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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Pittsburgh Pirates MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 6/23/14

Pittsburgh Pirates (37-38) at Tampa Bay Rays (310-46)

MLB Baseball: Monday, June 23, 2014 at 7:10 pm (Tropicana Field)

Edinson Volquez (R) (4-6) (4.785) vs. Alex Cobb (R) (2-5) (3.479)

The Line: Tampa Bay Rays -153 / Pittsburgh Pirates +143 --- Over/Under: 7.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ROOT-Pittsburgh, SUN

The Tampa Bay Rays and the Pittsburgh Pirates face of on Monday at Tropicana Field for game one of their interleague series.

The Tampa Bay Rays enter the week and this series with the worst overall record in baseball and while they are known as being a second half team they may have too many teams to jump to contend for the post season. The Rays are 18-23 at home, 6-4 in their last 10 games, and they have won their last two games. As a team the Rays are hitting .245 with James Loney hitting .280, Evan Longoria hitting .268, and Matt Joyce hitting .267. The Rays pitching staff has an ERA of 3.88 with the starters at 3.87 and the bullpen at 3.89. For game one the Rays start Alex Cobb who has lost four of his last five starts. For the season Cobb has allowed 46 hits and 21 earned runs while striking out 51 over 54.1 innings for a 2-5 record and a 3.48 ERA.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Pittsburgh Pirates MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 6/23/14

USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates are just trying to get into position in the NL Central where they can contend but they are currently under .500 and in fourth place in the standings. The Pirates are 16-20 on the road, 6-4 in their last 10 games, and they have won their last two games. As a team the Pirates are hitting .259 with Andrew McCutchen hitting .312, Neil Walker hitting .280, and Starling Marte is hitting .258. The Pittsburgh pitching staff has an ERA of 3.91 with the starters at 4.32 and the bullpen at 3.18. For game one the Pirates start Edinson Volquez who has lost two of his last three starts. For the season Volquez has allowed 74 hits and 42 earned runs while striking out 55 over 81 innings.

The Tampa Bay Rays are 8-18 in their last 26 games, 5-2 against the NL Central, and 1-4 in Cobb’s last five home starts. Pittsburgh is 7-2 in game one of a series, 4-9 against the AL East, and 1-4 in Volquez’s last five home starts.

This is a tough call as the teams and the starting pitchers have been so inconsistent but I look for the Pirates to have the slightest edge here and they are the pick. 

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Pittsburgh Pirates +135

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