In a game that has the potential for a lot of runs, Jeff Locke (3-2, 4.70 ERA) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (26-23) are in San Diego to take on Odrisamer Despaigne (2-3, 5.23 ERA) and the Padres (24-27). This is the last of a four-game series at Petco Park. The Pirates won the last game 5-2 and Pittsburgh leads the series 2-1. Action begins at 9:10 p.m. ET on Sunday, May. 31 and can be seen on ROOT-PIT and FSN-SD.
Despaigne pitched 6.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering zero runs and striking out five in a 4-0 defeat to the Angels. Justin Upton (.299, 33 Rs, 12 HRs, 37 RBIs, 10 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday. When pitching against the Padres, Locke is 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, and five strikeouts.
San Diego is a narrow -110 favorite at home against Pittsburgh. According to the oddsmakers, the Over/Under (O/U) is currently seven runs. Though the Padres have had a tough season in terms of their overall money line (-201), they have done fairly well as a favorite with a record of 13-7. San Diego's pitching staff has been doing better against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, only allowing an average of 3.4 runs per game, well under their season average of 4.5. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Padres, who rank fifth in the NL in strikeouts per home game with 8.9.
Over in the other dugout, Pittsburgh is coming in with an overall money line of -160 and a disappointing record of 4-10 as the underdog. They have been on a bit of a dry streak over their last 10 games. They managed a 0-1 record when playing as the underdog. Offensively, the Pirates have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 4.2 runs per game by averaging 5.6 during that stretch. When it comes to preventing batters from getting hits, the Pirates are fifth in the NL on the road with an average of 8.2 hits allowed per away game. The Pirates have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an NL-best 8.5 strikeouts per game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Pirates lead the season series, 2-1. The Padres have a 7-5 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Locke takes the mound. Despaigne (RHP) will be on the hill against the Pirates, who have a 22-19 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - PIT, O/U - Over
When leading after 7 innings, San Diego is 14-11, while Pittsburgh is 9-11.
The Padres managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Pirates who are coming in with a 7-7 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Padres are 4-22. The Pirates have a 4-14 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 21st in home runs, San Diego has hit 41 this season. Pittsburgh ranks 20th with 42 home runs.
San Diego and Pittsburgh both rank in the top 10 of the league in hits. San Diego sits at ninth with 8.50 hits per game and Pittsburgh ranks sixth with 8.65.
Ranking 25th, San Diego is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.674). Pittsburgh ranks in the bottom half at 20th with an OPS of .697.
The Pirates are 8-15 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Padres are 14-20 when they allow at least one homer.