Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
When: Thursday, May 23, 2019, 12:35 pm Eastern
We have a National League matchup for Thursday afternoon to consider when the Colorado Rockies and Pittsburgh Pirates finish up their three-game series under partly cloudy skies and temps in the lower 80’s. This preview was written prior to the conclusion of Wednesday night’s action and all opinions are based upon Tuesday night’s stats.
Colorado is fourth in the National League West and plans on sending right-hander Antonio Senzatela out to the bump. Pittsburgh is third in the National League Central and will look to righty Jordan Lyles to keep Colorado off the scoreboard on Thursday.
Rockies Shutout Pirates in Game One
Colorado has the 2nd worst pitching staff in the National League and that is likely the reason the Rockies are fourth in the NL West with a record of 21-25 and nine games behind the Dodgers for the top spot in the West. Colorado has lost five of its last ten games and enters Wednesday night’s game with Pittsburgh riding a one-game winning streak.
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) May 22, 2019
The Rockies aren’t reporting any significant injuries going into Wednesday night’s game with the Pirates.
Senzatela (3-3, 4.89 ERA) is having a decent 2019 campaign but his 1.45 WHIP seems to be a bit too high. Senzatela has a 4.89 ERA but his 4.53 xFIP suggests maybe the righty has been the victim of some bad luck this season. Senzatela strikes out 5.82 per nine with 3.49 walks and 1.63 bombs allowed per nine innings pitched.
The Pirates rank 19th in baseball against right-handed pitching this season and their 19.5 percent strikeout rate probably will decrease a bit as Senzatela isn’t a big strikeout guy. Senzatela is a groundball pitcher with a high walk rate and inflated home run rate thanks to Coors and the Pirates could have real trouble on Thursday with their .316 OBP and 1.50 ISO against righties this season.
Eight Blown Saves for Pirates Bullpen This Season
Losing game one of this series to Colorado put the Pirates 3.5 games behind Chicago in the NL West standings. That’s not a good thing with the Cardinals one game behind Pittsburgh in the standings. At least the Pirates bullpen didn’t blow another save and that’s because the Pirates bats went to sleep on Tuesday night and were shutout by the Rockies by a score of 5-0. The Pirates barely score 3.5 runs per game but getting shut out at home by the worst pitching staff in baseball is no Bueno.
— Pirates (@Pirates) May 20, 2019
Pittsburgh has a huge injury list and the most significant is catcher Francisco Cervelli who is day to day with a chest injury. Cervelli has a .376 OBP with five home runs and 26 RBI and would be a huge loss for the Pirates if he is unable to play Wednesday night.
Lyles (4-1, 1.97 ERA) has been sensational this season and has consecutive road victories over the Padres and Cardinals. Lyles has a 1.97 ERA and but his 3.92 xFIP suggests not only has Lyles probably been very lucky but maybe will see some regression at some point this season. Lyles has 9.26 strikeouts, 3.15 walks and less than a bomb allowed per nine innings pitched this season.
The Rockies strikeout rate of 23 percent could help Lyles get a couple of freer outs than his 9.26 strikeouts per nine usually does. Colorado has a .316 OBP that could be problematic for Lyles and his three walks per game and the huge ISO of the Rockies might take a hit against a pitcher allowing less than a bomb per nine innings in a ballpark yielding less than a home run per game this season.
- Pirates are 4-0 in Lyles’ last 4 starts vs. a team with a losing record.
- Pirates are 4-0 in Lyles’ last 4 starts with 5 days of rest.
- Pirates are 4-0 in Lyles’ last 4 starts.
- Pirates are 4-0 in Lyles’ last 4 starts on grass.
- Rockies are 1-4 in their last 5 overall.
- Rockies are 1-4 in their last 5 games on grass.
- Rockies are 0-5 in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
We should get a good price for the Pirates on Thursday and I don’t see the Rockies doing very much with Lyles on Thursday. Lyles has been strong and with the Rockies ending a road trip, they may be swinging for the fences in the hopes of making this game end a bit quicker. Pittsburgh doesn’t score many runs but Senzatela allows some runs and that high WHIP scares me. Cash with the Flash and play the Pirates to beat the Rockies on Thursday.
Full-Game Total Pick
We have two decent pitchers against two mediocre offenses on a getaway day in a park that yields less than one home run per game this season. This has the under written all over it and this trend seems to support my reasoning for this wager;
- Under is 15-6-5 in the last 26 meetings in Pittsburgh.
Cash with the Flash and play the under on Thursday afternoon!!