Our red-hot month of June continued as we picked up another win last night when we backed the Milwaukee Brewers against the St. Louis Cardinals. I mentioned in my pick that the Brewers just always seem to score a bunch of runs when Brent Suter is on the mound. Well, that trend continued again last night as the Brew Crew exploded for eleven runs in the blowout win.
Suter was actually pretty great as well as he pitched seven innings and allowed just two runs on only two hits. The big question mark coming into this game was whether or not, Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez would be able to throw a strike. Martinez has really struggled with his control since returning from the disabled list. Well, he found the plate, but unfortunately, the Brewers bats found it as well as they smashed Martinez for seven runs in just four innings of work.
Something tells me that Martinez just isn’t healthy right now. The guy just hasn’t been the same since getting injured, and I would suspect he will end up back on the DL at some point as he clearly just isn’t himself right now. Until he figures things out, I will be right here looking for ways to take advantage of it. For today’s pick, I will take a look at the game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are in Pittsburgh Friday for game two of a four-game series with the Pirates. The DBacks took game one last night in dominating fashion. Arizona jumped all over Pirates starter Chad Kuhl to the tune of eight runs in just two innings, and that was more than enough to coast the rest of the way to victory. The DBacks win was just their second in their last five games. For Pittsburgh, the Pirates have lost three out of their last four games.
Starting tonight for the Pirates is Ivan Nova (4-5 4.42 ERA), and for the DBacks it is Patrick Corbin (6-3 3.48 ERA). The DBacks are -122 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 PM PST from PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
On the surface, this starting pitching matchup looks like it could be a little one-sided. Patrick Corbin’s ERA is a full run lower than Ivan Nova’s, and Corbin has been striking guys out at an elite level all season long. However, if you dig a little deeper and look how these guys are both pitching right now, you might see that this is a very even matchup.
Ivan Nova started out the season pitching well for the Pirates. Then he ended up making several starts while injured and his productivity took a big dive. The Pirates decided to give Nova a couple weeks off to heal up instead of having him try to pitch through the pain that was clearly not working. Nova hit the DL and missed a couple of starts and returned back to the rotation on June 10th.
In his two starts since coming off the DL, Nova is seemingly back to his old self and pitching well. Nova has pitched eleven and two-thirds of an inning and has allowed just two runs. But more importantly for this Pittsburgh team desperately trying to stay in the National League Central playoff race, they won both of those starts. Nova will face an Arizona team tonight that has been very inconsistent at the plate this year.
Patrick Corbin looked like a lock to make his second All-Star team earlier this season. Through his first eight starts, Corbin was 4-0 with a 2.12 ERA and was striking out guys at one of the highest rates in the National League. Since then, Corbin has really struggled with consistency. The DBacks have lost six out of his last nine starts, and he has really pitched poorly the last month or so.
In his last four starts, Corbin has pitched twenty-two and two thirds on an inning and has given up seventeen earned runs. The strikeouts have still been there, he has twenty-nine during that four-game stretch, but he just can’t seem to stop runs from scoring. He pitched against this Pirates team two starts ago and was not at all effective. In five and a third innings, he gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks.
I am a bit surprised to see the Pirates as home dogs in this game. While the Pirates haven’t been a great team this season, they play their best baseball at home as they are three games over .500 at PNC Park. And the Diamondbacks are quite the opposite as they have been much better in Arizona this year than they have been on the road. To me, this starting pitching matchup is a wash. I know when you look at the full body of work for Corbin, he has been good, but not recently. And baseball is all about how you are playing right now, not what have you done.
I see this game being a close one, and in the end, I see the Pirates figuring out a way to get the job done at home tonight. Home underdogs are my favorite teams to bet as home teams just seem to find a way to win games more than they probably shouldn’t. I will back a home underdog tonight in this one. Give me the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight in game two as small home dogs!