Cleveland Indians (13-9) at Pittsburgh Pirates (4-14)
MLB Baseball: Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 7:05 pm (PNC Park)
Carlos Carrasco (2-2) (3.22) vs. JT Brubaker (0-0) (3.38)
The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates +175 / Cleveland Indians -200 --- Over/Under: 8.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Cleveland Indians and the Pittsburgh Pirates meet Tuesday in MLB action from PNC Park.
The Indians are coming out of a three-game weekend set versus the Tigers. Cleveland managed a sweep in that one, winning 10-5 Friday, 3-1 Saturday and 8-5 Sunday. As for the Pirates, they haven’t been on the field since Friday, as a couple of games versus the Reds were postponed this weekend due to a virus outbreak. Check back all season long for free MLB picks and MLB predictions at Sports Chat Place.
The Indians have gotten a few guys going offensively this season, but others have been slow to develop. Jose Ramirez is doing well on five homers with 18 RBI, 23 hits and 16 runs. Franmil Reyes is also off to a nice start on a .316 batting average, 24 hits, 10 runs, five homers and 15 RBI. Guys like Oscar Mercado (.111 BA), Sandy Leon (.119 BA) and Jordan Luplow (.038 BA) have struggled in the early-going, however.
For the Tuesday start, the Indians will send out Carlos Carrasco. In four starts this year, Carrasco is 2-2 with a 3.22 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 22.1 innings. On his career, Carrasco is 87-71 with a 3.81 ERA and 1253 Ks in 1196.2 innings of work.
Over on the Pirates’ side, they’ve had a pretty mixed bag with offense in 2020 as well. Colin Moran is the big hitter so far with six home runs and nine RBI with 12 runs, but he’s hitting just .226 overall. Adam Frazier has also been spotty on a .183 BA with seven runs, three homers and five RBI. Erik Gonzalez (.349 BA) and Phillip Evans (.359 BA) have shown some promise, but need some more output help from their teammates.
In the Tuesday starting role, the Pirates are going with RHP JT Brubaker. In three games (one start) this season, Brubaker has a 3.38 ERA with nine strikeouts in 8.0 innings. He worked three innings against the Twins on August 6 in his first MLB start.
The Indians are 5-0 in their last five road games and 6-1 in their last seven Tuesday games. Cleveland is 8-3 in their last 11 overall and 10-4 in their last 14 versus the National League Central.
Meanwhile, the Pirates are 29-62 in their last 91 overall and 5-11 in their last 16 games following an off day. Pittsburgh is 1-4 in their last five games as the home underdog and 1-5 in their last six during game one of a series.
Pick: I’m sticking Indians. This is a good opportunity for Carrasco to bounce back, as he didn’t have a good outing versus the Cubs his last time up (three runs and four hits in 4.1 innings). That was the first time of 2020 Carrasco has failed to turn in a quality start. As for Brubaker, he should be able to hold things together fairly well but likely won’t stick around for more than a few innings. Cleveland seems like the safer pick on paper here.