Philadelphia Phillies vs Pittsburgh Pirates MLB Pick – July 20th

The MLB is set up with a total of fifteen games up on the board for Saturday. One of those matchups will be the second game of a three game series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Both teams have had their share of struggles this season, but are still in striking distance of a playoff spot. They will look to earn a much needed win on Saturday night. This game is expected to start at 7:05 PM Eastern time.

The Phillies have earned a record of 51-47 to this point in the season. This puts them in third place of the NL East and in fourth place of the wild card race. Philadelphia is coming off a win, but have gone 4-4 in their last eight games. The Phillies will look to put together a winning streak to try and jump up the standings. Philadelphia could gain a 2-0 series lead in against the Pirates with a win on Saturday night.

Pittsburgh has a record of 45-51 so far this season, which has the Pirates in fourth place of the NL Central and five and a half games back from the final wild card spot in the National League. The Pirates have struggled as of late, losing six of their last seven games. Pittsburgh will look to bounce back with a big win on Saturday night.

These two teams are still very much in the playoff race but could use some winning streaks to get them back into those wild card spots. Both teams are seven and a half games back from the top team in their division, which they could catch with a really strong streak here in the second half of the season. Both teams should be coming out fast on Saturday in this tight series.

Previous Matchups

The Phillies and the Pirates played in two series last season. The first series was in Philadelphia, where the Phillies were able to win all four games by scores of 7-0, 2-1, 6-2 and 3-2. The second series shifted to Pittsburgh, where the Pirates could not do much better. Philadelphia took the first two games by scores of 17-5 and 3-2. Pittsburgh took the final matchup of the season 4-1.

The first game of this series was last night. The Pirates got the game started with an RBI single in the bottom of the second. Adam Haseley tied it up with a solo home run in the top of the fifth. Bryce Harper broke the tie with an RBI single in the top of the seventh. The Phillies added three runs in the top of the ninth to put the game on ice as they coasted to a 6-1.

The Pirates were dominated by Philadelphia last season, going 1-6 against the Phillies. Philadelphia was able to win the first game of this season with a win last night. Pittsburgh will look to break through against the Phillies with a much needed win on Saturday night. The Pirates will need to put together a better defensive performance as they allowed fifteen hits in last night’s game.

Batting

Bryce Harper has been putting up a solid performance this season as he has 94 hits, 17 home runs and 70 RBI’s. Rhys Hoskins has 88 hits, 20 home runs, 61 RBI’s and an OPS of .921. Cesar Hernandez leads the team with 100 hits this season. Maikel Franco, Scott Kingery, J.T. Realmuto, and Jean Segura all have double-digit home runs on the season as well.

Josh Bell has been putting up an amazing performance this season. Bell has earned 105 hits, 27 home runs, 84 RBI’s and an OPS of .990. Starling Marte has put up an impressive stat line of 97 hits, 16 home runs and 52 RBI’s. Adam Frazier has 92 hits, while Bryan Reynolds and Kevin Newman both have over 80 hits this season. Colin Moran has 79 hits, 10 home runs and 50 RBI’s this season.

The Pirates have been led by Bell, Marte, and Frazier this season. In last night’s game, they combined for zero hits. Pittsburgh will need their big players to step up if they want to even up this series on Saturday night. Hoskins was held hitless last night as well but was walked twice. The Phillies will look for him to get some more hits on Saturday night.

Pitchers

Philadelphia will have Zach Eflin start on the mound for Saturday night’s tilt with Pittsburgh. Eflin has a record of 7-9 this season through eighteen starts. He has earned an ERA of 4.16 and a WHIP of 1.321 so far this season. Eflin’s last start came against the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he allowed nine hits and seven runs through six innings as he took a tough loss.

Joe Musgrove will start on the mound for the Pirates on Saturday. Musgrove has a record of 6-8 this season in nineteen starts and twenty games. He has a 4.31 ERA and a WHIP of 1.227 through those games. Musgrove’s last start came against the St. Louis Cardinals. He allowed five hits and four earned runs through four and two-thirds innings.

These two pitchers are coming off tough losses in their last performances. Musgrove and Eflin both have struggling records this season but are still strong pitchers. They will both look to bounce back with a win on Saturday night. Eflin has earned losses in his last two games, while Musgrove was on a strong stretch before his last performance.

Pick Overview

The Pirates have struggled a lot as of late against the Phillies, but I believe that Pittsburgh has a good chance to start to turn that around on Saturday. The Pirates were in striking distance of Philadelphia throughout Friday night’s game but lost it in the end. With Pittsburgh’s ace pitcher getting the start on the mound, they have a great chance to pull off the win at home.

BetOnline has the Pirates listed as a -115 against the money line on Saturday. This implies that Pittsburgh will win this game around 53.5 percent of the time. The Pirates are at home and have Musgrove starting on the mound, which gives them a good edge in my opinion. I think that there is a lot of value on Pittsburgh as a slight favorite in this game, which makes them my pick of the night.

My Pick
PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Andruw Burling / author

Andruw Burling has been writing sports picks since 2017, covering mainly NHL and NBA content, but doing work in other sports as well. Andruw grew up in Las Vegas and has been around sports since a young age. He grew up a huge NHL and NBA fan and continues to use that knowledge in his content today.