Featured Video from Scott Reichel
The Pittsburgh Pirates got blown out in the first game of this series. The Arizona Diamondbacks won by a final score of 12-4, and Pittsburgh will be looking for revenge here. They’ll have Trevor Williams on the mound here, while Luke Weaver will start for Arizona. Oddsmakers have the Pirates as narrow home favorites here for this one, which is expected to be a pretty low scoring game.
Diamondbacks Win Big
The Diamondbacks have been up and down this season, and enter this contest with a 12-11 record. They started slowly but have been coming on strong lately, and have won six of their last eight games now. In the first game of this series, they won 12-4.
Their lineup was on fire the whole game, and they ended up racking up 17 hits for the game. The pitching staff has been lights out recently, giving up just 14 total runs over their last six matchups. To try and keep the momentum going, they’ll need a strong outing from Luke Weaver here. In his first season with the Cardinals, Weaver has been pretty good. He’s been excellent recently, giving up just two runs and ten baserunners over 11 and 1/3 innings in his last two starts. He was significantly better on the road than at home last year, so pitching away from home shouldn’t bother him here. Arizona’s bullpen has looked good this year too, so I don’t see the Pirates having very much success on offense.
Luke Weaver –@DreamWeava7– was fantastic this afternoon racking up 9 K's over 5 IP:
– 35% CSW rate
– Elevating his FB super well with 7 whiffs
– CH looked great with 7 more whiffs
Here are his 9 K's pic.twitter.com/DNvCmER60g
— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) April 18, 2019
The Diamondbacks have owned this matchup recently, winning five straight games against the Pirates. Even with Paul Goldschmidt no longer on the team, the D-Backs still have some serious pop in their lineup, and they’ve scored 44 runs over their last eight games. Given the way they’ve been playing lately, it doesn’t make sense that they’d be underdogs here.
The Pirates were mediocre last year, and I don’t think they’re going to be too much better this year. They’ve gotten off to a decent start, and enter this one with a 12-8 record. They started off 12-6, but have now lost back to back games.
But while the record is nice, things aren’t as good as they seem. The Pirates have played a ridiculously easy schedule, and they almost certainly would have a worse record if they had faced tougher teams. They’ve already played two series’ against the Reds, and just wrapped up sets against the Giants and Tigers. Nine of their 12 wins this season have come against those three lowly teams, so the record is pretty misleading. Their offense hasn’t been very good this season, and they’ve mustered just 72 runs this season, which is the fourth-lowest total in all of Major League Baseball. To try and avoid a three-game skid, they’ll turn to Trevor Williams here.
In two starts against the Diamondbacks last year, Williams had a 6.00 ERA. The Pirates have been coasting lately despite not playing very good baseball, and it’s only a matter of time before they get exposed. Arizona has dominated them recently, and it’s not like the Pirates draw a raucous home crowd, so I don’t see too many reasons why they should be favored here.
- 2-5 in Williams’ last 7 starts vs. National League West
- 1-5 in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record
- 0-5 in their last 5 games vs. Diamondbacks
- 6-2 in their last 8 games overall
- 38-14 in their last 52 Tuesday games
- 5-0 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
There’s a lot of value in getting the Diamondbacks as underdogs here. The Pirates are complete phonies, and they’ll start to get exposed now that they’re finally playing a little bit tougher of a schedule. The Diamondbacks are 6-2 in their last eight games, and Weaver has been pitching very well recently. They’ll take a 2-0 lead in this series.
Prediction: Diamondbacks +115
Full-Game Total Pick
I also like the over a lot here. The Diamondbacks won the first game of this series 12-4, and this one should be pretty high scoring too. There probably won’t be 16 runs again, but 7.5 is just an absurdly low total. Arizona’s offense has been on fire, and the over is 7-2 the last nine times these teams have played each other.