In the second of a three-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates (45-34) and the Cleveland Indians (45-34) at PNC Park, Jeff Locke (4-4, 4.55 ERA) and Cody Anderson (1-0, 0.57 ERA) take the mound. The Indians won the last game 5-2, extending a five-game winning streak. The game gets underway at 4:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jul. 4 and will air on STO, ROOT-PIT and MLB Net.
In his last start, Locke pitched 5.0 innings, giving up one run, striking out five and walking three in a 2-1 loss to the Braves. Andrew McCutchen (.296, 43 Rs, 10 HRs, 49 RBIs, 5 SBs) went 1 for 2 yesterday with one run, one home run, and two RBIs. The Indians were victorious over the Rays 7-1 the last time Anderson pitched. He went 8.0 innings, allowing one run and striking out two. David Murphy (.327, 21 Rs, 5 HRs, 22 RBIs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with two runs.
Pittsburgh is a -125 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is seven runs. The Pirates perform well as a favorite with a 38-19 record and have an overall money line of +516. They have performed well against the American League to earn an SU record of 8-4 and a 7-4 record when they were the favorite. They have been a terror on the base paths, ranking fourth in all of baseball with 61 steals. Turning to the pitching and defensive side, teams routinely struggle to score runs against the Pirates, who allow only 3.4 runs per game.
On the other side, the Indians have a record of 12-14 when they are the underdog and are -1,306 overall with the money line. They have played poorly as the underdog as of late. They managed a 1-3 record when playing as the underdog and an SU record of 5-5. Against the NL, Cleveland's offense has been struggling more than normal. Cleveland has averaged 3.3 runs per game, less than their 4.1 season average. Switching gears to Cleveland's pitching staff, they have some of the most overpowering arms in baseball with an AL-high 9.3 strikeouts per game.
So far this season, the Indians are 1-0 against the Pirates. This game will feature Anderson (RHP) on the mound against the Pirates, who have a 36-27 record when they take on a right-handed starter. The left-handed Locke will take the mound against the Indians, who have a 12-18 record against lefty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - PIT, O/U - Over
Pittsburgh has won 44% (14-18) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Cleveland has won 52% (13-12) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Pirates managed to give up eight walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Indians who are coming in with a 5-0 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Indians are 6-30. The Pirates have an 8-25 record when opponents outhit them.
Pittsburgh and Cleveland both rank near the bottom of the league in home runs. Pittsburgh sits at 25th with 62 home runs this season and Cleveland ranks 21st with 68.
Ranking eighth, Cleveland is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.50 per game. Pittsburgh ranks in the top five at fourth with 9.09.
Pittsburgh and Cleveland both rank in the bottom half of the league for their on-base plus slugging percentage. Pittsburgh sits at 18th with an OPS of .701 and Cleveland ranks 16th with an OPS of .716.
When the Indians allow at least one home run, they are 24-33. When the Pirates allow one or more homers, they have a 15-24 record.