Pirates vs. Phillies MLB Pick – August 26th

Losing winnable games has to be the most frustrating team for a team hunting for a wildcard right now. After a productive 5 innings out of Aaron Nola, the offense finally gave him some run support with 2 runs. That was quickly erased, as the Marlins scored 3 runs minutes later to take the lead and not let go. Pretty pathetic trip to Miami for the Phillies.

They lost the opener after blowing a 7-0 lead and losing 19-11. Saturday provided a better day, as they responded for a 9-3 win. However, any momentum that they generated was gone Sunday. The offense had a lifeless performance and paid for it with a loss.

The Phillies have been really good at losing games they should win this season. For all of the theatrics when Bryce Harper hits a walk-off in the media, there’s also the bad losses that don’t get mentioned as much as they should. If you just followed baseball through the media, and whenever they highlight a Bryce Harper home run, you’d think this team is winning the NL East. They aren’t winning the NL East and their chance of getting a wildcard is debatable.

Philadelphia enter this week down by 1.5 games in the National League. Add some of those bad losses as wins to their resume and the Phillies’ odds to reach the postseason go up significantly. Gabe Kapler certainly cannot get any free pass if they fail to go to October.

A lot of that is on the manager. There isn’t any reason why they shouldn’t have gotten up to play on Sunday. Instead, it looked like they were using the time in Miami to party the night before. The Phillies will be at home for the next three days with the Pirates in town. Bryce is expected back from paternity leave after missing the weekend. Jason Vargas has been scheduled in as the starter for the Phillies, while Joe Musgrove is pencilled in for the Pirates. Head below for our free Pirates vs. Phillies pick.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Philadelphia Phillies Pick:

Betting Odds:

  • Moneyline: Phillies -130/Pirates +110
  • O/U: 9.5

Pitching Matchup:

  • Joe Musgrove (8-12, 4.74 ERA)
  • Jason Vargas (6-6, 3.99 ERA)

Betting odds provided by bovada.lv

Phillies’ fans are going to want Kapler fired by the end of this series of their team doesn’t find success against the Pirates. This is at home, so you’re bound to hear some boos of this series goes south for the Phillies. The Pirates are coming off a sweep of the Cincinnati Reds in impressive fashion.

Pittsburgh haven’t been able to celebrate much in 2019, but notch that one up as a nice weekend for the Pirates. They can cause a lot of headaches in Philadelphia if they have another good series here. It’s not going to be easy to keep it rolling, though.

Joe Musgrove enters with an ERA of 5.09 and 1.25 WHIP in his last three outings. He is coming off a horrid performance against the Nationals in which he allowed 5 earned runs in 5 innings of work. Musgrove has an average ERA of 4.74 overall on the season. His main issue has been inconsistency. He’s been a bit all over the place.

A really good outing here and there mixed in with some garbage. In three out of his last six starts, Musgrove has allowed at least 5 earned runs. And then there’s an impressive showing against the Cubs and Reds sprinkled in there. He does have a lot of success against the Phillies in the past, but it’s a matter of what Musgrove wants to show up to Philadelphia tonight.

Following a couple of sad efforts in Miami against a bad Marlins team, I think he’s going to get the Phillies at their best tonight. The Pirates have been great against righties with a .267 batting average, though just .235 against left-handed pitching, which Vargas is.

The Pirates are only 2-8 against the Phillies in their previous ten meetings, and the Pirates are just 8-25 on the road in their last 33 games. In typical Phillies’ fashion, they look like a postseason team tonight after failing against one of the worst teams in the majors. I’d consider going with the Phillies to respond back at home here.

The Bet
Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of The Sports Geek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at The Sports Geek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, and the NHL. Prior to writing for The Sports Geek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily at The Sports Geek.