What a crazy day we had yesterday! It felt like a return to the chicks dig the longball nineties where balls were flying out of the park at a breakneck pace and runs were easy to come by. The Atlanta Braves scored ten runs, the Brewers and Twins both scored eleven, the Indians posted a fourteen spot, and not to be outdone, the Rangers dropped sixteen on the Royals and the big number of the day came in Detroit, where the A’s blasted the Tigers for seventeen runs. I am not sure what the record is for most teams scoring at least ten runs in one day, but yesterday had to be close, and it was a lot of fun to watch.
Sadly, we weren’t backing one of those teams that blew up yesterday. We took a flyer on the Pittsburgh Pirates as road underdogs against the San Diego Padres and came up just short. To me, this game was about as even of a game as you are ever going to see, and I liked our side of the starting pitching matchup with Trevor Williams looking like the more reliable arm, so I took a shot at a dog money payout and backed the Pirates.
And to be fair, we really weren’t all that wrong. The Pirates had built a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. And that was after losing starter, Trevor Williams, to an injury in the fourth inning. The injury was certainly unfortunate as Williams seemed to be cruising, he had allowed just one run on only two hits, with five punchouts through three and two thirds.
When the Pirates turned things over to bullpen arm Richard Rodriguez, the wheels fell off. Rodriguez got hammered for three runs, with the big swing coming in the form of an Ian Kinsler three-run bomb. The Pirates did their best to battle back, and had a shot at winning the game late, but ended up coming up a run short, losing 4-3. What can you do, after watching the game, I see the play on the Pirates as dogs as one that held plenty of value, that just didn’t come in. For today’s pick, I will stay right here in San Diego and take a look at game two between the Pirates and Padres.
The San Diego Padres host the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight in game two of a four-game set. The Padres took game one last night in come from behind fashion, and are hoping to build on that success tonight in game two.
Starting for the Pirates is Jordan Lyles (3-1 2.09 ERA), and for the Padres it is Joey Lucchesi (3-2 4.57 ERA). The game total over-under is set at seven runs. The Padres are -152 home favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PST from PETCO Park in San Diego.
The injury yesterday to Pirates starter Trevor Williams is just another bump in the road in what has been a very frustrating start to the season for Pittsburgh. They were already forced to play without their opening day starter Jameson Taillon, and Chris Archer has missed time with injury as well. So, to say they need a big performance tonight out of Jordan Lyles tonight would not at all be an understatement.
This Pirates bullpen has been used and abused, and they need six or seven strong innings out of Lyles tonight. Luckily, Lyles has been pitching lights out recently, so there is a great chance he comes through for his team. In his seven starts this season, Lyles has allowed two runs or fewer in all but one start. In his last two starts, he has been especially good as he has pitched a combined twelve and two-thirds of an inning and has given up just two earned runs.
In his last starts against the St. Louis Cardinals, he threw a one-hitter in six innings. He should enjoy his time on the mound tonight against a Padres team that is one of the lowest scoring teams in the major leagues.
The Padres will counter with Joey Lucchesi on the mound tonight. Lucchesi has really struggled with consistency this season and has been prone to blowing up. In four of his eight starts, he has given up at least three earned runs. That includes outings where he got hammered for five runs and seven runs. That inconsistency has led to his ERA to be bloated up to where it stands at 4.57.
To me, this game is very similar to last night’s game. Except that I like our side of the starting pitching matchup even more than I did last night. Lyles has been great, and he knows that his team needs a big outing out of him tonight. And I think he finds a way to get the job done against his old team. It wouldn’t shock me to see this as another close game, and if Lyles can’t go deep, this Pittsburgh bullpen is likely to get touched up, so we are gambling a bit here.
But when you look at the price, with the Pirates as fairly significant underdogs, it is well worth taking a shot at a jumbo payout. And that is just what we will do tonight. Give me the Pittsburgh Pirates as road underdogs tonight in game two in San Diego!