MLB Baseball Betting: Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates

MLB Baseball Betting:  Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates

Sunday afternoon baseball as the Philadelphia Phillies conclude a three game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. The teams split the first two games with the Phillies winning on Friday night and the Pirates emerging victorious on Saturday. The Pirates are 5-5 in their last 10 games and desperately need to string together some wins. The red hot St. Louis Cardinals (8-2 L10) lead them by 2.5 games and they’re 9 games back of the first place Chicago Cubs. There’s no guarantee that the Cubs will reprise their miserable play of late June/early July so the Bucs need to get the margin cut down while they can. Philadelphia isn’t really playing for anything. In theory, they could catch the ‘lead pack’ as they’re just 8 games back of the third place New York Mets and 8.5 games back of the second place Miami Marlins. They’d have to go on a winning streak and have the teams above them enter a downturn. They’re 4-6 in their last 10 games so that’s not likely to happen.

The Phillies will start right hander Vincent Velasquez who has been one of their more capable pitchers this year. His record is impressive given the dubious quality of his team–the Phillies are 10-6 in his 16 starts and 5-3 in his road starts. Overall, he’s got a 3.15 ERA and a 1.237 WHIP. On the road he’s got a 474 ERA and a 1.511 WHIP. The Phillies have won 2 of his last 3 starts with Velazquez putting up a 2.37 ERA and a 1.263 WHIP. Even his loss in that stretch was a very solid pitching effort–he went 7 innings allowing 1 ER and 3 hits against Miami on 7/19.

Pittsburgh will counter with 24 year old Jameson Taillon. Taillon has been decent so far this season but his biggest claim to fame was getting hit in the head by a 105 MPH line drive last time out. He appears to be fine (he even stayed in the game) and there’s every reason to expect him to take this start. The Pirates are 4-2 in Taillon’s starts with the youngster sporting a 3.44 ERA and 1.176 WHIP. At home, the Pirates are 2-1 but Taillon’s ERA is 4.50. He’s looked good in his last three starts (except that line drive to the head thing) and he’s got a 3.37 ERA and 1.250 WHIP in that stretch with three Pirate wins.

Pittsburgh has dominated the Phillies in head to head play over the last three seasons going 12-4 +5.5 units and 7-1 at home (+4.4 units). No reason to think they won’t win to take 2 of 3 from the Phillies.