Ivan Nova (9-6, 4.83 ERA) and Joe Musgrove (1-1, 4.18 ERA) take the hill in the second of a three-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates (62-60) and the Houston Astros (65-60) at PNC Park. The Astros won the last game 3-1, and Houston leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Aug. 23 and can be seen on RTSW and RTPT.
Nova pitched 4.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering four runs and striking out five in a 6-5 win over the Giants. Gregory Polanco (.273, 64 Rs, 17 HRs, 67 RBIs, 11 SBs) had another good game yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one run. Musgrove went 5.1 innings, surrendering eight runs, striking out two and walking one in a 13-5 defeat to the Orioles in his most recent start. Jose Altuve (.364, 90 Rs, 20 HRs, 82 RBIs, 26 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday.
Houston is a slim -110 favorite over Pittsburgh. The matchup has an estimated Over/Under (O/U) of eight runs. The Pirates have an overall money line of -157 and a record as the underdog of 29-26. Pittsburgh has gone 5-1 in its last 10 as the underdog. The Pirates have no trouble scoring as they rank fourth in the NL in home offense with 4.6 runs per game. The Pirates are one of the best in the NL in terms of hits at home with an impressive 8.9 per game.
In games where it is the favorite, Houston has a 46-43 record and an overall money line of -897. Houston is 6-6 as the favorite and 9-6 SU against National League opponents. 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 411 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 5.9 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 Astros have the edge in the season series, 1-0. The Pirates have a 44-52 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Musgrove takes the mound. Nova (RHP) will be on the hill against the Astros, who have a 46-39 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - HOU, O/U - Over
For the seventh time this season, the Astros registered at least two errors in a game.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Pirates are going to have to step it up if they want to win this matchup. The Astros have an 18-1 record in games where opponents scored one run or less.
It looks like the Astros have a slight leg up on the Pirates, as the Astros have won their last four games while the Pirates have lost their last four.
When they outhit their opponents, the Pirates are 39-9. The Astros have a 50-5 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 18th in runs, Pittsburgh has earned 550 this season. Houston ranks 11th with 572 runs.
Ranking 10th, Pittsburgh is in the top 10 of the league in walks, notching 399 this season. Houston ranks in the top five with 446.
When the Pirates hit at least one home run, they are 44-26, well-matched with the Astros who are 56-35 when hitting one or more homers.