Most sportsbooks we've checked have the Pirates favored at either -125 or -130, with the Blue Jays listed at +115. The total seems to be holding steady at 7.5, but the UNDER was getting juiced quite a bit at time of writing.
Toronto Blue Jays (R.A. Dickey)
The Blue Jays looked well on their way to a win last night, only to surrender three runs in the bottom of the ninth to lose.
With the defeat, Toronto has dropped three of four and has now gone a very poor 2-7 over their last nine games overall. Heading into this evening's game they've gone 8-9 on the road.
R.A. Dickey, who won the NL Cy Young in 2012, hasn't been anywhere near his best so far this season. He's gone 2-3 with a 5.09 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. Inconsistency has plagued the knuckleballer, as he's yet to put together two quality starts in a row.
Dickey did look good his last time out though, tossing 6 and 1/3 innings and allowing only five hits and one run in a win over Boston. He struck out six and didn't walk a batter, lowering his ERA from 5.90 to 5.09.
The Blue Jays have done quite well offensively through the early stages of the year, ranking seventh in total runs and in the top 13 in batting average, on base percentage and slugging. Melky Cabrera is the pacing the club with a .336 average, while Cabrera, Jose Bautista, Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus have all hit at least six homers so far.
Pittsburgh Pirates (Francisco Liriano)
It's truly been a horrendous start for the Pirates, who looked so good in their quest for the playoffs last season. They've failed to find that magic again, struggling out of the gates on their way to a 11-18 start.
Like Toronto, most of the troubles have come recently, with Pittsburgh losing three of four and seven of their last nine as well.
Francisco Liriano will be on the mound for the first time since having to leave last week's start against St. Louis after only two innings. He hasn't been dominant this season, going 0-3 with a 3.97 ERA and 1.29 WHIP overall.
In 19 innings at home, Liriano has allowed 18 hits and eight earned runs (3.79), but we should point out just how outstanding he was in front of the home fans in 2013. He was 8-1 with a 1.47 ERA in 11 starts there.
Unfortunately for Liriano, he may not have the best run support behind him tonight. The Pirates are ranked near the bottom in every major offensive category, as Andrew McCutchen has been the only hitter to find his groove (.309) so far.
Tough call here, considering neither team has played to their ability.
However, we'll be taking the Pirates as the small chalk for the second game of this series, hoping they can pick up on the momentum and emotions from last night's walkoff win.
You'd also have to say the pitching advantage goes to Pittsburgh here. Dickey has been awful on the road (allowing 11 earned runs in 9 and 1/3 innings) and we think the typically punchless Pirates will be able to get after the veteran right-hander. For your MLB picks, go with Pittsburgh to get the win.
Pick: Pirates -125