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A pair of final teams will begin a three-game series Monday night as the Pittsburgh Pirates visit the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Arizona avoided a sweep in the hands of the Chicago Cubs with a 6-4 win Sunday to hit as a -103 underdog, but still holds the worst record in baseball at 27-68. Pittsburgh comes out of a win over the New York Mets even though it was unable to complete the sweep Sunday with 7-6 losses as a +122 underdog to drop to 36-57 on the season.
This has been a one-sided matchup of late with Arizona winning 12 of the last 14 meetings going back to the beginning of 2018.
Pirates blow up six-run lead to end wild series with Mets
Just hours after winning a walk-off grand slam to erase an 8-0 deficit Saturday night, the Pirates jumped a six-point lead of their own Sunday as they were unable to complete a sweep over first-place New York. All six Pittsburgh races came in the first inning with Bryan Reynolds and Kevin Newman hitting RBI singles, and John Nogowski adding a two-run double while being helped by a questionable defense from the Mets, but New York gradually threw lead down and went up in the ninth on Michael Conforto’s two-run homer.
Starter JT Brubaker’s decline continued as he lasted just 3.2 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and three times while hitting five. Richard Rodriguez was charged with a rare blown save in addition to the loss as he allowed two runs in the ninth. Wilmer Difo and Ben Gamel each recorded multi-hit games for the Pirates, scoring one race per game. Piece.
The Pirates have only been marginally better against the spread at 43-50 and are down a good chunk on the money line despite being a huge underdog in most games. Over is 43-44-6 for the Pirates, with six of their last nine games going over the overall effort.
It has been a struggle for the pirates in every facet as they have on average only 3.60 runs per. Fight at the plate while hitting an MLB-low 78 home run as a team. Pittsburgh pitching is also close to the bottom of the leaderboard with a 4.83 combined ERA, though a bullpen that places a score of 4.27 has offered a few bright spots.
Chase De Jong will be on the hill for the Pirates Monday night, looking to bounce back from a tough outing last weekend against the Mets, allowing five runs on four hits and three times over five innings while hitting three. The 27-year-old buddy has started eight starts and released a 1-3 record and 5.59 ERA. Reynolds has a great year leading the Pittsburgh offense with a 0.916 OPS, 17 homers and 52 RBI.
Pittsburgh have lost some depth in recent weeks, with first baseman Colin Moran (broken wrist), utilityman Erik Gonzalez (strained obliquely) and outfielder Ka’ai Tom (strained bottom) have all gone down. Veteran starting pitcher Trevor Cahill is dealing with a strained calf, while Steven Brault has not shown up this season due to a strained lat and is about to start a rehabilitation task. Relievers Sam Howard (strained obliquely) and Luis Oviedo (strained square) are at IL, with Blake Cederlind and Jose Soriano both recurring from the Tommy John operation.
Escobar, Kelly leads Diamondbacks to rare wi
The Diamondbacks still have only one league win since mid-May, when they opened the second half and dropped two of three to the Cubs, but they at least managed to hang on to a win to avoid the sweep on Sunday. Pavin Smith got the offense started with an RBI single in the fourth before Kohl Calhoun added another inning later and the Diamondbacks went up for good in the seventh on a Nick Ahmed RBI base with Eduardo Escobar adding a two-run long ball for insurance.
Starter Merrill Kelly struggled through eight innings to pick up the win, allowing four runs on six hits and no walks while hitting six. Veteran closer Joakim Soria threw an unbeaten ninth to his fourth save to stabilize a bullpen that battled the rest of the series. Escobar, a potential trading chip, went 1-3 with the homer, twice, two RBIs and three runs scored.
Arizona is much better against the 44-51 spread, but has still not been friendly to players in general as it is a huge amount on the money line for the season. Overs are 51-43-1 for the Diamondbacks, including an even 5-5 over their last 10 games.
Diamondbacks have been stuck in a shed offensively since late April, bringing their season numbers to an average of 4.04 runs per game. Match and an MLB worst 0.674 OPS. Pitching has been an even bigger weakness, as the Diamondbacks are last in the NL with a 5.45 collective ERA, while they only have a 2.27 K / BB ratio.
Caleb Smith is poised to start for Arizona to open the series after being shelled out by the Los Angeles Dodgers back on July 10 with nine earned runs on six hits and three times and one on just one inning of work. The 29-year-old pitched pretty well before then and has a 4.54 ERA and 81 strikes over 71.1 innings split between rotation and the bullpen. Escobar was Arizona’s lone All-Star representative with a 0.767 OPS, 21 homers and 62 RBI to lead the Diamondbacks offense.
This is the healthiest Arizona that has been around for some time, but there are still a few important pieces missing like center field Ketel Marte (strained hoarding), infielder Asdrubal Cabrera (strained hoarding) and catcher Carson Kelly (broken wrist). Starting pitcher Luke Weaver is on a throwing program as he rehabilitates a strained shoulder. Arizona’s bullpen is missing four members, with Taylor Clarke (strained teres major), Tyler Clippard (strained shoulder), Seth Frankoff (forearm discomfort) and Chris Devenski (Tommy John surgery) all on IL.
Trends via Covers.com.
- Arizona is 16-5 in its last 21 head-to-head meetings with Pittsburgh.
- 22-60 in the last 82 road games.
- 0-7 in the last seven matches against NL West.