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Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves Pick-Odds-Prediction - 8/18/14

Atlanta Braves (63-60) at Pittsburgh Pirates (64-59)

MLB Baseball: Monday, August 18, 2014 at 7:05 pm (PNC Park)

Ervin Santana (R) (12-6) (3.660) vs. Vance Worley (R) (5-2) (2.318)

The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -115 / Atlanta Braves -+105 --- Over/Under: 7 See the Latest Odds

TV: ROOT-Pittsburgh, SportSouth

The Pittsburgh Pirates hope to open their series with the Atlanta Braves with a victory Monday.

The Atlanta Braves weren't given much of a chance versus the visiting Oakland Athletics the past weekend but when the smoke had cleared it was the A's who didn't have a chance. The Braves finished off the sweep with a 4-3 decision on Sunday behind a rare strong outing from Mike Minor who served up a pair of solo homers over seven frames to get the win. The offense received a homer and two RBI's from Justin Upton who score twice also while Chris Johnson went solo. Ervin Santana gets the ball for the Atlanta Braves to open their series at PNC Park. Santana has been one of the more dependable members of the rotation recently with quality starts in eight of ten.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves Pick-Odds-Prediction - 8/18/14

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates are still challenging in the National League Central but trouble is brewing with the bats and arms struggling in five consecutive defeats. The Pirates woes continued in a 6-5, ten inning loss at Washington on Sunday. Edinson Volquez deserved better with four runs plated through six innings but only one was earned. Mark Melacon blew the save and Brandon Cumpton absorbed the loss with a run plated in the 10th. The bats totaled ten hits with Gregor Polanco leading the way with a pair of RBI's. The Pirates scored three times in the 9th to take the lead only to give it right back and eventually lose. The Pittsburgh Pirates send right hander Vance Worley to the mound to face the visiting Atlanta Braves. In five outings since the All Star break Worley has been outstanding with a 1.62 ERA.

The Braves are playing well and the Pirates are not so it would be simple to back the hotter team but Atlanta is never predictable. I think they are the right side but I'm not betting them because they aren't trustworthy...

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