Jeff Locke (4-3, 4.73 ERA) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (42-32) meet Alex Wood (4-5, 3.44 ERA) and the Atlanta Braves (35-40) in the last of a three-game series at PNC Park. The Braves lost the last game 8-4, extending a five-game losing streak. The game starts at 1:35 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jun. 28 and will air on FSN-S and ROOT-PIT.
Locke has a 6.08 ERA and a 1-1 record in his career against the Braves, and is up against a solid Atlanta offense that's hitting .257 on the year. Starling Marte (.279, 41 Rs, 12 HRs, 46 RBIs, 15 SBs) continued his strong season yesterday, going 3 for 4 with three runs, one RBI, and one stolen base. In his career against the Pirates, Wood is 0-2 with a 3.48 ERA. He gets a strong Pittsburgh offense that's batting .255. Cameron Maybin (.286, 29 Rs, 6 HRs, 36 RBIs, 13 SBs) went 1 for 5 yesterday with one run.
Pittsburgh, a -135 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Atlanta. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is seven runs. The Pirates perform well as a favorite with a 35-18 record and have an overall money line of +270. The Pirates will be looking to pick it up in this one after recent offensive struggles. In the last 10 games, Pittsburgh has only averaged 2.8 runs per game compared to the 4.0 they've averaged on the season. The Pirates are an exceptional hitting team with 8.9 hits per home game, one of the highest marks in the NL. They have been a terror on the base paths, ranking fifth in all of baseball with 55 steals.
Across the field, the Braves have a record of 25-33 when they are the underdog and are +208 overall with the money line. The Braves will be looking to pick it up in this one after recent offensive struggles. In their 10 most recent games, Atlanta's run production has dropped to 2.4 runs per game, compared to 4.0 for the duration of the season. Opposing pitchers have routinely struggled to strike out the Atlanta batters, who average an NL-low 7.0 strikeouts per road game.
In their previous five games this season, the Pirates have a 4-1 record. The Pirates will take on a left-hander (Wood) in this game and have an 8-5 record against left-handed starting pitchers this season. Taking the hill against the Braves will be the left-hander Locke. They sport a 4-6 record against southpaws.
Predictions: SU Winner - PIT, O/U - Over
Atlanta recorded at least two errors for the eighth time this season.
When the Pirates play into extra innings, they have a 3-7 record. The Braves are 2-5 when their games exceed nine innings.
The Braves are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Pirates have a 9-17 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Braves are 6-26. The Pirates have a 7-23 record when opponents outhit them.
Atlanta ranks at the bottom of the league when it comes to home runs, hitting 43 this season. Pittsburgh ranks near the bottom at 26th with 56.
Pittsburgh and Atlanta both rank in the top 10 of the league in hits. Pittsburgh sits at sixth with 8.78 hits per game and Atlanta ranks seventh with 8.72.
Ranking 22nd, Atlanta is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.685). Pittsburgh ranks in the bottom half at 20th with an OPS of .692.
When the Braves allow at least one home run, they are 13-26, well-matched with the Pirates who are 12-22 when allowing at least one homer.