MLB Picks: Diamondbacks Look To Stay Hot On The Road vs. Pirates

Drew Martin

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 5:04 PM GMT

Wednesday, May. 25, 2016 5:04 PM GMT

A troublesome issue for the Pirates is that tonight’s game will be the third game of the Pirates' stretch of 21 games in 21 days. Let's review the MLB odds and come up with a pick.

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates host the Arizona Diamondbacks for the middle game of a three game set in one of the best settings in all of baseball, PNC Park. The Diamondbacks, behind the right arm of starter Ruby De La Rosa, will look to make it eight wins out of their last eleven games on the road, but Arizona will have to take care of a quality Pirates team that is currently second in the National League Central standings with a record of 25-19. Although the Pirates are a solid team, there are a few metrics that point to the Diamondbacks being the stronger bet tonight in Pittsburgh acording to the MLB odds.

 

Analysis
Jeff Locke gets the start tonight for the Pirates, and is coming off a solid seven-inning performance in a win over the Braves on Thursday. This was a rebound performance for Locke, after he struggled during a 5 1/3-inning loss to the Cubs the week prior where he gave up six earned runs. That poor outing seems to have been the exception however, as Locke has given up three runs or fewer and has pitched at least six innings in four of his last five starts.

On the surface Locke’s numbers do not look that bad, but when you look at some of the more predictive metrics, he has not shined as much as one might think. Locke is near the bottom of all qualified starters in strikeout to walk ratio, and has walked at least two batters in every game he has pitched this year, reaching as many as seven walks vs Milwaukee earlier this season. The southpaw is also currently sporting a 5.00 ERA through 45 innings of work.

To add to Jeff Locke’s problems, he will be facing a lineup that absolutely scorches lefties. The Diamondbacks are currently sporting a team OPS of .817 when facing lefties, a mark that is top-5 in all of baseball. Regardless of who it is facing, the Arizona lineup has been hot of late having posted a .755 team OPS over the last two weeks. Locke has also struggled in the past vs the Dbacks, as he is 0-2 with a 6.87 ERA, with three of the four outings at PNC Park, where Locke went 0-1 with a 6.92 ERA.

On the other side, Ruby De La Rosa is rested and ready to go, as he was skipped last time through the rotation because the team had a pair of off-days during a five-day stretch. Over his last five starts, De La Rosa has a 1.93 ERA and a 3-1 record. He has also had success when facing tonight’s lineup, having gone 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two career starts against Pittsburgh.

 

Conclusions
Another troublesome issue for the Pirates is that tonight’s game will be the third game of the Pirates' stretch of 21 games in 21 days. Pittsburgh’s final game of the series against the Colorado Rockies was postponed to Monday due to rain, and the team is not scheduled for an off-day until June 13. This means that the Pirates will need their starters to go deeper into games in order to take some pressure off of the struggling bullpen over the next three weeks, so that could indicate a long night for Jeff Locke. The Pittsburgh bullpen is one of the worst in baseball, sporting the sixth highest reliever WHIP at 1.43, so if the Pirates have to rely on the pen to get Locke out of trouble tonight, the Diamondbacks would be in perfect position to score in bunches. I recommend a wager on the Diamondbacks at the plus price tonight for your MLB pick.

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Free MLB Pick: Arizona Diamondbacks +109
Best Line Offered: at YouWager

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