This one may take some convincing. I am rocking with old man Morton out in ATL today despite a low hit rate, but bare with me.
Alright, Charlie has a 5.63 ERA. Alright, he is 38 years old. Alright, his WHIP is 1.53. Opponents are batting .275 against him. This one has my heart beating a little faster. Let's get to the good stats. Charlie has been solid in home games. He has a 3.91 ERA and is averaging just over 1 K per inning. Day games have also produced solid results. He has a 4.33 ERA, also with just over 1 K per inning. He is coming off an 8 K game that was at Coors, a tough feat for someone who relies on breaking balls to get K. His curveball is his best source of K, and it is a pitch the Pirates really struggle against.
Let's talk about the Pirates now. This play is a bit more about them then it is about Morton. The Pirates have the 3rd highest K rate vs right handed pitchers this season. They average the 4th most K per game at 9.07. They have 39 K over their last 3 games.
Their lineup is not yet released, but we could see as many as 6 lefties (including switch hitters). Charlie is far more effective vs lefties when it comes to strikeouts. Arguably the most important stat yet is Pittsburgh in away games. They average 10.12 strikeouts per game on the road, the most in the league in either home or away splits. The Pirates have the 3rd worst contact rate on chased pitches, a key stat that should be to our advantage with Morton’s curveball.
Charlie’s biggest issue is getting knocked around this season, but Pitt has the 4th worst batting average, 4th worst on base %, and 3rd worst slugging. In his comfort zone at home vs a bad offense, I like this spot for my guy Morton to rack up 7+ K.