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Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Where and when: Dodgers Stadium, Los Angeles, California, Friday, 10:10 pm EST
The Pittsburgh Pirates will travel to Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, California, to face the suddenly slumping Dodgers in a three-game set beginning on Friday night at 10:10 pm EST.
The Pirates enter the contest losers of four straight games as they are guaranteed a loss in their current, four-game set versus the Arizona Diamondbacks at PNC Park as they have dropped the first three games of the set. And while their offense has struggled throughout the year, their defense, which allows only 3.41 runs per game this season, really stunk it up during this time in allowing 26 total runs to an off-and-on Diamondbacks squad.
Of course, the offense only plated seven runs during the set as the lineup bats only .244 on the season. Josh Bell, however, has been the leader at the plate in batting .299 while also having five homers. In all, after winning the first two games of a six-game homestand, the Pirates dropped their last four. They now look to hit the road, where they have won three straight, to face a Dodgers team that will be looking to right themselves after what has resulted in a disaster in their current set versus the Chicago Cubs.
The Dodgers have won seven of their last ten games, overall. However, they have really struggled in their current three-game set in allowing the Cubs an average of seven runs in games one and two. On the other hand, for an offense that ranks eighth in the league in runs per game (5.54) along with batting average (.260), Los Angeles plated eight runs during this time.
And while Los Angeles’ pitching staff has had to deal with injuries throughout this young season, the staff has continued to perform well as their lineup continues to heal. For the year, the Dodgers allow over four runs per game with just a WHIP of 1.18, good for 6th place within the MLB. Finally, the unit possesses ten quality starts on the season as they will certainly be looking for a solid outing from Hyun-Jin Ryu on Friday night. The Dodgers have won nine of their last 13 games at Dodger Stadium.
Can Ryu stay healthy in 2019?
Ryu (2-1) will be looking to get back on the right track after two lackluster outings recently. He has allowed four earned runs during this time while also permitting three homers as well. In fact, the long-ball has been an issue for the right-hander this year as he has given up a total of five four starts this season.
Another issue with Ryu has been his ability to stay healthy. After a shortened season in 2018 to where he pitched only a total of 82 innings, he left after just 1 ⅔ innings due to an undisclosed injury in what resulted in a 4-3 road loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Ryu followed up this outing with a 5 ⅔ inning performance to where he allowed two earned runs on two homers while recording nine strikeouts in a 5-0 road loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
RECAP: Alex Verdugo homers late but #Dodgers come up short, lose to Cubs 7-6.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 25, 2019
His most recent outing versus the Pirates took place at PNC Park on August 24th, 2017, as Ryu picked up the win after pitching six innings while allowing just one earned run in a 5-2 victory. JB Shuck, Adam Frazier, along with Josh Bell are a combined 0-9 versus Ryu while Melky Cabrera is 2-3 versus the right-hander lifetime.
Archie looking for more consistency on mound in 2019
Chris Archer (1-1) has had a so-so season thus far while possessing a solid 2.45 ERA. In fact, Archer has followed up strong outings with less than stellar performances in his four starts on the year. As an example, in his two no-decisions, he has allowed only one earned run on six hits in 12 innings of pitching. During this time, Archer recorded 17 strikeouts while both games resulted in losses for the Pirates.
On the other hand, in his two preceding outings after no decisions, Archer pitched an average of five innings while allowing three earned runs along with a total of three homers. In other words, while the right-hander has certainly not been as dominant as once was, Archie has shown glimpses of promise for the Pirates early in the year. Nonetheless, he continues to struggle with bouts of inconsistency from time to time.
— Pirates (@Pirates) April 25, 2019
This will be the first matchup versus the Dodgers in a Pirates uniform as Archer suffered a loss for the Tampa Bay Rays at Dodgers Stadium on July 26th, 2016, in going seven innings while allowing one earned run and a homer in addition to recording eight strikeouts in a 3-2 loss. Lifetime, David Freese is 1-6 versus Archie while Justin Turner, Corey Seager, along with Joc Pederson are each 1-3 versus the right-hander.
- LAD are 20-8 in their last 28 home games.
- No trends to report
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Look for the Dodgers to pull out a victory in game one on Friday night versus a Pirates pitching staff that has really been awful lately. As pointed out, the Dodgers are one of the more dangerous teams in the league at the plate, despite their current offensive lull.
With that being the case, Archer cannot be trusted much on the hill and due to facing a team in the Dodgers, I see him struggling. It is for this reason that one should look for the home team to plate some runs early while relying on Ryu to neutralize a lineup that he has had limited experience against, yet, has obtained much success.
Prediction: Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -172
Full-Game Total Pick
The under will be the play in this contest as the Dodgers will score just enough runs in which to pick up a much-needed win over the Pirates in game one. The Pirates will struggle for this contest as Ryu will be looking for a statement game after injury issues have resurfaced. In all, pick the Dodgers to win in what will be a low-scoring contest throughout.
Prediction: Pick: Under 7.5
Full-Game Prop Bet
And while I will strongly back the Dodgers to pick up a win in this contest, look for the Pirates to keep this game close throughout, as they have been able to rely on their defense in which to remain competitive (due to a lack of consistent offense). The Dodgers can be dangerous on offense, however, tends to struggle behind the plate at times, also. With that being said, look for the visitors to cover in what will be a low-scoring and competitive affair.
Prediction: Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates +1.5
First Five Innings Side Pick
As stated, Archer will certainly be looking for an encouraging performance while Ryu will also be seeking to provide a positive sign for Los Angeles that he can indeed be healthy and effective this season. In all, look for this to be a pitcher’s duel as runs will certainly be at a premium. Look for the Pirates to perform well on the hill and on defense throughout five innings as they will cover the run line.
Prediction: Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates +0.5
First Five Innings Total Bet
Even with 3.5 runs as the total, I will continue to back the under for this contest, primarily due to each pitcher’s success versus the opposing lineup. Again, each of the individuals taking the hill will also want a strong start in which to affirm their ability to remain effective for their respective squads.
Prediction: Pick: Under 3.5
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
As pointed out, Archer along with Ryu will each have something to prove in this contest. With that being the case, look for the Pirates to keep this game close throughout the first five innings as they will cover the run line at the half-way point. The Dodgers will continue to struggle to versus Archer behind the plate as this will allow the Pirates the ability to obtain quality at bats versus Ryu, who continues to struggle with durability.
Prediction: Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates +145