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Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves - 5/17/16 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Atlanta Braves (9-28) at Pittsburgh Pirates (20-17)

MLB Baseball: Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 7:05 pm (PNC Park)

Aaron Blair (0-2) (4.05) vs. J Nicasio (3-3) (3.62)

The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -177 / Atlanta Braves +167 --- Over/Under: 7.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: FSSE, RTPT

In Tuesday night MLB action at PNC Park, the Atlanta Braves will visit the Pittsburgh Pirates once again to continue their four-game series.

In the opener of the set on Monday, the Pirates had five runs in the bag by the end of the third, and would hold on for an 8-5 win. The Braves put up three runs in the eighth, but ultimately couldn’t bridge the gap.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves - 5/17/16 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

For Tuesday’s game, the Braves will be giving the start to right-hander Aaron Blair. Over four starts and an 0-2 record this season, Blair has tallied a 4.05 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP across 20 innings of work. Blair had a forgettable outing on Thursday against the Phillies, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits in just 3.2 innings.

The Atlanta batting order is obviously not the most fearsome in the league, but there are a few notable hitters here. Freddie Freeman leads the team with six homers and 10 RBI. Freeman had two hits and two runs on Monday. Nick Markakis is also playing pretty well with 21 RBI and 35 hits. Backstop A.J. Pierzynski has contributed in spots, tallying 18 hits, seven runs and nine RBI.

As for the Pirates, they’ll be giving us another look at right-hander Juan Nicasio on Tuesday. Over seven starts and a 3-3 record in 2016, Nicasio has put up a 4.34 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP over 37.1 innings. On Wednesday in a no-decision against the Reds, Nicasio put up four runs in six innings of work.

Pittsburgh carries a pretty deep and potent offense along with them. Starling Marte leads the team on 47 hits with 21 runs. Marte is currently on the paternity list, however. Andrew McCutchen has been pretty solid on 36 hits with eight homers and 25 runs, but went 0-for-5 on Monday. Gregory Polanco is playing great right now, hitting .295 with 39 hits, 19 RBI and 26 runs of his own.

The Braves are 4-1 in their last five game twos of a series, but 0-4 in Blair’s last four starts.
Meanwhile, the Pirates are 4-0 in Nicasio’s last four starts against a team with a losing record, but just 1-4 in their last five home games.

I don’t think I’ve picked the Braves for anything this year, and I’m not going to start now, especially on the road against a solid Pittsburgh offense. Barring a meltdown, Nicasio and the Pirates should pick up the win.

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Pittsburgh Pirates -177

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