The San Diego Padres are far from home for the next seven days, as they head to Pittsburgh after a successful series against the Brewers at home. The Padres made the Brewers look silly, sweeping the Brewers in a three-game series in San Diego. They’ll be in Pittsburgh for the next three days and then play a short two-game series against the Orioles.
San Diego want to go on a nice run before the All-Star break, which they’re going to need to propel them into the next half of the season. You don’t go out and secure Manny Machado’s services only to not be playing baseball in October. He’s signed for the long haul, but it would be nice for the Padres to get into the postseason in his first year with the club.
They’re a 38-37 team going into the weekend, which puts them 12.5 games out of 1st place. The Dodgers are up with a healthy record of 51-25 in the NL West. There isn’t much competition to be had there, but the wildcard race is going to be mighty interesting in the National League.
The Padres figure to be a contender in that respect. They’re currently 2 games back of the final wildcard, so within shouting distance. There are seven teams within five games of each other on the outside looking in. It’s likely going to be tight down the stretch, but we’ll see if anyone can pull away.
The Rockies and Brewers have the wildcards by only half a game at the moment. San Diego enter Pittsburgh on a four-game winning streak and are winners in five of their previous six games. Eric Lauer will be tasked with leading the Padres to their fifth straight win this evening at the beautiful PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Joe Musgrove will start opposite Lauer for the Pirates. Head below for our free Padres vs. Pirates pick.
San Diego Padres vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
The Pirates had the day off yesterday after winning two of three games against the Tigers. It wasn’t an easy chore, as they had to erase a 7-1 deficit in the series finale on Wednesday. Trevor Williams got mauled in his return from injury, but the offense had his back. The bats came out to play, erupting on the Tigers for 8 unanswered runs.
It would never be answered, as the Tigers suddenly went silent and fell 8-7. It isn’t the prettiest win by the Pirates, but they’ll take wins any way they can get them. They’re looking at a 7.5-game hole in the NL Central going into Friday night. It’s one of the most wide-open divisions in baseball, but the Pirates are not included in that four-team race. Former Astro, Joe Musgrove, will look to add their 34th win of the season Friday night.
The Astros gave up on Musgrove after just two seasons in Houston. He posted ERA’s of 4.06 and 4.77 in 2016 and 2017. His first season in Pittsburgh was identical to his rookie year with the Astros. Musgrove pitched an ERA of 4.06 in both seasons. Going sideways is no fun as a pitcher and that appears to be what Musgrove is doing in the first four years of his major league career. He will go into Friday with an ERA of 4.87 and 1.27 WHIP. The Padres have done well against Musgrove, as they’ve hit .293 with a .326 OBP against him in 41 at-bats. Musgrove enters with an ERA of 6.39 in his last three starts.
It isn’t like Lauer has been anything special against the Pirates, though. The Bucs have a batting average of .320 with a .346 WHIP against Lauer in 50 at-bats. The road been unfriendly to him thus far in 2019. He has struggled with a 7.81 ERA and 1.66 WHIP as a visiting hurler. Lauer is coming off a brutal showing in Colorado, as the Rockies got to him for 10 hits and 5 runs in just 2.2 innings.
He isn’t going to be nearly that bad today, but the Pirates likely find their way around the bases. The Padres and Pirates are the 23rd and 24th best bullpens in the majors. As we’ve seen a lot this season, bullpens have a knack for spoiling what look like wins. If you need some more runs for a total bet, then the relievers are amazing. We’re going to be pulling for more bullpen drama in Pittsburgh on Friday night. Look at the OVER, at what I feel, is a good number at 8.5.