In the first of a three-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates (77-49) and the Colorado Rockies (51-74) at PNC Park, Francisco Liriano (9-6, 3.23 ERA) and Jon Gray (0-0, 5.94 ERA) get the start. The game gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Aug. 28 and will air on RTRM, RTPT and MLBN.
In his last start, Liriano pitched 5.1 innings, giving up zero runs (two unearned), striking out five and walking three in a 5-2 victory over the Giants. Andrew McCutchen (.301, 73 Rs, 20 HRs, 85 RBIs, 6 SBs) went 1 for 2 yesterday. The Rockies were unsuccessful the last time Gray pitched. He did not do well, pitching 1.2 innings, allowing seven runs and walking one in a 14-9 loss to the Mets. Carlos Gonzalez (.272, 68 Rs, 30 HRs, 71 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 4 Wednesday.
Pittsburgh is a heavy -240 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at seven runs. The Pirates have a winning record of 60-28 when playing as the favorite and an overall money line of +1,806. Over the last 10 games, they have a very good record when playing as the favorite (7-2). The Pirates have one of the most prolific offenses in the entire NL, averaging 4.3 runs per game. The Pirates rank fourth in the NL in hits with 9.1 per game. Transitioning to the pitching staff, the Pirates rank second in the NL in home ERA with a 2.89 team average. The Pirates are fifth in the NL in hits allowed at home with just 8.4 per game.
On the other side, the Rockies have a record of 37-55 when they are the underdog and are -1,552 overall with the money line.
This game will feature Gray (RHP) on the mound against the Pirates, who have a 62-38 record when they take on a right-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Rockies will be the left-hander Liriano. Southpaw starters have been a big issue for them as they sport records of 2-9 on the road and 5-19 overall.
Predictions: SU Winner - Pit, O/U - Over
Colorado has won 45% (25-31) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Pittsburgh has won 51% (27-26) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Rockies managed to give up eight walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Pirates who are heading in with a 3-1 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Rockies are 39-13. The Pirates have a 54-6 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 13th, Pittsburgh is in the top half of the league in runs, scoring 537 this season. Colorado ranks in the top five at fifth with 562.
Ranking 27th, Colorado is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 301 this season. Pittsburgh ranks in the bottom half at 20th with 344.
The Pirates are 51-23 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Rockies are 44-41 when they hit at least one homer.