MLB Picks: Pirates vs. Padres Series Coverage

Darin Zank

Monday, August 19, 2013 1:43 PM GMT

Monday, Aug. 19, 2013 1:43 PM GMT

Join us as we follow the three-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Diego Padres, offering up free MLB picks and predictions along the way.
21st AUG
Wednesday's Game Three

By: Ron Patrick

 

Check out Wednesday's Baseball Betting Odds & Lines Report for a breakdown of today's games!

Pittsburgh leads this series two-games-to-nil following Tuesday night's 8-1 victory. The Pirates got a quality start from AJ Burnett Tuesday and broke open a close game with five runs in the seventh inning.

The Bucs won as -120 favorites on Tuesday's baseball betting odds, and the game played ‘Over’ its total of 6.5.

San Diego has now been held to three runs or fewer in 11 of its last 14 games.

So Pittsburgh, which now leads the NL Central by two games over second-place St. Louis, will go for the sweep when the teams finish off this series Wednesday evening (6:40 p.m. ET).

Wednesday's Betting Odds

As of early Wednesday morning, most baseball betting shops were listing Pittsburgh and rookie Gerrit Cole at around -125 over San Diego and Ian Kennedy, with a total of seven. The Pirates could also be bet at around +130 on the run line.

[gameodds]3/241687/?r3=349/dec&r-1=349/us[/gameodds]

Wednesday's Pitching Match-Up

Kennedy (4-9, 5.12), after winning 36 games for Arizona the last two seasons, is having a rough 2013. He's just 8-for-24 on quality starts this year, 1-for-3 since joining the Padres in a trade a couple of weeks ago. Last time out Kennedy got nicked for five runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Mets, and since coming to San Diego he's allowed nine ER in 18 1/3 innings.

On the season Kennedy has given up 142 hits, including 22 homers, in 142 1/3 innings, walked 58 (too many) and struck out 124.

Arizona went just 7-14 in Kennedy's starts this year, and the Padres have won one of his three starts for them.

This will Kennedy's first start this season against Pittsburgh; last year, with the Diamondbacks, Kennedy started twice against the Pirates, giving up nine ER and 16 hits in just 10 innings; Arizona lost both those games.

Cole (6-5, 3.88) is 6-for-12 on quality starts since joining the big club back in June. Last time out he held Arizona to two runs through six innings of a 6-2 Pittsburgh victory, although in his two starts prior to that he had given up seven ER in 10 1/3 innings against Miami and Colorado.

On the season, Cole has allowed 65 hits in 72 innings, walked 17 and struck out 52. The Pirates are 7-5 in Cole's starts this year and this will be Cole's first-ever appearance against San Diego.

Our Take on Wednesday's Game

We give Cole the edge in the pitching match-up, and the Padres have been having a tough time scoring runs. San Diego is also a bit banged up, playing without three lineup regulars. So we'll go with Pittsburgh for our free MLB pick for Wednesday.

MLB Pick: Take the Pirates at the -130 offered at William Hill.

Share your series picks on our Major League Baseball forum!

 

20th AUG
Tuesday's Game Two

By: Ron Patrick

 

Check out our Tuesday Morning MLB Odds & Betting Lines Report!

The Pittsburgh Pirates haven't made the playoffs in 20 years, but with six weeks to go in this season they lead the National League Central. Pittsburgh will try to win back-to-back games for the first time in almost two weeks when the teams meet for Game 2 of this series Tuesday night (10:10 p.m. ET).

 Pittsburgh took the opener of this series Monday night 3-1, getting seven marvelous innings from Francisco Liriano, who gave up just four hits and struck out 13 in seven innings.

The Pirates won as -135 favorites on Monday's MLB betting line, and the game played UNDER its total of 6.5.

Tuesday's Betting Odds

As of Tuesday AM most shops were listing Pittsburgh and AJ Burnett at around -120 over San Diego and Tyson Ross, with a total of 6.5. The Pirates could also be gotten at MLB odds of +140 on the run line.

[gameodds]3/241642/?r3=43-999997-349/dec&r-1=43-999997-349/us[/gameodds]

Tuesday's Pitching Match-Up

Ross (3-5, 2.62) is 5-for-8 on quality starts this season, and working on a streak of five in a row. Last time out he held the Mets to one run through seven innings, and over his last five starts he's allowed just five ER and 27 baserunners (hits + walks) through 34 innings.

On the season, including his 19 appearances in relief, Ross has given up 61 hits in 79 innings, walked 31 and struck out 70.

San Diego, a team that is 13 games under .500 overall, is 4-4 in Ross' starts this year.

This will be Ross' first-ever start against Pittsburgh.

AJ Burnett (5-8, 3.18) is 11-for-22 on quality starts this year, but 0 for his last two. Last time out the Cardinals got him for five runs in 4 1/3 innings, and just before that the Rockies got him for five runs in 5 2/3 innings.

However, just previous to that Burnett had strung together seven straight starts in which he'd allowed either one or two earned runs.

On the season Burnett has given up 122 hits in 138 2/3 innings, walked 52 and struck out 153.

And yet, the Pirates are only 9-13 in Burnett's start this year.

This will be Burnett's first start against San Diego this season; last year, in two starts vs. the Padres, Burnett got clipped for eight ER and 21 hits in 12 innings; Pittsburgh lost both those games. 

Our Take on Tuesday's Game

Burnett has been pretty good this season, at least up until his last two starts, but for some reason San Diego had his number in two match-ups last year. Ross, meanwhile, has been great lately, and will hold an edge Tuesday night in that Pittsburgh hitters haven't faced him. So while we missed with the Padres Monday night, we'll try them again with our free MLB picks for Tuesday. 

MLB Pick: Take San Diego at the +112

 

19th AUG
Monday's Series Opener

By: Ron Patrick

 

Monday's Betting Odds

As of Monday morning most online baseball betting shops were chalking Pittsburgh and Francisco Liriano at around -130 over San Diego and Andrew Cashner, with a total of 6.5.

The Pirates could also be gotten at around +115 on the run line.

Also, TheGreek.com was listing the Bucs at -140 to win this series, with the Pads getting +120 as home dogs. 

[gameodds]3/241613/?r3=43-999997-349/dec&r-1=43-999997-349/us[/gameodds]

Pirates-Padres Series Set-Up

Pittsburgh just dropped two of three games at home to Arizona, losing Sunday 4-2 in 16 innings. That game ended shortly after 5 pm local time Sunday, after which the Pirates, who have lost seven of their last nine games, hopped on a plane for the 4.5-hour flight to San Diego. 

At 72-51 Pittsburgh leads the National League Central by one game over second-place St. Louis, which is in Milwaukee this week for three games with the Brewers. The Pirates are also tied with the Dodgers for the second-best record in the National League, 3.5 games behind Atlanta.

San Diego, meanwhile, just split four games at home from the Mets, winning Sunday 4-3 on a Will Venable homer in the bottom of the ninth. Still, the Padres haven't won a series since taking two of three games from the Yankees Aug. 2-4.

At 56-68 San Diego sits in fourth place in the National League West, 16.5 games behind the first-place Dodgers.  

This is the first meeting this season between these two teams; last year San Diego took the season series from Pittsburgh five games to one.

Monday's Pitching Match-Up

Cashner (8-7, 3.87), by our tough standards, is 9-for-20 on quality starts this season, and two for his last three. Last time out he gave up three runs in seven innings vs. Colorado, and over his last three outings he's allowed eight ER in 19 innings.

For the season Cashner has given up 125 hits in 130 1/3 innings, walked 40 and struck out 90.

San Diego is 8-7 in Cashner's starts this year.

This will be Cashner's first-ever start vs. the Pirates.

Liriano (13-5, 2.68) is 12-for-18 on quality starts this year, and four for his last five. Ten days ago he got bombed in Colorado for 10 runs in less than three innings, but he followed that up by throwing a complete-game four-hitter against the Cardinals last Wednesday, walking one and striking out six in a 5-1 Pittsburgh victory.

In 18 starts this year Liriano has held opponents to two ER or fewer 14 times.

On the season Liriano has allowed 92 hits in 114 innings, with 45 walks and 113 strikeouts.

Pittsburgh has won 13 of Liriano's 18 starts.

This will be Liriano's first start against San Diego since June of 2011, when he was with Minnesota.

In the bullpen match-up for this series the Pirates rank third in the Majors with a 2.82 ERA and have converted 41 of 52 save opportunities, while the Padres rank 14th with a 3.50 ERA and have made good on 29 of 39 save chances.

Pirates-Padres At the Bat

Pittsburgh ranks 18th in the Majors in team OBP at .313, 18th in homers with 117 and 23rd in scoring at 3.9 runs per game.

San Diego ranks 20th in team OBP at .310, 21st in homers with 113, fourth in stolen bases with 94 and 22nd in scoring at 3.9 RPG.

Pirates-Padres Betting Trends

Pittsburgh is 60-39 this year against right-handed starting pitchers, 12-12 vs. lefties.

San Diego is 12 games under .500 overall this season and 34-48 vs. righties, but 22-20 vs. lefties.

The Pirates are 30-29 on the road this season.

The Padres are 33-29 at home this year.

The OVER/UNDERS are 32-27 in games played at Petco Park this season.

Pirates-Padres Injury Update

Pittsburgh is still playing without closer Jason Grilli, who's on the DL with a sore arm. 

San Diego is playing without SS Everth Cabrera (suspension) and OF Carlos Quentin (knee).

Our Take on Monday's Game

This is a tough one; neither team has been playing great ball lately, and while Pittsburgh has much more to play for, San Diego is playing under much less pressure. Liriano gets the edge in the pitching match-up, but his ERA on the road this season is 3.75, while Cashner's ERA at home is 2.51. So in a game that we see as basically a toss-up we'll go with a home dog for our free MLB pick for Monday.

MLB Pick: Take San Diego at the +119 offered at Bet365.

The Pittsburgh Pirates haven't made the playoffs in 20 years, but with six weeks to go in this season they lead the National League Central.

Pittsburgh will try to win back-to-back games for the first time in almost two weeks when the teams meet for Game 2 of this series Tuesday night (10:10 pm ET).

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