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The Pittsburgh Pirates, desperate for a stretch of good form, will look at game 3 of their series against the Los Angeles Angels as an opportunity as the two teams face off in game 3 of this Interleague match-up on Wednesday from the Angel Stadium. The Pirates are 25-37 on the road, while the Angels have a 0.500 record at home after 58 games.
Chris Archer will start for the Pirates and Dillon Peters for the Angels.
Pirates blow away Angels to break losing streak
The Pittsburgh Pirates finally broke their eight-game losing run with a convincing 10-2 win to open their series against the Los Angeles Angels. The Pirates were coming into this series on the back of three consecutive series defeats to the New York Mets, the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals. At 49-69, the Pirates are well behind Cincinnati (56-61) in the NL Central standings.
The Pirates have been woeful defensively this season. They have a combined ERA of 5.01, which ranks them 25th in the MLB. However, it is the one area where they’re not well behind the Angels, who are themselves struggling while pitching this season.
Their batting stats are only marginally better, having hit 554 runs with 1094 hits, which puts them in the bottom third of the MLB standings. The worry for the Pirates is the combined inefficiency, coupled with their inability to close out games convincingly, save their series opener against Los Angeles.
Keone Kela is still serving his 10-game suspension, while Gregory Polanco has resumed hitting and throwing on the road to recovery from a shoulder injury.
Angels seek quick turnaround
It is about this time of the season that middling teams need to figure out how to translate capability into wins. The Angels broke an eight-game losing streak themselves recently, beating the Boston Red Sox successively in a stellar comeback into the series. However, losing against a struggling Pirates team at home won’t help their confidence.
Not a good sight for the Angels.
FINAL: Pirates 10, Angels 2
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) August 13, 2019
The Angels batting floundered when it mattered against the Pirates. Overall this season, however, they’ve been rather clinical. They’ve hit a combined 598 runs, with a batting average of .252, a slugging percentage of .434 and an on-base percentage of .331, 11th overall in the MLB.
Justin Anderson was forced on the injured list with a strained back muscle, while Andrelton Simmons is expected to return to the Angels line-up soon after being sidelined with an ankle injury since August 4.
The Los Angeles Angels are:
- 7-1 in their last 8 interleague home games vs. a right-handed starter.
- 6-2 in their last 8 Wednesday games.
- 24-9 in their last 33 interleague home games.
- 11-5 in their last 16 interleague games against a right-handed starter.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are:
- 5-24 in their last 29 overall.
- 5-24 in their last 29 games on grass.
- 0-9 in their last 9 during game 3 of a series.
- 0-4 in their last 4 Wednesday games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Angels’ batting prowess will be a key reason for the Angels cruising past the Pirates. They are comparatively clinical as their 58-62 record shows. In stark contrast, the Pirates can’t seem to close out games regularly enough by MLB standards. Archer’s confidence wouldn’t be too high either after the Angels have gone 0-6 in his last six starts.
Prediction: Los Angeles Angels
Full-Game Total Pick
When making a prediction, there are several variables. Hence, when two bad pitching teams go head to head, you take the probability and go for the over.
Both teams might struggle offensively, but the chances are that there will be many hits, many runs and the total heads over the handicap.