A.J. Burnett (7-3, 2.05 ERA) gets the start for the Pittsburgh Pirates (47-34) as they go up against James Shields (7-3, 4.14 ERA) and the San Diego Padres (39-45) in the first of a three-game series at PNC Park. The game starts at 7:05 p.m. ET on Monday, Jul. 6 and will air on FSN-SD and ROOT-PIT.
Burnett is 4-7 with a 4.38 ERA against the Padres in his career, and faces a less-than-stellar San Diego offense that's hitting just .239 on the year. Andrew McCutchen (.297, 43 Rs, 10 HRs, 51 RBIs, 5 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with two RBIs. In his career against the Pirates, Shields is 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA. He gets a solid Pittsburgh offense that's batting .257. Justin Upton (.262, 44 Rs, 14 HRs, 46 RBIs, 16 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday.
Pittsburgh, a -143 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against San Diego. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is set at seven runs. The Pirates perform well as a favorite with a 39-20 record and have an overall money line of +499. The Pirates rank fifth in the NL in hits at home with 8.7 per game. The Pirates are a nightmare for opponents on the bases with 62 steals, one of the highest totals in baseball. Pittsburgh's pitching staff can be considered one of the best in the NL. The Pirates have a team ERA of 2.92, one of the lowest in their league. An area where the Pirates are particularly strong is striking batters out, where they average 8.1 K's per game.
On the other side, the Padres have a record of 18-26 when they are the underdog and are -453 overall with the money line. They also have some of the most overpowering arms in the NL with an average of 8.4 strikeouts per game.
This game will feature Shields (RHP) on the mound against the Pirates, who have a 37-28 record when they take on a right-handed starter. The right-handed Burnett will take the mound against the Padres, who have a 29-36 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - PIT, O/U - Over
When leading after 7 innings, San Diego is 21-17, while Pittsburgh is 14-18.
The Pirates are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Padres have a 9-18 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
It looks like the Pirates have a slight leg up on the Padres, as the Pirates have won their last two games while the Padres have lost their last two.
When they outhit their opponents, the Padres are 28-8. The Pirates have a 35-5 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 17th, Pittsburgh is in the bottom half of the league in runs, scoring 328 this season. San Diego ranks in the top half at 15th with 336.
Pittsburgh and San Diego both rank near the bottom of the league in walks. Pittsburgh sits at 22nd with 211 this season and San Diego ranks 21st with 213.
When the Pirates hit at least one home run, they are 27-16, well-matched with the Padres who are 26-15 when hitting one or more homers.