Charlie Morton (7-4, 4.19 ERA) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (64-44) meet Alex Wood (7-7, 3.65 ERA) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (62-48) in the last of a three-game series at PNC Park. The Pirates won the last game 6-5 and Pittsburgh leads the series 2-0. The game starts at 8:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 9 and will air on ESPN.
In his last start, Morton pitched 7.0 innings, allowing zero runs and striking out seven in a 3-0 victory over the Reds. Andrew McCutchen (.300, 62 Rs, 16 HRs, 70 RBIs, 6 SBs) continued his strong season yesterday, going 3 for 3 with one run, one RBI, and one stolen base. The Dodgers were unsuccessful the last time Wood pitched. He struggled, going 6.1 innings, allowing four runs, striking out eight and walking two in a 6-2 loss to the Phillies. Justin Turner (.323, 36 Rs, 13 HRs, 44 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one RBI.
Oddsmakers have deemed this game an even matchup and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at seven runs. The Pirates are a nightmare for opponents on the bases with 73 steals, one of the highest totals in baseball. Pittsburgh's pitching staff will be looking to pick it up in this one after recent struggles. The Pirates have given up an average of 4.9 runs to opponents in their last 10 games, above their season average of 3.6 runs per game. The Pirates don't give up many hits to opposing batters at PNC Park, ranking third in the NL with only 8.2 hits allowed per home game.
The Dodgers are known for their power, smashing 135 home runs. Switching gears to Los Angeles's pitching staff, they have a WHIP of 1.20, fourth best in the MLB. They also have some of the most overpowering arms in baseball with an NL-high 8.7 strikeouts per game.
So far this season, the Pirates are 2-0 against the Dodgers. The Pirates will take on a left-hander (Wood) in this game and have an 11-9 record against left-handed starting pitchers this season. Taking the hill against the Dodgers will be the right-hander Morton. They sport a 54-37 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - LAD, O/U - Over
The Dodgers lost their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Pirates are 24-14. The Dodgers are 15-19 in close games this season.
The Pirates managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Dodgers who are coming in with a 34-18 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
It looks like the Pirates have a slight leg up on the Dodgers, as the Pirates have won their last three games while the Dodgers have lost their last two.
When they outhit their opponents, the Dodgers are 46-10. The Pirates have a 44-6 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 17th in runs, Pittsburgh has earned 447 this season. Los Angeles ranks 11th with 461 runs.
Los Angeles tops the league in walks with 377 this season. Pittsburgh ranks near the bottom at 21st with 283.
When the Pirates hit at least one home run, they are 40-20, well-matched with the Dodgers who are 48-29 when hitting one or more homers.