Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#953 Los Angeles Dodgers -155 vs.
#954 Pittsburgh Pirates 8.5
Sunday, May 26, 2019 at 1:35pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

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A pair of teams that are battling to maintain their standing in their respective divisions in the National League close out a series in the Steel City. The Los Angeles Dodgers play the final game of a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday afternoon. Los Angeles won the opening game of the series, rolling to a 10-2 victory on Friday night. The pitching matchup for the middle game of the series Saturday night saw Hyun-Jin Ryu take the mound for the Dodgers against Pittsburgh’s Joe Musgrove. First pitch for that contest was set for 7:15 pm ET.

Los Angeles Dodgers Seek to Maintain NL West Lead

Los Angeles jumped out early and cruised to the victory in the opening game of the series. As a result, the Dodgers entered Saturday six games ahead of the Padres in the NL West race. David Freese (two runs, four RBI), Chris Taylor (run), Joc Pederson (run, RBI) and Austin Barnes (two RBI) each had two hits for Los Angeles in the contest. Freese (his fourth, a grand slam) and Cody Bellinger (his 18th) each homered in the victory for the Dodgers. Walker Buehler (5-1) earned the win as he threw six strong innings: he allowed one run on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts.

Kenta Maeda hopes to be activated off the disabled list to make his 10th start of the season for the Dodgers in this one. He’s been dealing with an adductor strain and was placed on the injured list May 16. On the season, he is 5-2 with a 3.51 ERA, a 1.188 WHIP, 20 walks and 52 strikeouts over 51.1 innings of work. Maeda picked up the win in his last start, which came against the Padres at home back on May 15. He threw 6.2 scoreless innings, allowing three hits with no walks and 12 strikeouts in a 2-0 Los Angeles victory. Maeda is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA, a 0.64 WHIP, five walks and 24 strikeouts over 18.2 innings in his last three starts. He is 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA, a 0.825 WHIP, two walks and nine strikeouts over 13.1 innings of work in two career starts against the Pirates. Maeda took the loss in his lone career start at PNC Park, which came on June 25, 2016. In that outing, he allowed four runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts over five innings in a 6-1 Dodgers loss.

Pittsburgh Pirates Hope to Pick Up Win in Series Finale

Pittsburgh dropped to 0-4 against the Dodgers this season as their strategy to deploy an opener blew up in their faces. The Pirates entered Saturday third in the NL Central, 3.5 games behind the Cubs in the division. Pittsburgh finished with seven hits with Adam Frazier (RBI) the lone player with two in the contest. Elias Diaz drove in the other Pirates run in the loss. Michael Feliz (2-1) struggled in his role as the opener as he was shelled for five runs on four hits with a walk and no strikeouts while retiring only one hitter before getting the hook.

Chris Archer is slotted to take the hill for this contest as he logs his eighth start of the year for the Pirates. He comes in 1-4 with a 5.55 ERA, a 1.43 WHIP, 18 walks and 37 strikeouts over 35.2 innings of work on the year. Archer took the loss in his last start, which came at home against the Rockies Tuesday night. He threw five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts in a 5-0 Pittsburgh defeat. Archer is 0-3 with a 10.66 ERA, a 1.97 WHIP, nine walks and 11 strikeouts over 12.2 innings in his last three starts. He is 0-2 with a 5.73 ERA, a 1.182 WHIP, three walks and 11 strikeouts over 11 innings in two career starts against the Dodgers. Archer is 2-4 with a 3.72 ERA, a 1.407 WHIP, 18 walks and 48 strikeouts over 48.1 innings in nine career starts at PNC Park.

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Archer has really struggled with losses in four straight starts and he spent nearly three weeks on the injured list as well. He has an ERA over 10 in his last three starts, including giving up six runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts, including a pair of homers, in four innings of a 6-2 Pirates loss in Los Angeles on April 26. Maeda has thrown 12.2 scoreless innings in his last two starts and the Dodgers have plenty of pop in the lineup. Pittsburgh is running out of starting pitchers at the moment and Archer’s struggles don’t help things. Look for the Dodgers to come up with the victory here on getaway day.

Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers

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Maeda likely is going to be on a pitch count in this contest as he returns from the disabled list. The Dodgers have a pretty good group behind him in the bullpen, which works in their favor. Los Angeles is seventh in the majors entering Saturday with 5.24 runs per game while they are sixth in the majors with 79 homers. The Dodgers have quality pitching, ranking third in ERA (3.48) and second in WHIP (1.08) this season. Pittsburgh is minus several pieces in their rotation, which has impacted their chances. Can Archer turn around after a miserable first nearly two months of the season and help the Pirates to a win in the series finale?

The over is 4-0 in the Dodgers’ last four overall, 5-0 in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning record, 4-0 in their last four on the road, 4-0 in their last four on the road against a right-handed starter and 4-0 in their last 4 games vs. a right-handed starter. Pittsburgh has seen the under go 4-0 in their last four on Sunday, 8-1 in their last nine at home, 7-1 in their last 8 home games vs. a right-handed starter and 6-1 in their last 7 during game 3 of a series. The over is 8-1 in the last nine meetings between the teams: look for this one to go over thanks to the Dodgers’ offensive attack and Archer’s issues.

Prediction: Over

Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.