The Oakland Athletics and the Pittsburgh Pirates meet Monday in MLB action from PNC Park. The A’s are fresh off a series versus the Marlins. Oakland lost the first pair in that set, then on Sunday the A’s lost by two runs. As for the Pirates, they played the Cardinals over the weekend and won the first pair. In the finale Pittsburgh eked out a victory. Check back all season long for free MLB picks at Sports Chat Place.
Oakland fell to the Marlins 4-0 on Friday in the opener and 12-1 in the Saturday matchup. On Sunday the A’s couldn’t score outside of the third inning in a 7-5 loss. Starter Paul Blackburn managed 5.0 innings, five earned, seven hits and two walks.
For the starter job in the Monday opener the Athletics will go with JP Sears. Over 11 starts so far Sears is 0-3 with a 4.37 ERA and 54 Ks in 59.2 innings. Sears is 6-6 in his career with a 4.10 ERA in 28 games (22 starts).
Over on the Pittsburgh side, they beat the Cardinals 7-5 on Friday and 4-3 in game two. In the Sunday finale the Pirates scored twice in the first and held on for a 2-1 victory. Rich Hill lasted 6.2 innings in the start with one earned, four hits and three walks.
As starter for the Monday game the Pirates are going with Johan Oviedo. In his 11 starts this year Oviedo is 3-4 with a 4.50 ERA and 53 strikeouts over 58.0 frames. Oviedo has a 7-15 career record with a 4.39 ERA in 51 games (37 starts).
The A’s are 16-35 in their last 51 interleague games and 3-9 in their last 12 Monday games. Oakland is 15-52 in their last 67 in game one of a series.
Meanwhile, the Pirates are 4-1 in the last five in game one of a series and 19-40 in their last 59 Monday games. Pittsburgh is 1-4 in their last five versus the AL West.
ANDREW’S FREE PICK
I’ll probably stay with the Pirates here. Oviedo isn’t pitching too badly lately. He’s got 16.0 innings over his last three combined starts, going 1-1 with five earned on 11 hits and 10 walks. As for Sears, he’s got just four earned over his last 17.0 innings and should do well also. In the Sunday game, Pittsburgh pulled off the sweep with a nice pitching effort from Hill and the pen. I like the Pirates to keep it going in this opener.