pittsburgh is 4-15 on the season, but more importantly minus-9.2 units in the wallet and that’s really where it all counts.
That said, Pittsburgh is a fade team all the way and tonight’s game shouldn’t be any different.
The Pirates will hand the ball to left-hander Steven Brault on Wednesday. Brault, who was not guaranteed a spot as a starter, has already made three starts this season due to injuries in the Pirates rotation.
Brault is 0-0 with a 5.14 ERA and 6.35 SIERA. In four appearances, he’s pitched a total of seven innings, yet already walked six batters. Last season, Brault averaged 4.21 walks per nine innings.
So, if you go by his track record, I’d go as far to say that the Pirates view Brault as more as a reliever than a starter. How else would you explain why he’s been given such limited innings?
I’d look to expect more of the same tonight: limited innings for the pitcher early on, followed by a heavy dose of the Pirates bullpen the rest of the way.
The Indians will counter with right-hander Aaron Civale, who is 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA. Civiale has already produced quality starts in three of his four appearances this season and he’ll carry a 2.98 FIP and 3.23 xFIP into tonight’s game.
It’s hard not to be impressed with Civale’s numbers overall. He’s walking just 1.08 batters and striking out 9.36 hitters every nine innings.
The opposition also has a tough time knowing what’s coming when facing him.
Per Baseball Savant data, Civale throws six different pitches: a cutter (29.1 percent), sinker (27.8%), slider (15.5%), curveball (15.3%), changeup (8%) and a four-seam fastball (4.3%). What’s even more maddening for hitters is that outside his fastball, he can throw any of his pitches as a put-away pitch late in the count.
I’d only look to back the favorite in this matchup. Civale really is a quality pitcher and I think he’s going to have Pirates hitters walking back to the dugout shaking their heads.
Cleveland opened up around -162 and to back them at the current price, you’re going to need to lay close to 2 to 1 odds.
That’s a little rich for my blood, so I’ll try to get creative with my action and look for something more reasonable, specifically Cleveland in the first five innings.
FanDuel is offering an Indians money-line price for the first five innings at -156. That’s more agreeable with my wallet and if the game is still tied after five innings, then my action will be graded as a push. I’ve got no problem taking a shot here with a hot team and the better pitcher.
Give me the Indians to move their winning streak to five-in-a-row down in The Steel City.
The PICK: Cleveland First Five Innings ML -160 (Play up to -170)