Pirates at Diamondbacks Pick for April 16th

Pittsburgh Pirates +122 at Arizona Diamondbacks -132 (Total: 8.5)

Eric Bedard (0-2, 2.55 ERA) vs. Joe Saunders (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.86 WHIP)

You know you’ve had some early season tough luck when you have an ERA of 2.55 and a WHIP of just 1.17, have pitched 14 innings in two outings and are still saddled with an 0-2 record.  Such is the case for Pirate left hander Eric Bedard, who has pitched well enough to be 2-0, yet finds himself on the losing end of both outings in 2012.   

I suppose that goes equally for D’Back lefty Joe Saunders whose seven scoreless innings resulted in a no decision in a game Arizona eventually lost.  Tough luck for both starters, but certainly encouraging sign for both ballclubs to get such strong outings from their lefties.

Arizona started the season on fire, racing out to a 4-0 start, but has lost three of their last five.  For the Pirates, the season began in thrilling fashion, taking two of three from in-state rival Philadelphia, and winning both in walk-off fashion.  However, since that series, things have been pretty bleak for the Bucos, losing five games in a row and scoring just seven runs in the process before yestreday’s 4-1 win over San Francisco.

The problem for Pittsburgh has long been getting enough bats to support an above-average pitching staff, and it appears to be the case again in 2012.  They are last in the National League in hitting with a paltry baseball!  The stats are ugly across the board; they are last in homeruns, RBIs, doubles and even walks.  Their .233 on base percentage is a full sixty points lower than anyone else in the National League.

To make a long point concise – through ten games this team is a historically bad offensive ball club.

Yet their pitching has been relatively solid.  They are fourth in the NL in ERA with a very good 2.57 ERA.  The pitching hasn’t been an issue; it’s been the offense that has them careening towards their staggering 20th straight losing season.

All those ugly offensive stats make tonight’s 8.5 run total seem a little high.  Saunders shut down his last opponent and they sure as heck hit better than the Pirates.  And Bedard has been good in each of his two starts, allowing just 4 runs in 14 innings pitched.  That all seems to bode well for a comfortable UNDER on tonight’s total.

Free Pick:  Total runs UNDER 8.5