Gerrit Cole (7-8, 3.25 ERA) and Tom Koehler (9-8, 3.86 ERA) are on the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates (62-56) and the Miami Marlins (62-59) at PNC Park. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Aug. 19 and can be seen on FSFL and RTPT.
Cole pitched 4.1 innings in his last outing, surrendering six runs (one unearned) and striking out three in an 8-4 defeat to the Dodgers. David Freese (.283, 53 Rs, 11 HRs, 46 RBIs) went 1 for 3 Wednesday with one run. Koehler went 6.0 innings, surrendering three runs, striking out five and walking one in a 5-4 win over the White Sox in his most recent start. Giancarlo Stanton (.244, 52 Rs, 25 HRs, 70 RBIs) has been successful at the plate for the Marlins, going 3 for 5 yesterday with one run, one home run, and three RBIs.
This one isn't expected to be close when Pittsburgh, a substantial -180 favorite, takes on Miami. According to the oddsmakers, the Over/Under (O/U) is currently eight runs. The Pirates have an overall money line of +461 and a record as the favorite of 33-30.
In games where it is the underdog, Miami has a 32-30 record and an overall money line of +54. The Marlins are tough outs for opponents, ranking second in the NL with 9.4 hits per game. Miami is excellent at making contact with just 7.6 strikeouts per game, ranking fourth in the NL. The Marlins have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an NL-best 8.6 strikeouts per game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Marlins lead the season series, 3-1. The Pirates have a 44-48 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Koehler takes the mound. Cole (RHP) will be on the hill against the Marlins, who have a 41-50 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - PIT, O/U - Over
The Marlins lost their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Pirates are 17-12. The Marlins are 16-16 in close games this season.
Pittsburgh has won 45% (25-30) of its games when leading after seven innings. However, Miami has won 48% (27-29) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Marlins are coming off of a hot pitching game where they recorded 12 strikeouts. The Pirates have a record of 6-9 when they are struck out that many times or more.
When they are outhit, the Marlins are 8-38. The Pirates have a 16-44 record when opponents outhit them.
Both falling near the bottom of the league based on total home runs this season, Pittsburgh ranks 26th with 112 homers and Miami is 28th with 101.
Pittsburgh and Miami both rank in the top five of the league in hits. Pittsburgh sits at fifth with 8.82 hits per game and Miami ranks second with 9.39.
Pittsburgh and Miami both rank in the top half of the league for their on-base plus slugging percentage. Pittsburgh sits at 15th with an OPS of .737, and Miami ranks 14th with an OPS of .738.
When the Marlins allow at least one home run, they are 27-36, well-matched with the Pirates who are 32-43 when allowing at least one homer.