No team in baseball is hotter than the crew from Milwaukee. The Brewers have won eight straight ball games and sit as firmly atop the NL East as you can by April 13th. They’ll go for their third consecutive sweep on Sunday after breaking out the brooms against the defending champs in Boston and then in Philadelphia. Kyle Lohse opens as a favorite fetching -130 money against Charlie Morton. The total sits at 8.5 with slight juice on the under.
Charlie Morton isn’t a new pitcher. But Charlie Morton as an effective pitcher is still fairly fresh idea in baseball and the market place in general. Until last year, his lowest WHIP in a single season was 1.45 and he went 23-45 with the Pirates during that stretch. But Pittsburgh didn’t give up on the right-hander who was drafted 12 years ago in the Amateur Draft. Now 30, the 6’5″ 235 pound horse has proved to be pretty capable alongside encouraging durability. He can still run the fastball up into the mid-90’s, but now has off-speed stuff to get outs. Morton relies on a two-seam sinker and a curve that he throws for strikes to keep hitters honest with three average or better pitches. After two straight starts against the Cardinals that come together for pretty nice numbers, Morton will make his third start of the season against a Milwaukee lineup that’s been swinging the bats well. The Brewers are one of my “hot” teams that I ‘cap better than most. I’ve been high on their lineup, but I’m not ready to give it the type of respect that pushes this total up to 8.5 here. Milwaukee should score three against Pittsburgh tomorrow, it might score four and it could score anything else – more or less. The same can be said about the Pirate bats.
I also write often about games Kyle Lohse pitches in. I swear I know a few other pitchers out there. I just still see some market value for Lohse and I’ll probably keep hitting it until it vanishes. The guy throws strikes, has good stuff and knows how to pitch. In that way, he’s similar to Morton. And Morton may very well be in for a late-peaking career like Lohse has been enjoying. Neither offense is particularly good enough to expect nine runs in in as many innings tomorrow. The fear here is that the game eventually gets knotted up at 4 apiece. That would be a bummer. Otherwise, the under should be okay and is a go for tomorrow.
Free Pick: Under 8.5 (-115)
2014 YTD: 4-0 +4.00
milwaukee brewers • pittsburgh pirates