Jameson Taillon (3-2, 3.00 ERA) and Doug Fister (11-8, 3.76 ERA) are on the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates (62-59) and the Houston Astros (64-60) at PNC Park. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 22 and can be seen on RTSW and RTPT.
Taillon pitched 6.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering three runs, striking out five and walking one in a 4-3 win over the Giants. Gregory Polanco (.270, 63 Rs, 17 HRs, 67 RBIs, 11 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run. Fister went 4.0 innings, surrendering four runs, striking out three and walking one in an 8-2 defeat to the Cardinals in his most recent start. Jose Altuve (.365, 90 Rs, 20 HRs, 82 RBIs, 26 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run and one RBI.
Pittsburgh is a -150 favorite against Houston and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at eight runs. The Pirates have an overall money line of -19 and a record as the favorite of 33-33. Pittsburgh is a disappointing 1-3 as the favorite over its last 10 games. The Pirates have no trouble scoring as they rank fourth in the NL in home offense with 4.7 runs per game. The Pirates are one of the best in the NL in terms of hits with a phenomenal 8.8 per game.
In games where it is the underdog, Houston has an 18-17 record and an overall money line of -1,125. Houston is undefeated as the underdog against National League opponents with a 2-0 record and 8-6 SU. Offensively, they average five runs per game on the road, which is the best in the AL. The Astros have a dynamic offense, ranking fifth in the league with 408 extra base hits. Houston is excellent at drawing walks with an AL-best 3.6 per road game. The Astros allow 4.2 runs per game, but have damaged those numbers in the past 10 games, allowing 6.4 runs per game during that span. The Astros have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an AL-best 8.7 strikeouts per game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Pirates have a 44-51 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Fister takes the mound. Taillon (RHP) will be on the hill against the Astros, who have a 44-39 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - HOU, O/U - Over
Pittsburgh recorded at least two errors for the 16th time this season.
The Pirates are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Astros have an 11-30 record when opponents give up two walks or less.
It looks like the Astros have a slight leg up on the Pirates, as the Astros have won their last three games while the Pirates have lost their last three.
When they outhit their opponents, the Pirates are 39-9. The Astros have a 50-5 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 17th, Pittsburgh is in the bottom half of the league in runs, scoring 549 this season. Houston ranks in the top half at 11th with 569.
Ranking 10th, Pittsburgh is in the top 10 of the league in walks, notching 398 this season. Houston ranks in the top five with 445.
The Pirates are 44-26 when they hit at least one home run. The Astros perform similarly when they hit one or more homers with a 55-35 record.