Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Boston Red Sox MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 9/18/14
Boston Red Sox (66-86) at Pittsburgh Pirates (81-70)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 7:05 pm (PNC Park)
Brandon Workman (R) (1-8) (5.472) vs. Gerrit Cole (R) (9-5) (3.923)
The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -195 / Boston Red Sox +184 --- Over/Under: 7 See the Latest Odds
TV: NESN, ROOT
The Pittsburgh Pirates look to inch closer to a postseason spot as they conclude their interleague series with the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night from PNC Park.
The Boston Red Sox lost for the second straight night in Pittsburgh on Wednesday as starting pitcher Clay Buchholz was tagged for five runs (four earned) in just four innings of work and reliever Steven Wright was tagged for four more runs in the next inning to dig an insurmountable hole early. The offense stumbled for the second consecutive night plating just one run on five hits. Mike Napoli drew three walks, Xander Bogaerts had the team’s only RBI, and Mookie Betts had a hit and drew a walk in the loss.
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Brandon Workman makes the start for Boston on Thursday after losing nine of his last ten starts. Workman has struggled mightily across 18 appearances and 14 starts as he enters this contest with a WHIP of 1.39 and ERA of 5.27 while posting a 1-9 record. The 26 year old right Workman has actually been better on the road with a 4.54 ERA eight appearances (six starts) spanning 35.2 innings this year; none of the Pirates have faced Workman before.
The Pittsburgh Pirates won for the third consecutive day on Wednesday as their bid for a return to the postseason looks to be strong with sole possession of the second wild card spot at the moment with the Brewers lurking behind. In Wednesday’s 9-1 win, starting pitcher Francisco Liriano was highly effective allowing just one run on three hits over six innings and the offense belted out 15 total hits. The Pirates hit three home runs in the win as Gregory Polanco hit a solo home run, Neil Walker had two hits including a solo shot, Ike Davis had two hits including a three run HR, Clint Barmes had three hits and two RBI’s, Josh Harrison had two hits and drove in a run, and Andrew McCutchen added two hits.
Gerrit Cole will take the mound for the Pirates on Thursday as the team looks to continue rolling towards a spot in the postseason. Cole hasn’t been in peak form in five starts since coming off the DL but has nonetheless been serviceable with a 4.31 ERA and strong strikeout numbers. For the season Cole has a WHIP of 1.29 and ERA of 3.92 while posting a 9-5 record on the year. The 24 year old righty Cole has been at his best at home with a 3.48 ERA across ten starts. Former Cardinal Allen Craig is 0-6 lifetime against Cole and Yoenis Cespedes is the only other Red Sox player to have seen Cole going one for three lifetime.
The Red Sox haven’t been swinging the bats well in this series but with the total set at seven I see a strong opportunity to jump on the over with the Pirates figuring to take their hacks at Workman and get the scoring started early in the ballgame.