August 10, 2013 at 9:27 AM #52576
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Pittsburgh Pirates (70-45) vs Colorado Rockies (53-64)
Saturday Aug 10
Coors Field – Denver, CO
PIT: A.J. Burnett (R)
COL: Juan Nicasio (R)
Moneyline: Pittsburgh -140, Colorado +130
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been playing good ball but still slipped behind Atlanta for the best record in the National League – thanks to the Braves long winning streak. They were hammered last night in the series opener as Francisco Liriano had his worst start since joining the Pirates, giving up 10ER in less than 3 innings. It was in the Humidor so it is a little early to start getting worried about this being a leading indicator. The Pirates should bounce back as the Rockies are a little shorthanded these days.
The Pirates are in first place, A.J. Burnett has a sterling 2.73 ERA and he is just 5-7? It just doesn’t make any sense, right? Burnett is having a fantastic season but the wins just haven’t followed, at least in terms of decisions for the veteran righthander. Example: In his last 7 starts Burnett has not given up more than 2ER but he is just 2-1 in those games. You want to call it bad luck but the way Pittsburgh has been going this year it has to be called something else. Burnett is the only starter on the staff where the team has a losing record when he pitches, go figure.
Colorado was impressive in smacking around Pittsburgh yesterday, especially given that top bat OF Carlos Gonzalez was placed on the disabled list earlier in the week. They will try and keep the momentum from last night going but as nice as it was to get the offensive explosion they did, holding the Pirates to just one run was the key to victory. Catcher Wilin Rosario drove in 4 runs last night including smacking his 16th home run. He is proving again and again that last season’s burst onto the scene was no fluke.
As the Rockies have sputtered lately their pitching has been central to the failure. Nicasio has had a few very good outings but his consistency is lacking and lately he has been especially bad with 12 ER in his last 8 innings over two starts. One of those starts was against Pittsburgh and both were on the road where Nicasio has an ERA over 6 this season. Oddly he pitches much better at home but he will still have to master a lineup that is as healthy right now as it has ever been and can be dangerous.
O/U Pick: Over
Score Prediction: Pittsburgh 6 – Colorado 4
I am not reading too much into the Pirates loss last night. Burnett is a veteran starter and I have confidence he will put in the kind of performance that will give them a chance to win, he has been doing it all season long, even if the victories haven’t always followed. The Pirates will right their ship and they provide decent value too.
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