In Form Pitchers Make it Difficult For Cappers to Predict Pirates vs. Padres

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, May 28, 2015 1:50 PM GMT

Can the Pirates win their seventh game in a row tonight when facing Padres? Read this insightful betting preview article to get the answer, as it concludes with a free money line MLB pick.

Pirates and Padres open Series on Thursday at Petco Park
The San Diego Padres will host the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday at 10:10 PM ET. According to the MLB betting odds at Wagerweb, Pittsburgh is a -120 money line favorite, and the posted total is 6.5. Tonight will be the opener of a four game series, and is the first meeting of the season between these teams.

 

Starting Pitchers
A.J. Burnett will make his tenth start of the season tonight for Pittsburgh. He’s been terrific in his first nine starts posting an excellent 1.37 ERA in those outings. Burnett has shown even better form in his last three starts, compiling a microscopic 0.86 ERA during that time.

The Padres will go with their struggling right-handed veteran Ian Kennedy on the mound tonight. Kennedy is 0-3 in his last three starts with a large 7.47 ERA. Performing at pitcher friendly Petco Park in San Diego hasn’t been much of a benefit for Kennedy. He’s gone 1-3 in his home team starts with an awful 8.15 ERA. The Padres hurler has gone 5-2 over the total in seven starts this season, posted a lofty 6.11 ERA, and has allowed 9 home runs in just 35 1/3 innings pitched.

 

Red Hot Bucs
The Pittsburgh Pirates begin their west coast road trip tonight with a ton of momentum. They’ve won their last six in a row, hit .290 as a team in their last seven, and are averaging a robust 5.4 runs per game during that time. Their bullpen has been terrific this season, posting a stellar 2.80 ERA as a staff. Pittsburgh is coming off a 5-2 win over Miami on Wednesday, and they’re 7-0 under the total in 2015 after allowing 2 runs or less in their previous game.

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Padres Report
San Diego returns home after completing a six game road trip that saw them go 3-3, including winning the last two at Anaheim. Considering all the high priced offseason acquisitions made by San Diego, they’re off to a relatively disappointing 23-25 start. Their home run production which has been a problem in recent seasons has shown little if any improvement in 2015. San Diego has hit just 40 home runs in their first 48 games, and are on pace to hit only 135 round trippers for the season.

 

Final Analysis
When considering both starting pitchers recent form, and also their whole body of work since the inception of the season, A.J. Burnett has a huge edge over Ian Kennedy in those regards. Pittsburgh was off to a slow start to the season, but they’re starting to resemble the playoff team from 2013 and 2014. I’m going to have a small lean toward the road favorite for one of my MLB picks on Thursday.

MLB Pick: Play Pittsburgh -120 on the money line over San Diego at Wagerweb.