First pitch: 2:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Joe Musgrove (0-2, 4.76 ERA) vs. Jose Berrios (0-1, 7.00 ERA)
Pittsburgh Pirates vs Minnesota Twins Predictions
When he’s in rhythm, Berrios has proven he’s one of the best pitchers in the league. Hence why the Minnesota ace was named an All-Star in each of the last two years.
True, Berrios carries a far-from-desirable ERA through his first two starts. But that was mostly the result of a rare poor outing he had in Chicago in the season opener.
When he toed the rubber at home for his most recent assignment, it was Berrios back in usual form that we’ve grown so accustomed to seeing. Though he only went five innings, the 26-year-old still engineered a solid performance from which he can build on. With this momentum, I feel there’s a good spot here to lean on Berrios against a club that is not scoring a lot of runs (3.4 per game) and currently ranks dead last in baseball with a putrid .187 team batting average.
The first two starts for Berrios also illustrated a very glaring tendency throughout his five-year career, in that Berrios has fared notably better at home (3.60 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) compared to on the road (4.89 ERA, 1.38 WHIP). Fortunately, he’s working from Target Field in this one.
Representing the other side of the diamond will be Musgrove, facing his third straight opening day pitcher to begin the campaign. As highlighted going into his last start when we had the under, I really like the direction Musgrove is going in as a starting pitcher and enlisting him to at least keep up with a resurgent Berrios today seems like a pretty nice proposition.
While he doesn’t sport the most encouraging daytime splits (career 5.91 ERA during the afternoon), I’m still willing to back Musgrove as he continues his ascension. He looked just fine in his two outings, even registering a very healthy 15 strikeouts in 11.1 total innings of work. Doing the same thing he did in the first couple of starts figures to do the job here.
MLB Picks & Leans August 4
NYM/WAS Under 9
2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 3-6-2, -3.66 units
Yesterday’s Result: Phillies-Yankees Under 9 (Push)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit