MLB Picks: Pirates vs. Padres Series Coverage

Darin Zank

Monday, June 2, 2014 12:34 PM UTC

Monday, Jun. 2, 2014 12:34 PM UTC

Pittsburgh has taken the first two games of this series, after winning Tuesday night 4-1. Should we stay on the Pirates betting bandwagon for our free MLB pick, as they shoot for the sweep Wednesday afternoon (6:40 pm ET)?


4th June
Pirates vs. Padres Game 3

By: Ron Patrick


Wednesday's Line
As of Wednesday AM most baseball betting books were lining San Diego and Ian Kennedy at around -120 over Pittsburgh and Francisco Liriano, with a total of 6.5 runs.


Tuesday Re-Hash
Neil Walker bopped a two-run homer in the third inning Tuesday night, and Pedro Alvarez hit one in the fourth, giving Pittsburgh all the offense it needed in a 4-1 victory. Pirates starter Gerrit Cole got the W, although he came up an out short of a quality start, and the Pittsburgh bullpen threw 3 1/3 innings of almost perfect relief. 

The Bucs won as -120 chalk on Tuesday's MLB betting line, and to our delight covered on the run line at a price of +145.

With 10 wins in their last 14 games the Pirates have closed to within two games of the .500 mark.

San Diego, meanwhile, has lost three in a row, scoring a total of five runs in the process.

Wednesday's Starters
Kennedy (4-6, 3.42) is seven-for-12 on quality starts this season, and two for his last two. Last time out he held the White Sox to one run through six innings, and just before that he did the exact same thing to the Cubs.  

On the season Kennedy has allowed fewer hits, 65, than innings pitched, 73 2/3, while compiling an excellent K/BB ratio of 81/19. San Diego is only 5-7 in Kennedy's starts, but the totals have trended toward the UNDERS by an 8-4 margin. 

Kennedy started twice against the Pirates last year, throwing seven scoreless innings in the first outing, but getting bombed for six runs in less than four innings in the second. The Padres split those two games. 

Liriano (1-5, 4.62) is only three-for-12 on quality starts this year. Most recently he threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings against the Dodgers last Friday, striking out eight, but in his two starts previous to that he had been tagged for 10 runs in 10 innings against the Orioles and Nationals. 

On the season Liriano has allowed 65 hits in 64 1/3 innings, walked 30, which is too many, and struck out 66. Pittsburgh is 7-5 in Liriano's starts, with the totals leaning toward the UNDERS 6-4. 

Liriano started once against San Diego last year, and threw a dandy, going seven innings, allowing four hits and no runs, walking two while whiffing 13 in a 3-1 Pirates victory.

Free Pick for Wednesday
This one looks like it will be a low-scoring affair, so we'll go with the UNDER 6.5 runs, at the +100 offered at Will Hill, for today's free MLB pick.


3rd June
Pirates vs. Padres Game 2

By: Ron Patrick


Tuesday's MLB Betting Line
In the early betting Pittsburgh and Gerrit Cole were favored by around -125 over San Diego and rookie Jesse Hahn, with a total of seven runs. The Pirates could also be played at around +140 on Tuesday's MLB run line.


Monday Re-Hash
Pittsburgh led 4-2 into the top of the seventh Monday, then put up six runs on a usually reliable San Diego bullpen to pull away. The Pirates rapped out 16 hits, going nine-for-20 with runners in scoring position in the process.

The Buccos won as +110 dogs on Monday's MLB betting line, and the game, to our chagrin, zoomed OVER its total of seven runs.

Pittsburgh has now won nine of its last 13 games.


Tuesday's Starters
Hahn, a 24-year-old righty, will be making his ML debut Tuesday. He earned a shot at at least a temporary spot in the Padres' injury-depleted starting rotation by going 2-1 with a 2.20 ERA at Double-A San Antonio this spring.

Hahn also threw 8 2/3 scoreless innings at spring training.

Hahn, a former Virginia Tech Hokie, was taken by Tampa in the sixth round of the 2010 draft, then had elbow surgery in 2011. In 154 Minor League innings – nothing above AA – Hahn gave up 126 hits, walked 44 and struck out 150.

Cole (5-3, 3.80), by our tough standards, is five-for-11 on quality starts this year, mainly because we don't consider three runs in six innings a QS. Last time out he gave up three runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Dodgers, and over his last three starts he's allowed eight runs through 18 1/3 innings.

On the season the former UCLA Bruin has given up 71 hits in 71 innings, walked 23 and struck out 63. Pittsburgh is 7-4 in Cole's starts, with the totals going 5-4.

Cole started twice last year against the Padres, allowing three runs and 14 hits in 12 innings, striking out 17. The Pirates split those two games.


Free Pick for Tuesday
Pittsburgh is on a bit of a roll, so we're leaning that way. And since we like to gamble we'll go with the Pirates on the run line, getting +151 at Pinnacle, for Tuesday's free MLB pick.


2nd June
Pirates vs. Padres Game 1

By: Ron Patrick


Pirates-Padres Betting Lines
Early baseball books listed Monday's series opener, which matches the Padres' Tim Stauffer against the Pirates' Charlie Morton, at right around a pick 'em, with a total of seven runs. Those who like to gamble could get the Padres at upwards of +190, giving the run and a half on the run line. Also, Bovada was listing Pittsburgh at -125 to win this series, with San Diego “getting” -105 as the home “dog.”

Series Set-Up
San Diego just took two out of three games from the White Sox in Chicago, missing out on the sweep by losing Sunday 4-1. It was the Padres first series win since taking two of three from the Reds almost three weeks ago. At 26-31 San Diego occupies fourth place in the NL West, 11 games back of first-place San Francisco. 

Pittsburgh just took three of four games from the Dodgers in LA over the weekend. Sunday, the Pirates beat Zack Greinke 5-3 as +165 underdogs for their eighth victory in their last 12 games. At 26-30 Pittsburgh sits in fourth place in the NL Central, 7.5 games behind first-place Milwaukee. This is the first meeting this season between these two teams. Last year the Padres took the season series from the Pirates four games to three, with the totals going 2-4-1.

Monday's Starters
Stauffer (2-1, 4.50) will be making his third start of this season, to go along with 12 relief appearances. Two starts ago, he threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings against the Cubs, but last time out was a disaster, as he got bombed for seven runs in the first inning against Arizona. Prior to that, Stauffer had allowed just two ER over his previous nine appearances, covering 18 innings. For the season, Stauffer has given up 25 hits in 24 innings, walked 11 and struck out 24. San Diego has split his first two starts, with both games playing 'over' the totals. This will be Stauffer's first start against the Pirates since 2009.

Morton (1-7, 3.29) is only four-for-11 on quality starts, but he's been better over the last month or so. Last time out, he gave up two ER in 5 1/3 innings against the Mets, and over his last six starts he's allowed more than two ER just once. He's pitched in some bad luck, with some poor run support, and the Pittsburgh defense has let him down, leading to nine unearned runs. On the season, Morton has allowed 62 hits in 68 1/3 innings, but his K/BB ratio is rather mediocre, at 45/26. Pittsburgh is only 4-7 in Morton's starts, but the totals have leaned toward the 'unders' by a 6-3 margin. Morton started once last year against San Diego, giving up just one run, and two hits through eight innings, whiffing nine, but Pittsburgh lost that game 3-2. 
In the comparison of the bullpens for this series, the Padres rank second in the Majors with an ERA of 2.27 and are 18-for-20 on save conversions, while the Pirates rank sixth with a 2.85 ERA, and are 18-for-29 on save chances.

With the Sticks
Runs might be rare in this series. Pittsburgh ranks 11th in team OBP at .322, but 26th in scoring at 3.8 runs per game. San Diego ranks dead last in both OBP at .282 and scoring at 3.2 RPG.

Pirates-Padres Betting Trends
Pittsburgh is 10-17 on the road this season. The Padres are 14-15 at home. San Diego has skewed toward the 'unders' this season by a 35-19 margin. Also, the totals have trended toward the 'unders' 16-11 in games played at Petco this year.

Injury Update
San Diego OF Cameron Maybin missed Sunday's game after tweaking a calf, and his status for Monday is uncertain. Fellow Padres OF Tommy Medica, who's been hot lately, left Sunday's game with a pulled quad, and is also uncertain for Monday.

Free MLB Pick for Monday
In a match-up of two light-hitting squads and two pretty good bullpens we'll go with the 'under' seven runs, at the -102 offered at 5Dimes, for our free MLB pick on Monday's contest.


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