Grab Pirates & 'Under' as your MLB Picks vs. Dodgers

Darin Zank

Sunday, September 20, 2015 3:47 PM UTC

Sunday, Sep. 20, 2015 3:47 PM UTC

Pittsburgh beat LA's ace Saturday, and throws its own ace Sunday in the rubber match against the Dodgers. How should we bet this contest?

Pirates-Dodgers Sunday Odds
As of this writing the best line available on Pittsburgh with Gerrit Cole was the -110 at JustBet, while LA with Mike Bolsinger was getting +108 at GTBets. The Pirates could also be played getting +150 on the run line at Heritage.


The Situation
These teams have split the first two games of this series, following Pittsburgh's 3-2 victory Saturday night. The Pirates beat Clay Kershaw as +165 underdogs, snapping a four-game losing streak in the process. Meanwhile, even with the loss LA has won five of its last seven contests.

At 88-60 Pittsburgh trails first-place St. Louis by four games in the NL Central, but it's lead in the NL wild-card race is down to a single game over the surging Cubbies.

At 85-62 Los Angeles leads the NL West by 8.5 games over second-place San Francisco.

The Pirates lead this season series four games to one, with the OVERS going 4-1.


Sunday's Starters
Bolsinger (6-3, 3.13) is just six-for-18 on quality starts this season, and 0 for two since returning from a stint in the Minors. Eight days ago Bolsinger gave up three runs on seven hits and four walks in less than four innings against Arizona, while just before that he gave up three runs in five innings against San Diego. For the season Bolsinger has allowed 88 hits through 98 innings, walked 37 and struck out 85.

LA is 11-7 in Bolsinger's starts, with the OVERS going 10-8.

This will be Bolsinger's first-ever start against Pittsburgh.

Cole (16-8, 2.60) is 20-for-29 on quality starts, and three for his last five. Tuesday he gave up four runs – three earned – through 6 1/3 innings against the Cubs, while just before that he tossed seven innings of two-hit, shutout ball against St. Louis. On the season the former UCLA Bruin has allowed 166 hits through 187 innings, walked 42 and whiffed 183.

The Pirates are 20-9 in Cole's starts, with the UNDERS going 16-11.

Over three career starts against Los Angeles, including a mediocre effort six weeks ago, Cole has allowed nine runs through 18 innings; Pittsburgh managed to win all three of those games, and all three games played OVER.

Must Read: Best Value ML & Total Play for Sunday Profits

Sunday's Batting Splits
Pittsburgh ranks ninth in the Bigs this season against right-handed pitching with a .323 team on-base percentage, but only 22nd with a .398 team slugging percentage.

Los Angeles ranks fourth against righties with a .326 team OBP and seventh with a .418 team slugging percentage.


Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Dodger Stadium this season are 40-31 on the OVERS, averaging 7.7 runs per.


Injury Update
LA is a little banged up at the moment, with four or five regulars either out or listed as questionable for today.

Pittsburgh, meanwhile, just lost a nice stick when IF Jung-ho Kang suffered a broken leg earlier this week.


Pirates-Dodgers Free Picks
Pittsburgh owns the check marks in the pitching match-up and in the comparison of the bullpens, so we like the visiting team as our MLB pick. Also, with both lineups missing some key people we're thinking UNDER.

MLB Picks: Pirates and UNDER 7.5 runs (-115) at Heritage.

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