MLB Betting Preview: CLE Indians @ PIT Pirates (8/19/20)

In the midst of a slow start and several COVID-19-based postponements, the woeful 4-15 Pittsburgh Pirates will look to right the ship against the Indians. After winning the opening game 6-3 to extend their win streak to 4, however, the Indians won’t be easy to beat.

With that said, let’s take a look at the best value MLB picks present within this matchup.

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Shane Bieber

Cleveland Indians at Pittsburgh Pirates

PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA – 7:05 PM ET

Game Info/Starting Pitchers:

CLE: Aaron Civale – R (Last Season: 2.34 ERA, 3.40 FIP, 1.5 WAR, 57.2 IP)
PIT: Steven Brault – L (Last Season: 5.16 ERA, 4.76 FIP, 1.1 WAR, 113.1 IP)

Odds & Betting lines (DraftKings)

Total: 9 | Over: -106 | Under: -115
CLE | Moneyline: -180 | Run Line (-1.5): -109
PIT | Moneyline: +175 | Run Line (+1.5): -109

Game Notes

Miss the Memo?

As mentioned in today’s Brewers-Twins Preview, league offense is finally picking up in a big way. When it comes to these two clubs, however, it seems that message was lost in transit.

Thus far, the Indians and Pirates are a dreadful 27th and 30th in wRC+, respectively. While their results are somewhat better over the past two weeks, both remain below-average lineups.

Less than Meets the Eye

Although both of today’s starters produced decent WAR totals in 2019, there’s reason to expect less this year. Primarily, this is due to the fact that both over-performed their 2019 SIERA, with neither posting one better than 4.74.

Civale is still the better pitcher between the two, but it’s not as dominant of an advantage as most assume.

Betting Picks

PIT Moneyline +175

All else equal, the Indians are a much better team than the Pirates, but today’s game won’t necessarily show that. In a matchup of unproven starting pitchers and below-average lineups, this game will be much more of a toss-up than many are expecting.

Cleveland deserves a betting edge, but 64% implied odds are far too much for a non-elite team on the road.

Looking for more expert picks from Rich? Check out all his latest MLB picks and parlays for today’s games here.