Francisco Liriano (1-3, 2.96 ERA) and Ricky Nolasco (3-1, 6.38 ERA) start in the first of a two-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates (18-20) and the Minnesota Twins (21-17) at PNC Park. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May. 19 and can be seen on FSN-N and ROOT-PIT.
Liriano is 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in his appearances against the Twins, but goes up against a good Minnesota offense which is batting .260 this season. Starling Marte (.296, 20 Rs, 8 HRs, 26 RBIs, 6 SBs) went 1 for 4 Sunday with one RBI. When pitching against the Pirates, Nolasco is 5-4 with a 2.48 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 58 strikeouts. Brian Dozier (.264, 29 Rs, 6 HRs, 19 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 3 Sunday with two runs.
The odds for Pittsburgh and Minnesota are even, while the Over/Under (O/U) is currently not available. Against the AL, the Pirates have a 1-2 record SU. The Pirates have seen a decline in scoring against teams in the AL, averaging 1.7 runs per game. They average 3.8 runs per game on the season. Pittsburgh strikes out the least of any team in the NL at home, with only 6.1 per game. Pittsburgh's pitchers put it all together when American League teams are on the field. Its average runs allowed per game drops to 2.3 against AL teams, compared to its 3.5 season average. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Pirates, who rank fifth in the NL in strikeouts per game with 8.3.
Minnesota is 21-17 SU against National League opponents. When it comes to issuing walks, the Twins have the second-fewest in the AL with an average of just 2.5 walks allowed per game.
The Pirates have a 17-16 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Nolasco takes the mound. Liriano (LHP) will be on the hill against the Twins, who have a very good 11-5 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - PIT
After last game's shutout win against the Chicago Cubs, the Pirates now have two shutouts this season. The Twins have been shut out in three games this season.
When the Twins play into extra innings, they have a 2-1 record. The Pirates are 0-5 when their games exceed nine innings.
After a weak showing last week where they got in six hits, the Twins need to step it up. The Pirates have a record of 5-4 when opponents get six hits or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Pirates are 12-4. The Twins have a 17-0 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 23rd, Pittsburgh is near the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 146 this season. Minnesota ranks in the top 10 at seventh with 171.
Pittsburgh and Minnesota both rank near the bottom of the league in walks. Pittsburgh sits at 24th with 93 this season and Minnesota ranks 21st with 97.
When the Pirates hit at least one home run, they are 12-9. When the Twins hit at least one homer, they have a 16-4 record.