Chicago @ Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh +115 over Chicago

Posted at 10:45 AM EST. Odds subject to change.

Pinnacle +113  BET365 +115 Sportsinteraction +110 888Sport +110

Pittsburgh +100 over Chicago

1:35 PM EST. Yesterday we played Pittsburgh, citing it as a straight fade against Chicago’s lucky starter, Javier Assad (RHP - CHC). As it turns out, Assad was scratched and is scheduled to go today so yesterday’s analysis of him is back in play. Here it is:

Assad’s 3.13 ERA is probably MLB’s most misleading surface stat. Since joining the rotation in August, Javier Assad is recording a horrible 6.7% K-BB% while benefiting from some incredible luck (212 BABIP and 87.6% left on base rate). Dude has struck out 53 batters in 72 frames while walking 30. His xERA is 5,47. His surface ERA doesn’t come with support from any of his skills. Without prospect pedigree on his side, odds are against this small-sample surface success carrying on much longer.

Meanwhile, Bailey Falter (LHP - PIT) is 1-7 with a 4.53 ERA while Assad’s ERA is 3.13. Despite that, Chicago is just a -120 favorite (at open). Chicago was -145 yesterday when Assad was the listed pitcher, thus if we read into the price here, oddsmakers either hate Assad or really like Falter. Either way, it’s telling. Falter struggled early in the year and was ultimately sent down to the minors where he pitched 47 innings from May to August. He returned from AAA in the 2nd half and has been so much better with pitch mix changes (increased four-seam fastball/curve usage at expense of sinker/slider) that has led to more missed bats. Falter has started three games since his recall and has been very good with a BB/K split of 6/18 over 19 innings to go along with a fine ERA/xERA split of 3.26/3.71. Throw in a strong groundball rate of 51% and we find a sneaky good play here on Falter and the Pirates.

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Our Pick

Pittsburgh +115 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.30)

Washington +134 over Seattle
Texas +143 over Minnesota
L.A. Angels +100 over Cleveland
San Diego +100 over N.Y. Yankees