A.J. Burnett (4-1, 1.37 ERA) gets the start for the Pittsburgh Pirates (24-22) as they go up against Ian Kennedy (2-4, 6.11 ERA) and the San Diego Padres (23-25) in the first of a four-game series at Petco Park. The Pirates enter this series on a six-game winning streak. The game gets underway at 10:10 p.m. ET on Thursday, May. 28 and will air on ROOT-PIT and FSN-SD.
Kennedy is 3-3 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.22 WHIP against the Pirates in his career. Justin Upton (.293, 32 Rs, 12 HRs, 36 RBIs, 9 SBs) played well again yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one RBI. In his pitching opportunities against the Padres, Burnett is 3-7 with a 4.23 ERA, 69 strikeouts and 44 walks. Jung-Ho Kang (.313, 10 Rs, 2 HRs, 14 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with two RBIs.
San Diego is a slight underdog (+104) and the Over/Under (O/U) is six runs. The Padres have a losing record of 10-18 when playing as the underdog and an overall money line of -349. They are 2-6 as the underdog over their last 10 games. San Diego has been struggling as of late. In the last 10 games, San Diego has only averaged 3.1 runs per game compared to the 4.3 they've averaged on the season. Transitioning to the pitching staff, they have been extremely effective at striking opposing batters out, averaging 8.6 strikeouts per game.
Switching to the opposing bench, the Pirates come into this game in an interesting position. They have a negative money line (-160) but have won more than 60 percent of games played as the favorite (20-13). They have played at the top of their game when rated as favorite recently. They managed a 6-2 record when playing as the favorite and an SU record of 7-3. The last 10 games have really brought the best out of the Pittsburgh pitchers. They've allowed 2.5 runs per game during that span, which is lower than their season average of 3.4. They also average just 8.2 hits allowed per road game, fifth-best in the NL. The Pittsburgh pitching staff has been an intimidating group this year, averaging 8.4 strikeouts per game.
This game will feature Burnett (RHP) on the mound against the Padres, who have a 16-20 record when they take on a right-handed starter. The right-handed Kennedy will take the mound against the Pirates, who have a 21-18 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - PIT, O/U - Over
When leading after 7 innings, San Diego is 13-11, while Pittsburgh is 9-10.
The Padres are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Pirates have a 6-11 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Padres are 4-20. The Pirates have a 4-13 record when opponents outhit them.
Pittsburgh ranks near the bottom of the league at 21st when it comes to home runs, hitting 39 this season. San Diego ranks in the bottom half at 20th with 40.
San Diego and Pittsburgh both rank in the top 10 of the league in hits. San Diego sits at eighth with 8.53 hits per game and Pittsburgh ranks ninth with 8.51.
San Diego and Pittsburgh both rank near the bottom of the league for their on-base plus slugging percentage. San Diego sits at 23rd with an OPS of .682 and Pittsburgh ranks 21st with an OPS of .691.
The Pirates are 8-14 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Padres are 14-19 when they allow at least one homer.