jimmythegreek Posts:10341 Followers:375
On 06/02/2014 04:02 PM in MLB

MONDAY FIRST 5 INNINGS PLAY (YTD 11-9)

Pittsburgh/San Diego over 3.5 -115:
Things are looking up away from PNC Park as of late now that the Pittsburgh Pirates (26-30) just finished taking 3 of 4 from the reeling LA Dodgers at Chavez Revine over the weekend. With just over a third of the season in the books, the Bucs find themselves 7.5 games back of Central leading Milwaukee and 3 games out of the NL wildcard. Pittsburgh begins a 3 game series this evening in San Diego (26-31) as the Padres return to Petco Park splitting a 6 game road trip. SD has also split each of their last 10 contests and sits 11.5 games behind NL West leading San Francisco but also just 3 games out of the wildcard race.

In this evening's series opener the Pirates send Charlie Morton (1-7 3.29) to the hill. Morton has pitched fairly well over his past few outings with not much offense to fall back on despite earning his first win of the season in late May. Last week the 30 year old righty from New Jersey yielded just 2 runs on 4 hits in just over 5 innings pitched in a 5-0 loss to the NY Mets. Morton has also been victimized by porous defense behind him especially since he's only given up 4 HR in nearly 70 IP. Tonight he faces a San Diego lineup that is dead last in hitting (.226) and runs scored (3.2) in the majors hitting only 45 HR all season. Petco is of course one of the several cathedral-like ballparks in the NL though there is plenty of fair grounds throughout the deeper parts of the field. Seth Smith (.313 6 20) has done a nice job adjusting to similar conditions from spending the last 2 seasons in Oakland and has made the most of his opportunities when active. Chris Denorfia (.272 1 13) got off to a promising start but has cooled off considerably. Everth Cabrera (.247 3 10) has not seen much protection in the lineup but recently squashed a 5 for 30 slump (.167) with 8 hits last week. Cameron Maybin (.303) is playing through a right calf injury listed as day to day, and Carlos Quentin (313) is slowly returning and recovering from a sore groin.

The Padres counter with Tim Stauffer (2-1 4.50) who recorded just one out in his last outing while yielding 7 runs on 6 hits in a 12-6 loss to Arizona. Stauffer had worked himself well into the San Diego rotation despite his only setback of the season, and looks to rebound against a Pirates lineup hitting .250 collectively. However, their erratic offense has had significant implications on their overall standing in the NL Central and are going to need to make up ground if they plan to return to the postseason. Averaging about 3.8 runs per contest, injuries and a lack of consistency during numerous opportunistic innings has contributed to the Bucs offensive downward spiral. Andrew McCutchen (.307 5 24) homered for the first time in 32 games during the win over the Dodgers Sunday evening but still hit .333 last week. Neil Walker (.271 10 29) is tied for the club lead in long balls with Pedro Alvarez (.223 10 31) but Starling Marte (.242 4 17) is mired in a 3 for 25 (.120) slump. Ike Davis (.273 4 17) is showing he's more than happy to be out of NY where the boo-birds have serenaded him for the last 3 seasons. On paper there is a balance of power and hitting throughout the lineup, though the lack of small ball is due to inconsistency to put quality innings together as evident by their 29 steals, 7 of which are by McCutchen.


Despite the pitcher friendly atmosphere and holes in both lineups we get a fairly reasonable price this evening. Seems unlikely we would put our money on a couple of teams that have had their issues scoring runs this season. However both starters have yet to put a couple of impressive consecutive outings together and it only takes a couple of mistakes in the field and on the mound to salvage a big inning or two. I've picked my spots in the present and over the last few seasons at venues which more often than not fall on hard times for the hitters, but the chances prove promising this evening as long as each club can take advantage. Since both managers like to juggle their lineups since there are both righties facing each other, we'll give the offense the benefit of the doubt as we try to get back on the winning track late out west. Best of luck however you play!

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bobalou Posts:4903 Followers:142
06/02/2014 08:35 PM

GL tonight - love these 1st half plays!



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bobalou Posts:4903 Followers:142
06/03/2014 12:15 AM

Congrats! Thanks for the play!



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