MLB Baseball Betting: Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates

MLB Baseball Betting:  Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates

Big weekend of MLB action gets underway on Friday evening and right at the top of the board is a National League game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates from PNC Park. The Pirates had been cruising but have cooled off over the past week and are 5-5 in their last 10 (all records pending Thursday’s results). That leaves them 2 games behind the second place St. Louis Cardinals who have all of a sudden gotten hot again winning 7 of 10. They’re also 9 games behind the Chicago Cubs who have at least ‘steadied the ship’ winning 5 of their last 10. The Philadelphia Phillies looked for awhile like they might catch up to the ‘lead pack’ in the NL East. Now they’re 13 games behind the first place Washington Nationals, 8 games back of the Miami Marlins in second place and 7 games back of the third place New York Mets.

The Phillies will start right hander Zach Eflin and he’s been in decent form of late. For the season, Philadelphia has gone 3-4 in his 7 starts with Eflin putting up a 4.14 ERA and a 1.209 WHIP. They’re 2-2 in his road starts with Eflin putting up a 5.66 ERA and a 1.548 WHIP. They’re 2-1 in his last three starts with Eflin posting a solid 2.57 ERA and 1.048 WHIP. In that stretch was a very impressive complete game victory in Atlanta on 7/5 where he allowed just 1 run, 6 hits and struck out 6 while walking none. Control has been a problem at times for Eflin so that ‘walking none’ stat was a good sign.

Pittsburgh will start right hander Gerrit Cole who is having a down year. His YTD and home ERA isn’t bad at 3.11 overall with a 1.369 WHIP and 3.16/1.468 at home but the Bucs have lost 7 of his 13 starts and 2-4 on the road. He’s spent some time on the DL but had a very poor outing on 7/16 after being activated allowing 4 ER in 4 innings to the Washington Nationals in a 6-0 loss.

Cole and the Pirates are catching the right team in the right place at the right time. Philadelphia’s offense is one of the worst in baseball and they’ve dominated the Phillies in head to head play winning 11 of the L14 meetings including 6 straight at home.