Gerrit Cole (14-6, 2.48 ERA) is on the hill for the Pittsburgh Pirates (69-46) as they square off against Jeremy Hellickson (8-8, 4.73 ERA) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (57-59) in the first of a three-game series at PNC Park. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 17 and can be seen on FSAZ and RTPT.
Cole pitched 5.1 innings in his most recent start, surrendering three runs (one unearned), striking out six and walking two in a 4-2 defeat to the Cardinals. Jung Ho Kang (.288, 43 Rs, 9 HRs, 40 RBIs, 5 SBs) went 1 for 6 yesterday. Hellickson went 8.0 innings, surrendering zero runs (one unearned) and striking out six in a 13-1 win over the Phillies in his last outing. David Peralta (.304, 46 Rs, 12 HRs, 63 RBIs, 5 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday.
This one isn't expected to be close when Pittsburgh, a big -210 favorite, takes on Arizona. The matchup has an estimated Over/Under (O/U) of seven runs. The Pirates have recorded an overall money line of +1,392 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 53-26. Pittsburgh is unbeaten as the favorite and has a 7-3 SU record in its last ten outings. The Pirates have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 5.4 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.2 runs per game. The Pirates are one of the best in the NL in terms of hits with a phenomenal 9.0 per game. Crossing over to the pitching staff, opponents have consistently been struck out by the Pirates, who rank fifth in the NL in strikeouts per game with 8.1.
In games where it is the underdog, Arizona has a 34-36 record and an overall money line of +213. Offensively, the Diamondbacks have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 4.6 runs per game by averaging 6.3 during that stretch. The Diamondbacks are tough outs for opponents, ranking second in the NL with 9.3 hits per game. The Diamondbacks are an excellent base stealing team with 102 stolen bases, ranking second in the MLB.
The Pirates have the edge in the season series, 3-0. The Pirates have a 55-37 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Hellickson takes the mound. Cole (RHP) will be on the hill against the Diamondbacks, who have a 45-43 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - Pit, O/U - Over
The Diamondbacks lost their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Pirates are 25-15. The Diamondbacks are 17-19 in close games this season.
The Pirates are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Diamondbacks have a 16-32 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Diamondbacks are 12-38. The Pirates have a 16-35 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 23rd in home runs, Pittsburgh has hit 98 this season. Arizona ranks 18th with 104 home runs.
Pittsburgh and Arizona both rank in the top five of the league in hits. Pittsburgh sits at fourth with 9.02 hits per game and Arizona ranks second with 9.30.
Ranking 13th, Pittsburgh is in the top half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.719). Arizona ranks in the top 10 at eighth with an OPS of .737.
The Diamondbacks are 28-49 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Pirates are 30-28 when they allow at least one homer.