A late run didn’t hurt yesterday’s under play in Milwaukee after correctly getting the hook to earn another win. Today, we’re going right back to that well in Milwaukee, as the Pirates and Brewers continue their series that should be pretty low scoring the entire way though. After a resurgent season that earned him National League Comeback Player of the Year honors last year, Francisco Liriano is off to a rocky start in 2014. He goes for Pittsburgh tonight against Wily Peralta. The Crew is a -120 favorite with the total sitting pretty safely at 7.5.
There’s a large gap in uncertainty between both these starting pitchers tonight. One on side, Wily Peralta appears to be a pretty safe bet to go six and allow three or less. Against the Pirates, there’s a pretty good chance he goes seven and allows two or less. Peralta has been awesome this season – going at least six innings in his last six outings and not having given up more than three earned runs all season. His 2.17 ERA and 1.14 WHIP have him in the top 10 and top 20 in the NL, respectively. And he’s been doing this all with primarily a fastball. I liken him to Marco Estrada from yesterday because he’ll simply force Pittsburgh to string together hits against above average pitching. And I’ll always push my chips on the pitcher when that’s the case.
Alternatively, Francisco Liriano has struggled to get anything going this year. He threw very well his first time out this season, blanking the Cubs with 10 K’s. But Liriano has allowed either three or four runs in every other start, aside from one against St. Louis when he went just two innings and left the game early. He’s allowing more hits and walking a lot more batters than last year, but he’s not allowing a lot more hits. The walks are certainly an issue, though. What’s good news for Liriano is that Milwaukee ranks 27th in baseball as a team in walks. And the free-swinging Brewers might be just what Liriano needs to get going. Again, with Aramis Ramirez out, that Milwaukee lineup looks a lot thinner and may be in for a long night against Liriano’s slider. A little bit of fear depending on the lefty on the road, but I’ll put some stock into the 2013 ace to get through six strong here and hand it over to the ‘pen.
Free Pick: Under 7.5 (-110)
2014 YTD: 14-6 +6.74