Pittsburgh Pirates at San Diego Padres – MLB May 3

10:10 p.m. Pirates at Padres (-185 ML) O/U: 8

The 12-15 Pirates travel to the West Coast for a three-game series in San Diego against the 16-13 Padres. Pittsburgh has lost four games in a row by the combined score of 31-14, including a three-game sweep at the hands of the Cardinals over the weekend. The Pirates were shut out on Sunday in the series finale, 3-0, tallying just five hits for the entire game. The Padres are trending in the other direction, winning three of their last four games.

San Diego will be looking for revenge on Pittsburgh for an underwhelming split of a four-game series at PNC Park back in mid-April.

About the Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates LogoThe Pirates are beginning to crash back down to earth after a better-than-expected start to their season. Honestly, it seemed inevitable because of their obvious lack of talent. Pittsburgh’s payroll is only $54 million, which is $6 million less than any other team in the National League. As with most things in life, you usually get what you pay for in baseball.

The Pirates average 3.8 runs per game, which is tied for the fourth-fewest in the major leagues. They have hit only 20 home runs so far this season, which is the second-fewest in all of baseball. First baseman Colin Moran has stepped into the role of leader this season with the departure of Josh Bell via trade last offseason. Moran is batting .287 with a team-leading four home runs and 19 RBI to start his 2021 campaign.

Another member of the Pittsburgh infield who has stepped up has been second baseman Adam Frazier, who leads the team batting at .292. The pitching staff has been underwhelming with a 4.54 ERA that ranks 24th in MLB.

About the Padres

San Diego Padres LogoThe Padres entered 2021 with massive expectations after making it to the postseason in 2020. The hitting has been off to a slower start than expected, especially when considering the amount of money invested in this lineup. The Friars rank 19th in the big leagues with four runs scored per game.

One impressive feat accomplished by San Diego so far this season is its team total of 35 stolen bases, which leads all of baseball. The $330 Million Dollar Man, star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., was placed on the 10-Day injured list for a brief stretch in April, but has come back and not missed a beat. Tatis has eight home runs, which has him tied for third in the National League despite missing over a week with a left shoulder injury. Veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer has also been impressive this year, batting .302 with three home runs and 17 RBI.

But the most impressive aspect of the Padres is their pitching staff that boasts the top ERA in all of baseball at 2.91. This is a culmination of not only the additions of Blake Snell and Yu Darvish in free agency, but also the emergence of some highly talented young arms inside the organization such as Ryan Weathers.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Pittsburgh Pirates +1½ (-130) +155 O 8 (-110)
Philadelphia Phillies -1½ (+110) -185 U 8 (-110)

The Pitching Matchup

Left-hander Tyler Anderson is getting the ball on Monday night for the Pirates. Anderson has been one of the best starters Pittsburgh has to offer this season with a 2-2 record and a 3.38 ERA in 26.2 innings of work over five starts. Anderson started against San Diego back on April 14 and earned the win after 5.1 innings of one-run ball.

The Padres are turning to right-hander Miguel Diaz for the series opener in a start that likely will last only two to three innings for the usual relief pitcher. It will be his first major league appearance since 2019, when he appeared in five games with a 7.11 ERA in 6.1 innings of work. He is getting the start with Dinelson Lamet and Weathers missing starts because of minor arm soreness. Diaz is expected to be sent back down to the minors or to the bullpen following Monday night’s start.

What’s the Bet?
The best wager for this one is to target the Over/Under total for the game. Sixty-nine percent of the games Pittsburgh has played on the road this year have gone under the O/U number. The Under has hit in 63 percent of games when San Diego was favored. While Pittsburgh has the pitching advantage and the Padres are a disappointing 5-9 at home thus far this season, there is not enough value to back the Pirates based on their recent form.

The smart thing to do is to take the Under in the series opener because Anderson can limit the damage from San Diego’s lineup and all you need from Diaz is two shutout innings before it becomes a bullpen game. The Padres and their elite bullpen have a strong advantage there and easily could string together roughly seven solid innings. Eight runs as the O/U total is too high for two teams who go through cold spells in the batter’s box at the rate these two do.

Back the Under in San Diego for what should be a pitcher’s duel all night long.
The Bets
Under 8 Runs
-110

*Odds Courtesy of MyBookie Sportsbook

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Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.