Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#927 Pittsburgh Pirates 8 vs.
#928 Detroit Tigers -105
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 6:40pm EDT
Written by Sporty Jordy

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When and where: April 17, 2019, Comerica Park, Detroit, MI, 6:40 PM ET

The Detroit Tigers continue their two-game interleague series with the Pittsburgh Pirates at Comerica Park on Wednesday. After defeating the Washington Nationals, the Pirates hope to end their eight-game road stretch on a high note by knocking off the Tigers, who were defeated in the previous series by the Minnesota Twins. Pittsburgh’s Trevor Williams is expected to get the start against Detroit’s Spencer Turnbull.

Marte hits game-winning two-run homer

It took an extra inning for the Pirates to finally drive the stake in the heart of the Tigers in Tuesday’s Game 1 of the interleague meeting. That seems to be a common theme for the Pirates, who were already coming off a one-run win over the Nationals. Leading in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Pirates just needed three defensive stops to put an end to the night and walk away with their second consecutive win.

They had built a 3-2 lead earlier in the game thanks to a run-scoring single by Pablo Reyes and a two-run home run by Jung Ho Kang. So the game essentially came down to closing pitcher Keone Kela and the Tigers’ desperation hitters. Then Christin Stewart stepped up to the plate and doubled to deep right, followed by Jeimer Candelario driving in the run-scoring single.

It would have been easy for the Pirates to get rattled and make a mess of things at the top of the 10th inning, but they remained focused in the clutch and put the pressure back on the Tigers with a two-run kill-shot homer by Starling Marte.

Adios, arrivederci and goodnight, Detroit.

Greene gives up crushing two-run home

Shane Greene (2.00 ERA) has been a dependable closer for the Tigers in all eight of his appearances so far this season. He hadn’t allowed a single run, and he had only given up two hits total. Initially, it seemed like he was bound to have another hero moment on the mound, but unfortunately for the Tigers, that isn’t the way things worked out this time.

Green gave up a single hit to Jason Martin before Marte knocked the game-winning 406-foot homer over the fence with two outs at the top of the 10th inning. The Pirates took no chances by going with Nick Kingham after the Kela mishap to force a three-and-out on the Tigers to win the game.

It wasn’t a pretty sight for Tigers fans as their team dropped their fourth consecutive loss. It was also the team’s third home loss in four games. Another gut punch for the Detroit faithful served as simply another reminder that it’s going to be a long season.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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The Tigers showed some fight in Game 1 in their ability to get on the scoreboard late and ultimately force the contest into overtime. Yet, overtime is where their offensive limitations were highlighted to the fullest. Despite being ranked third in the lead with the best ERA, the Tigers don’t have the bats to back up the strong pitching they’ve been getting.

You could literally feel the hope siphoned from the stadium once Marte’s homer went sailing over the wall. Everyone on the field knew the Tigers didn’t have the bats to make up a two-run difference in one inning. They’re the worst run-scoring team with one of the league’s worst batting averages (.201) and on-base percentages (.283).

They’ll be able to keep this game close considering the Pirates typically struggle offensively as well. However, Trevor Williams has looked great against the Tigers in the limited time we’ve seen him on the mound against them—13.0 innings, one hit and no runs. Meanwhile, Spencer Turnbull is inching closer towards a 5.00 ERA after giving up eight runs in 15 innings played so far this season. There is still a relatively small sample size on Turnbull, but I expect him to face another difficult night as a starter against a surging opponent. Give me the Pirates in the rematch.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Pirates (-120)

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The under is 11-5 in the Tigers’ last 16 games overall and 19-9 in the Pirates’ last 28 road games. I’ve already gone into detail about the offensive limitations for the Tigers. Well, things aren’t that much better on that end for the Pirates, either. They are the seventh-worst team in average runs scored per game (3.64). Even with Turnbull on the mound, runs will still be hard to come by. I’m taking the under in this game.

Prediction: Under (8)

Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

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