The Phillies can't win to save their lives right now, and it gets no easier up against A.J. Burnett here on Sunday afternoon. Which MLB picks are we rolling with today?
Even though they'll have to contend with top-notch lefty Cole Hamels, the Pirates are favored by a solid margin for today's game. They're priced out at approximately -150 to get the win, which leaves Philadelphia at just around +140.
If you're more interested in trying to beat the total, the O/U is listed at just seven runs, which is no surprise given how reliable both Hamels and A.J. Burnett have been this season.
Pittsburgh Pirates (Burnett)
The Pirates are on a bit of a roll, as they've won three in a row to move to 34-27 on the season, good for second place in the suddenly very competitive NL Central. They're quite a ways behind St. Louis (6.5 games), but they're a half game up on the Chicago Cubs right now.
In search of a sweep after taking each of the first two games in the series, Pittsburgh will call on Burnett, who has been outstanding for the team all season long. He's gone 6-2 with a 2.11 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, and he's coming off a start which saw him hold Milwaukee to five hits and one run (with six strikeouts and one walk) over seven innings.
Burnett has been a stud in 2015 and has been especially comfortable in the pitching confines of PNC Park, as he's sporting a 1.60 ERA in five starts at home. He's already had his way with the Phillies once this season too (7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K), so it looks like all of the stars are aligning for another quality outing this afternoon.
Philadelphia Phillies (Hamels)
What a rough week it's been for the Phillies. They've lost five straight games and have gone a dreadful 1-8 over their previous nine games overall. They're now sitting at 22-41 for the season and have clearly established themselves as one of the weakest teams in all of baseball. There's no doubt Philadelphia has been an easy team to pick on in 2015.
The good news for Phillies fans & those backing them with MLB picks is they'll have a shot today with Hamels taking the bump. He's gone 5-5 with a 3.19 ERA and 1.15 WHIP and has posted a a stellar 90:31 K:BB ratio over 87 and 1/3 innings of work. The last time Hamels faced off with Pittsburgh, he held them to five hits and two runs to go with nine strikeouts and only walk in seven innings.
The southpaw has been a little shakier out on the road this season, recording a 4.24 ERA as opposed to a 2.30 mark at home, but he's still been one of the most reliable starters for the Phillies, and we think he'll put on a good show up against the likes of Andrew McCutchen and company.
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We don't have a strong feeling on either side here, as we really like what both pitchers bring to the table and wouldn't be surprised to see this game decided by just a run or two.
Whenever that's the case, we like to back the starters and roll with the UNDER, and we'll do just that this afternoon. Hamels has really been one of the few bright spots for the Phillies this season and we like his chances of styming the Pirates offense, and we feel the same way about Burnett up against that hapless Philadelphia lineup.
In expectation that we'll see a very low-scoring affair, we're going to jump on the UNDER seven runs. Good luck with all of your MLB picks today!
MLB Pick: Under 7 +105 at The Greek