Our MLB consultant provides us with a betting preview & MLB pick on the Pirates vs. Padres matchup. Can the Pirates reboot tonight after seeing their seven game win streak come to an end on Friday?
Pirates and Padres at Petco Park on Saturday Night
The Padres will host the Pirates tonight at Petco Park in San Diego with the first pitch slated for 10:10 PM ET. According to the MLB betting odds at Heritage, San Diego is a -110 money line favorite, and the posted total is 7.0. This will be the third of a four games series between these National League clubs. They split the first two games with Pittsburgh winning 11-5 on Thursday, and San Diego taking last night’s game 6-2.
Veteran right-hander Charlie Morton will be making just his second start of the season tonight for Pittsburgh. He made his 2015 debut this past Monday during a 4-2 Pirates home win. Morton was rock solid in that outing, allowing 2 earned runs on eight hits while walking none. Morton began the season on the disabled list while still recovering from hip surgery. He’s made three starts versus San Diego since 2013, posting a 4.00 ERA, and an outstanding 0.94 WHIP.
Tyson Ross will get the start on Saturday for the Padres. There were high expectations for Ross this season, and his early returns have teetered on the disappointing side. His 3.84 ERA in ten starts seems respectable but is a bit deceiving. He’s also compiled a less than impressive 1.50 WHIP in those outings. Ross has encountered control problems which have hindered him since the beginning of the season. He’s walked 30 men in 58 2/3 innings. Ross has gone 3-1 over the total in four home starts, posting a lofty 4.70 ERA, and walked 12 in just 23.0 innings pitched. The Padres hurler has made three career starts versus Pittsburgh, each of those have came since 2013, and he posted a 3.72 ERA.
Temporary cooling off Period for Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates saw their seven game win streak come to an end last night. They led 2-0 heading into the bottom of the 7th but allowed San Diego to tie the game. It stayed that way until the bottom of the 9th, and then Derrick Norris hit a walk off grand slam with two outs. Ironically, Norris had struck in his first four at bats of the game. During their seven game win streak, Pittsburgh averaged 6.6 runs and 10.7 hits per outing. They were held to just six hits in Friday’s loss.
The San Diego Padres front office shelled out a lot of money this past offseason to upgrade their team. Despite last night’s dramatic win, the start to the season hasn’t been what was expected. They’re currently 24-26 on the year, and that includes just 12-13 at home. The Padres bullpen has been shaky, and they’ve hit just 41 home runs in their first 50 games. On a more encouraging note, they enter tonight having won three of their last four.
Tyson Ross’ control problems don’t figure to be corrected immediately. I look for the Pirates to be patient at the plate tonight, and force Ross into deep counts. It should result in favorable hitting situations, and some rally enhancing walks. I’m taking the road team as one of my MLB picks on Saturday.
MLB Pick: Pittsburgh +102 on the money line over San Diego at Pinnacle