Free MLB Picks and Parlays – Saturday, August 25th, 2018

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The Pirates' Jameson Taillon has been quitely effective for the Pirates for the last three seasons

Welcome back to the LazyBets Free MLB Picks column for Saturday, August 25th.  Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas didn’t pitch as well as we hoped, but he did hit a 2-run homer in St. Louis’ 7-5 win over Colorado on Friday, which gave us the win on the moneyline after Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela got trounced for all seven earned in 4 ⅓ innings.

We’re back to 16 games above .500 for the year (82-66), and we’re feeling a run coming on to get back to our heights from earlier in the season.

We’ve got some rock solid value for you on Saturday, as there’s a sneakily large pitching mismatch where you can wager on the better starter at an underdog price.  The game we’ll be focusing on is between two NL Central teams coming off of a 15 inning affair, so with the bullpens taxed, the starters will be especially important.

Pittsburgh Pirates (Taillon) at Milwaukee Brewers (Chacin)

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BetOnline*Pirates +12050% on $1000
MyBookiePirates +11550% on $1000
BovadaPirates +11550% on $250

Game Time: 7:10 PM EST

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Run Line: Pirates +1.5 (-175)

Moneyline: Pirates +120

Bet the Pirates +120

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Pirates Brewers Pick

Saturday will mark the 5th time this season we’ve bet against Milwaukee in Jhoulys Chacin’s starts.  To put it simply, he’s been outperforming his actual talent this season. While the oddsmakers are treating Chacin like an improved pitcher, we’re going to trust that the 30 year old will regress to the mean, and we’re going to take advantage of that extra value while we can.

Chacin has the 7th lowest BABIP amongst qualified starters, despite allowing a well above-average hard-contact rate.   These stats don’t jibe - hard contact should result in a higher BABIP, unless you’re getting lucky like Chacin has.

His walk rate, homer rate, and left-on-base percentage are all projected to regress.   If they do, and baseballs start falling in play at the expected rate, Chacin’s 3.58 ERA will start to increase rapidly.

Pirates starter Jameson Taillon has been a solid #2-level starter for three years now, but some bad luck in 2017 made him look much shakier than he actually was (4.44 ERA, 3.48 FIP).   His 9-9 record in 2018 is probably keeping him off of some radars this year as well, but he’s a very capable starter that prevents walks and homers at a very solid rate.

The offensive matchup is a close one, as the wRC+ leaderboard suggests - the Pirates and Brewers clock in at 17th and 18th, respectively.  We’ll concede that the Brewers are probably a bit better at the moment, due to some good deadline additions in Mike Moustakas and Jonathan Schoop.  However, we think their lineup has been overrated all season, due to the hot start from typically average hitters in Jesus Aguilar and Travis Shaw.

Pittsburgh catcher Francisco Cervelli has quietly been an offensive beast this season (.258/.391/.456), and despite hitting from the right side, he’s been hitting better against right-handed pitchers (like Chacin) than he has against lefties.   Cervelli, along with lefty batters Gregory Polanco and Corey Dickerson, should be able to carry the offensive load on Saturday.

Even if you believe Milwaukee’s offense is slightly better, Pittsburgh’s advantage in the starting pitching matchup is so vast that the +120 odds on the Pirates (at BetOnline, our number one rated sportsbook) are an absolute steal.  We’re banking on Chacin taking a turn for the worse any time soon here - let’s hope it starts on Saturday.

That’ll do it for the MLB today, be sure to check out all of our great football preview articles and go bet some futures with  us.

Don’t forget to consult our top sportsbooks list if you’re looking to hop on a new site and take advantage of a deposit bonus.

Good luck out there, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Bet the Pirates +120

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