Runs may be hard to come by in this one as Gerrit Cole (14-5, 2.29 ERA) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (62-44) meet Clayton Kershaw (9-6, 2.37 ERA) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (61-46) in the first of a three-game series at PNC Park. The game starts at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Aug. 7 and will air on RTPT, SNLA and ESPN.
In his most recent outing, Cole pitched 5.0 innings, giving up two runs (one unearned), striking out eight and walking one in a 4-3 loss to the Reds. Andrew McCutchen (.291, 59 Rs, 16 HRs, 68 RBIs, 5 SBs) went 1 for 2 Wednesday with two runs, one home run, and two RBIs. The Dodgers were victorious over the Angels 3-1 the last time Kershaw pitched. He went 8.0 innings, allowing zero runs, striking out seven and walking one. Yasmani Grandal (.295, 39 Rs, 15 HRs, 41 RBIs) has been doing well, going 2 for 5 yesterday.
Pittsburgh, a +127 underdog, will look to capitalize at home against Los Angeles. The matchup currently has a six-run Over/Under (O/U). The Pirates are in an interesting position this season. While it has a notable overall money line (+952), its record as underdog (10-18) is less impressive. Below average play has been the norm lately for the Pittsburgh pitchers. The Pirates have given up an average of 5.4 runs to opponents in their last 10 games, above their season average of 3.6 runs per game. The Pirates are fourth in the NL in hits allowed at home with just 8.3 per game.
On the other side, the Dodgers have a record of 54-42 when they are favored and are -802 overall with the money line. The Dodgers are known for their power, smashing 132 home runs. The last 10 games have really brought the worst out of the Los Angeles pitchers. They allowed 4.5 runs per game during that span, which is higher than their season average of 3.5. They have a WHIP of 1.19 on the year, good for second in the league. The Los Angeles pitching staff has been an intimidating group this year, averaging an NL-best 8.7 strikeouts per game.
The Pirates will take on a left-hander (Kershaw) in this game and have a 10-9 record against left-handed starting pitchers this season. The right-handed Cole will take the mound against the Dodgers, who have a 53-36 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - LAD, O/U - Over
After last game's shutout win against the Philadelphia, the Dodgers now have 15 shutouts this season. The Pirates have been shut out in eight games this season.
The Pirates are coming off of a hot pitching game where they recorded nine strikeouts. The Dodgers have a record of 24-18 when they are struck out that many times or more.
When they are outhit, the Dodgers are 12-33. The Pirates have a 14-34 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 25th in home runs, Pittsburgh has hit 85 this season. Los Angeles ranks fifth with 132 home runs.
Ranking 11th, Los Angeles is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.38 per game. Pittsburgh ranks in the top five at fourth with 8.86.
Ranking 17th, Pittsburgh is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.703). Los Angeles ranks in the top five at fifth with an OPS of .755.
The Dodgers are 25-31 when they allow at least one home run. The Pirates perform similarly when they allow one or more homers with a 25-28 record.