The Pirates took yesterday's series opener with the Rangers by 1-0 final. The teams combined for only 10 hits & it was Pittsburgh's 16th shutout win of the year. It was also their 82nd win, clinching their 1st winning season since '92. More troubling though is that the offense has scored just three runs in the last 3 games. I like the Under Tuesday
Here are my keys to the game:
1. Pirates Hitting - Like I said, it has been a tough stretch at the plate for the Pirates with just three runs scored total in the last three games. They have scored just 25 runs in the last eight games. For the season, they rank in the bottom 10 in all of MLB in runs scored, averaging less than four per game. They didn't get a runner past second base last night against Yu Darvish until the seventh inning, which is when they scored their only run.
2. Pitching Matchup - It should be a good one tonight with Francisco Liriano opposing Martin Perez. Liriano has made only two bad starts all season & one did come the last time he took the mound. But he still has a 2.98 ERA in 22 starts this year and has allowed 0 or 1 earned runs in 14 of those 22 starts. The Under is 9-1 on the road when he starts and the total is either 8 or 8.5 runs. For the Rangers, Perez has been red hot. He's a perfect 6-0 with a 2.76 ERA his last six starts. He allowed just one run in seven innings in his last start.
3. X-Factor - Quietly, the Rangers have become a very profitable team for Under bettors. That includes a 43-18 Under mark as a home favorite this season.
Selection: This is a free Under play on Pittsburgh-Texas (1*).