Major League Baseball Top Exposures - April 17: Pirates

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The Pittsburgh Pirates were coming in as the biggest exposure Thursday versus San Diego, seeing better than 85% of the betting action at most books as a -140 favorite.

The line on this game has come down from -162 to -136 at some books, thus making the Pirates an enticing play.

If we were thinking like the betting public, we'd be all over the Pirates as well.  It's important in this situation to think like a bookie, however.

The Padres have begun to win games and should be thought of at this juncture in the season as a .500 team.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Padres LH Eric Lauer (1-2, 8.27 ERA) vs. Pirates RH Chad Kuhl (4-2, 4.17)

Lauer followed the best start of his brief major league career with his worst, getting rocked for six runs and serving up four homers in only 2 1/3 innings in a home loss to St. Louis last time out.  It's obvious to us that the bookies expect that "other" Lauer to show up Thursday night.

Kuhl registered his fourth quality start in his last five outings but had to settle for a no-decision against San Francisco after giving up three runs and six hits over six innings on Saturday.  He is yielding a lot of homers in recent games, however. The Pirates are 2-7 in Kuhl’s last 9 starts vs. National League West.

San Diego may be 2-7 in the last 9 meetings in Pittsburgh but they have held their own over the last ten meetings, winning four of those.


- Tony Caliente,



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