Vegas Odds and MLB Picks: Pirates vs Phillies 07/04/17

MLB Picks and Parlays: Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Square off on July 4th

by Matt Cash @MattCashCapper

Vegas Odds by Bovada
Pirates  -148
Phillies O/U 8½

Jameson Taillon

Getting swept at home by the second worst team in the National League is not exactly a great way to get your July started. But that’s exactly what happened to Pittsburgh Pirates as San Francisco came to town. The Giants pitching showed up and limited the Pirates to nine runs over the weekend. It broke a pretty good streak that saw the Pirates take six of ten games from the Brewers, Cardinals and Rays.

The recent downturn dropped Pittsburgh to 6.5 back of first place Milwaukee heading into their current series with Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Phillies are the only team in the Majors still looking to make it to 30 wins on the season. They seem well on their way to another 100-loss season given we are just past the halfway point of the schedule.

Their home record is passable at 14-20, but they are just 13-33 on the road. They just competed a ten-game road trip before starting this series. And with stops in Arizona, Seattle and New York to face the Mets they managed a 4-6 record. They swept a two-game series with the Mariners but then lost two of three to New York over the weekend.

The Pirates offense has been stuck in neutral for most of the season, but it’s been better since the calendar turned to June as they’ve averaged 4.75 RPG. That’s still only ninth in the NL, but better than the very bottom, which is where they were for the first two months.

The pitching staff has an ERA of 4.70 over the same period which is 10th in the league.

Philadelphia has taken Pittsburgh’s mantle for worst offense in the league, averaging just 3.69 RPG since the start of June. The pitching is eighth best in the league with a 4.55 ERA over that period.

The offense has been better in the past few days, with at least five runs scored in four of their last five heading into Monday’s games.

Jameson Taillon (4-2, 2.97 ERA) missed five weeks after surgery for testicular cancer, but he hasn’t missed a beat since coming back. He’s made four starts and has allowed just six runs over 22.1 innings as the Pirates have won three of them. Last time out he shut out the Rays over 6.1 innings of work in a 4-0 win.

Mark Leiter Jr. (1-0, 4.20 ERA) will make his third career start in his 15th appearance this year. The Phillies have won both his starts. He shut out the Diamondbacks over six innings in his first and allowed four runs in five innings of a 5-4 win over the Mariners in his second.

 

Cash It In: The Pirates are -148 favorites and the Phillies +128 underdogs. Taillon should be the difference maker in this one. Pittsburgh 5-2.

MLB Expert Picks and Parlays: Pirates -148  &  Under 8½

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