Angels right-hander Jerome Williams (5-2, 3.14 ERA) is slated to face Pirates lefty Francisco Liriano (5-3, 2.44 ERA).
Pirates, Mercer hold off Angels
Pirates mates Pedro Alvarez and Jordy Mercer both homered in the third inning as part of Friday’s win for Pittsburgh, getting their club out to a 3-0 lead. The duo united to hit 5-for-7, while sluggers Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones each drilled a pair of doubles.
Los Angeles was held to four hits, with Albert Pujols and Alberto Callaspo driving in one run each. The matchup’s combined seven runs ducked UNDER the MLB odds ‘total’ of 7 ½, while Pittsburgh cashed as a 148 underdog with starter Gerrit Cole notching a third straight win.
Liriano outdueled in Cincinnati
Liriano saw a string of two wins end with Monday’s 4-1 setback for Pittsburgh against the Cincinnati Reds. The 29-year-old allowed two homers over six frames, failing to cash as a 116 road dog.
Pirates catcher Russell Martin logged his side’s sole RBI, poking a double as part of a 2-for-3 night. Pittsburgh’s Starling Marte and Garrett Jones were held to a combined 0-for-8, each leaving three men on base.
Williams returns to starting
Williams has had a mix of efforts as a starter and reliever during the month of June, allowing 10 earned runs over 19 1/3 IP. The latest appearance came in Sunday’s 6-5 defeat for Los Angeles to the New York Yankees, giving up two hits over the contest’s final three frames.
Friday’s defeat for Los Angeles dropped Mike Scioscia’s club to 5-3 in the first nine dates of its present homestand. The series wraps up with a Sunday afternoon duel, before the Angels head east to meet the Detroit Tigers.
Back the OVER on Saturday
Bet365 openerd Williams as a 116 home favorite, while first listing the ‘total’ at 7 ½ (OVER minus 120). Los Angeles’ Josh Hamilton (10 HRs, 25 RBIs) is listed as “questionable” due to a wrist injury.
I am backing the OVER here as part of Saturday’s sports picks, despite failing short with the same wager in Friday’s opener.
Liriano has tossed his share of tight affairs, but was shelled when facing the Detroit Tigers in his sole road spot against an American League lineup. The Dominican Republic native allowed four runs over five frames, with the 6-5 defeat for Pittsburgh giving OVER backers the money.
Los Angeles’ Howie Kendrick and Mark Trumbo have united for three homers in a combined 10-for-25 career mark against Liriano’s arm. The OVER is 7-3 in the Angels’ last 10 spots that followed a contest of scoring two runs or less.
Williams has seen the OVER cash at 3-2 in his last five home starts, surrendering three homers over the span’s last two efforts (13 IP). Pittsburgh’s bats have heated up, with the team notching four or more runs in four of its last six matchups.
Umpire Jim Joyce is slated to call the balls and strikes, with the OVER collecting at a 4-1 clip in his last five interleague games behind home plate. Look for the OVER to cash again here for your baseball picks, with some octane from both clubs.
Pick: OVER 7 ½ at Bet365