Back Pirates To Get Out Of Slump Today & End Astros' Winning Streak At Home

Andrew McCuthchen

Charles Stark

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 1:28 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016 1:28 PM UTC

Both Pirates and Astros are vying for a wild-card spot. Houston is on a winning streak while the Pirates have lost four games in a row. Our capper provides his analysis and pick.

MLB odds have come out making the streaking Astros over a -110 favorite across the board. For my MLB pick, I'm going to back the home team here in the Pittsburgh Pirates at +109 at Pinnacle. Although these teams have been going in different directions recently this is a good spot to grab a little plus money on a good Pittsburgh team.


Shop For Live MLB Odds For Astros vs Pirates


Houston Astros
Joe Musgrove takes the mound for Houston with a 4.18 ERA and 1.10 whip in just four major league starts. The hyped 23-year-old came in and through three solid games in a row before getting lit up in Baltimore allowing eight earned runs off of 11 hits in just five innings along with three home runs. Musgrove definitely has a lot of potential but Pittsburgh hits well at home despite their recent struggles and I expect for them to be able to score tonight. At the plate, Houston has been solid their last several games and scored 37 runs in four games at Baltimore prior to their 3-1 victory yesterday in Pittsburgh. 

Although they don't have great offensive numbers overall this season they have found a way to score recently and they rank 12th in the major leagues averaging 4.59 runs per game. However, they do strikeout a lot averaging over 9 K's per game ranking second to last in the major leagues and they only hit .248 overall which ranks them 24th. They have been a good road hitting team this season but were only able to muster five hits yesterday and I expect they will struggle a little bit today as well.


Pittsburgh Pirates
Ivan Nova has allowed eight earned runs in 16 innings with Pittsburgh in his three starts for them so far this season. His numbers between New York and Pittsburgh are not all that impressive with a 4.83 ERA and 1.35 whip but he is still decent enough to come in and pitch a good ballgame to give the Pirates every opportunity of winning this game. In his last 10 starts, he has been hot and cold but there has been a few ballgames in which he has shown how dominant he can be at times allowing one earned run in four out of those last 10 games. What has plagued him throughout the season is giving up the long ball but he has gone two straight starts without doing so if he can keep the ball in the yard I expect him to have a nice quality start. 

Pittsburgh has really struggled offensively in their recent games but I believe they are primed to break out of their recent slump. Their offensive numbers overall are not bad ranking 13th in runs scored per game and 14th in batting average. Those numbers go up at home decently enough to take a shot with them today on the small plus money line as they go from hitting .245 on the road to .270 at home.


July record: 13-9
August record: 10-9
Free MLB Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates +112 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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