Liriano's Stats Give Edge to Pirates -138 Over Padres for Tuesday's MLB Picks

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, July 7, 2015 2:11 PM GMT

It's the second game out of three for the Padres vs. Pirates. These teams are on opposite ends, where the Padres are declining & Pirates are going uphill. Who's going to be our MLB pick tonight? 

San Diego Padres (Ross) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Liriano) (-145) 7:05 ET
At 7:05 ET, the San Diego Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates square off for the 2nd of this 3-game early week set.  In last night’s low-scoring Pittsburgh win by a count of 2-1, Pirates got the late inning victory on a clutch single by Pedro Alvarez.  The Padres may be able to hang around for a while in this one, but these teams are headed opposite directions. With Liriano on the mound, it is unlikely the underachieving Padres will have much success.

Far more was expected this season from the underachieving Padres, who figured to profit from a beefed-up lineup.  But, this team is headed downward with little probable reason to rebound, as they have the No. 26 batting OPS at .665 and the 22nd pitching OPS at .742.  The current slide for the Padres is 10-18.  They have plated 2 or less runs in 6 of their last 7 starts.  The numbers for today’s starter, Ross, are not compelling enough to get me interested in the San Diego side.  Though Ross has a 2.57 ERA in his previous 3 starts, the 3.72 ERA and 1.47 WHIP for the YTD are cautionary numbers. 

Far prefer the Pittsburgh Pirates, who continue to be highly motivated, as although they have the 2nd best record in baseball at 48-34, still trail the St. Louis Cardinals by 6 games.  The red hot Bucs have won 8 of their previous 10 starts, 3 in a row and are averaging 4.6 RPG in their last 9 contests.  They will miss Josh Harrison (thumb, 15 day DL) and possibly Marte (lat, who is day to day).  But, today’s starter, Liriano, is pitching lights out!  He has pitched far better than his W/L numbers, which show him with a 6-10 TRGS and 5-6 personal W/L.  But, he is 2nd in the league with a .190 BAA, has a 1.04 home WHIP and in his previous 8 starts, has gone 4-2 with a 1.98 ERA.  His 5 most recent starts against San Diego have seen Liriano twirl a 1.97 ERA.

This is a matchup of 2 teams headed opposite directions.  With the Pirates super-surging toward the playoffs for a 3rd consecutive season, while the disappointing Padres may be looking to clean house as the trade deadline approaches.  Based on his record, Liriano is the most over-achieving starter in MLB.  Based on current form, strong history and his YTD work from this mound, he is an excellent proposition at this price point.

MLB Pick: Take Pittsburgh Pirates (Liriano) at BetOnline