Bet on Home Team: Phillies vs. Pirates

Jeff Grant

Friday, July 4, 2014 1:33 PM GMT

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been known to play their best baseball as the weather warms over the past couple years, which will lead to an easy victory over the lowly Philadelphia Phillies on Independence Day. Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting odds for this National League showdown at PNC Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 5:05 p.m. ET.

A rare occurrence
Philadelphia snapped a six-game losing streak by picking up a 5-4 victory over the Miami Marlins as +123 road underdogs Thursday, while going OVER the betting total of 7.5.

The Phillies entered the series opener hitting .135 with runners in scoring position since June 21—a big reason why they’ve been outscored by 45 total runs over the course of the entire season.

Sports bettors will find that the franchise is 6-4 as underdogs of +150 to +175 when playing away from Citizens Bank Park, with the UNDER cashing in six of those opportunities.


Improved performance
Pittsburgh has captured its last four series, but it has dropped all eight chances of sweeping an opponent during the 2014 campaign, as it dropped a 10-2 decision to the Arizona Diamondbacks as -151 home favorites Thursday.

The Pirates will be led offensively by the play of outfielder Andrew McCutchen, who entered yesterday’s game batting .360 in his previous 26 affairs when playing in the Steel City.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the franchise has put together a 32-22 record in July, with the UNDER going 32-21-1 in that situation.


Hernandez
Phillies starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez (3-7, 4.26 ERA) has fallen in defeat in five of his last six trips to the mound, including a 10-3 setback at home to the Atlanta Braves last Saturday—giving up four runs (two earned) and three hits over seven frames.

The right-hander is 2-2 with a 6.39 ERA in seven road appearances (six starts), with opposing hitters batting .314 against him.

In two lifetime outings versus the Pirates, Hernandez has put together a 1-0 record and 2.79 ERA.


Cole
Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (6-4, 4.02 ERA) will attempt to bounce back from a 5-3 home loss to the New York Mets last time out, as he surrendered five runs and seven hits over four frames.

The right-hander is 2-1 with a 4.03 ERA in six home games—serving up five home runs in 38 combined innings.

Cole was handed a 6-4 home defeat by the Phillies in his only career effort against them on the Fourth of July last season, as he gave up three runs and eight hits in 5.1 innings of work.


Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Pirates as one of their MLB picks, as they’ve tallied a 21-10 record in their last 31 games as home favorites of -150 to -200.
Pick:  Pittsburgh Pirates

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