The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of the hottest teams in the major leagues, and there is no mystery as to why. They are simply getting great pitching these days, and powerhouse hitting from two of their stars. They have taken two of the first three games of their series against the San Diego Padres, and now they see an opportunity to vault into wild card position, so to speak, as they do battle again with the Padres in baseball betting action that is set to begin at 9:10 PM ET at PetCo Park in San Diego. Even after the first pitch is thrown, customers at BetAnySports have the ability to continue wagering on the action as they take advantage of what is available at Live Betting Extra.

Pittsburgh saw a seven-game winning streak broken on Friday at the hands of James Shields and the Padres, but they have registered victories over Ian Kennedy and Tyson Ross in this series. And even though it is obviously a little premature to talk about it, they are in a position to be the second wild card team at the end of Sunday's action, depending on what the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets do. They are 26-23 at the moment, which puts them ONE percentage point behind the Cubs and both six games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central.

In the baseball betting odds that have been posted on this game by the good people at BetAnySports, the Pirates are the favorites on the road:

Pittsburgh Pirates (Locke - L) -114
San Diego Padres (Despaigne - R) +104

Over 7 runs -115
Under 7 runs -105

The Pirates have been able to get some very serious work from their starters of late, as they have posted a 1.66 ERA over the last nine games. This obviously takes a lot of pressure off a bullpen, unless that bullpen stumbles and fumbles. Pittsburgh's 2.77 bullpen ERA is the fifth lowest in the major leagues at the moment.

The presence of Jeff Locke, the 27-year-old southpaw, will probably require some work out of that relief corps. Locke peaked in 2013, when he had a 3.52 ERA but also walked more than a hitter every two innings. That is still something of an issue with him, as is the fact that he has completed seven innings in only two of his nine starts. Last time out, however, BetAnySports patrons saw him give the Pirates good work, albeit for a brief period, as he shut out the Miami Marlins over 5-2/3 innings. In Locke's last three outings, in which he has gone 15-1/3 innings, he has thrown 305 pitches.

Locke should have some support. Andrew McCutchen got off to a dreadfully slow start, but he has hit a sizzling .459 in his last ten games. And Josh Harrison has been blasting the ball as well, with a .435 BA in his last fourteen.

Odrisamer Despaigne, San Diego's starter, has been getting very little support. True, he was sharp five days ago against the Los Angeles Angels in a 4-0 victory, but the Padres did not score in his two previous starts.

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