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Pittsburgh Pirates vs. San Diego Padres MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 8/9/14

San Diego Padres (52-62) at Pittsburgh Pirates (62-53)

MLB Baseball: Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 7:05 pm (PNC Park)

Eric Stults (L) (4-13) (4.937) vs. Francisco Liriano (L) (3-7) (3.908)

The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -166 / San Diego Padres +156 --- Over/Under: 7 See the Latest Odds

TV: FSSD, ROOT

The Pirates host the Padres for game two of their three game series at PNC Park.

The San Diego Padres played out a familiar script in last night’s 2-1 loss in Pittsburgh, displaying effective pitching but lacking offensive production.   The Padres scored a run in the opening frame on a Seth Smith sac fly, but starter Ian Kennedy allowed two runs (one earned) in the bottom half of the inning and no more runs would end up crossing the plate the rest of the way as the Padres managed just five hits on the night.   The Padres rank dead last in the four major offensive categories and have occupied that spot in the rankings for the better part of the season. 

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. San Diego Padres MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 8/9/14

USA TODAY Sports

The Padres may need some unlikely offense as they send Eric Stults to the mound for Saturday’s game.  The soft-tossing lefty has been knocked around quite a bit this year, but in his last start he had his best stuff allowing just one run on two hits over 6.1 innings of work against the Braves.   That start did come in San Diego though; Stults has struggled outside of Petco with a road ERA of 5.78 and opponent batting average of .299.  For the season Stults has a WHIP of 1.42, ERA of 4.94, and miserable record of 4-13.

The Padres are a poor road team at 21-35 on the year.

The Pittsburgh Pirates got another strong performance out of Vance Worley in Friday night’s win as the right hander pitched seven innings allowing just one run on five hits, setting up Mark Melancon to pick up his 21st save.  Josh Harrison and Gregory Polanco both had three hits on the night as the Pirates are finding ways to make up for the temporary absence of Andrew McCutchen.  Pittsburgh gained ground in the division with the win as well as the Cardinals were hammered in Baltimore.

The Pirates will look to capitalize on another winnable game as they turn to lefty Francisco Liriano, who may be regaining his form from last year.  Liriano is 2-0 in his last three starts, allowing a total of just four earned runs over the last 20 innings he’s pitched.  Home field hasn’t been particularly kind to the 30 year old veteran this season, but with a sellout crowd expected and a light hitting squad in town those numbers could trend downward after this start.  For the season Liriano has a WHIP of 1.34, ERA of 3.91, and record of just 3-7. 

The Pirates are an impressive 37-22 at home on the season.

The Pirates are winning home games at a 62.7% clip this year and the implied win percentage at the current odds of -166 is 62.4%.  After factoring in the pitching and batting edges for this particular opponent there is value on betting the home side, so don’t be surprised when this line rises.

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Pittsburgh Pirates -166 (2 units)

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