Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Houston Astros
The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Houston Astros face off on Sunday in Pittsburgh as they close out their interleague series. The Pirates are -174 favorites over the Astros with an over/under run total set at 9.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are looking like possible contenders in the NL Central this season but they didn’t do anything to help their cause on Saturday falling to the Astros. Andrew McCutchen and Brandon Inge each had two hits and Gaby Sanchez and Russell Martin had hits as the Pirates scored two runs on nine hits in all. Starting pitcher A.J. Burnett allowed five hits and a run while striking out seven over 7.0 innings but didn’t figure in the decision as Mark Melancon blew the save and Bryan Morris took the loss. For Sunday’s game the Pirates look to bounce back as they start Jeff Locke who hasn’t had a decision in his last three starts. For the season Locke has allowed 36 hits and 16 earned runs while striking out 28 over 45.2 innings of work for a 3-1 record and a 3.15 ERA.
The Houston Astros are still very much a work in progress but as bad as they are they are an improvement over what we saw from them a year ago. On Saturday Jose Altuve had three hits and Jason Castro and Chris Carter had two hits each as the Astros scored four runs on 10 hits in all. Starting pitcher Erik Bedard allowed seven hits and two earned runs while striking out three over 6.0 innings to not factor in the decision and Jose Cisnero got the win to go to 1-0 on the season and Jose Veras Earned his sixth save. For Sunday’s game Houston starts Lucas Harrell who has been hit hard and often this season. For the year Harrell has allowed 59 hits and 28 earned runs while striking out 29 over 49.1 innings of work for a 3-4 record and a 5.11 ERA.
Pittsburgh is 4-1 in their last five games, 6-2 in their last eight interleague games as a favorite, and 2-6 in Locke’s last eight starts against a team with a losing record. Houston is 15-38 in their last 53 interleague games as an underdog, 13-42 in their last 55 game three of a series, and 6-15 in Harrell’s last 21 starts as a road underdog. Houston is 5-13 in the last 18 meetings of these two.
Pittsburgh is a big favorite in this one and I look for them to bounce back and get the win in this spot.
Pittsburgh Pirates -174 Houston Astros