Pittsburgh Pirates (56-58) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (53-60)
MLB Baseball: Friday, August 11th, 7:07 pm EST
Jameson Tallion (6-5, 4.60 ERA) vs. Marcus Stroman (10-5, 3.17 ERA)
Line: Toronto -132/Pittsburgh +122
The Pirates head to Toronto to start a three game series against the Blue Jays. Both teams are holding on by a string in the race for a postseason spot, with the Pirates in fourth place, but still only 3.5 games out of the lead in the very mediocre NL Central. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays are only five games behind the second wild card spot, currently held by the Seattle Mariners.
The Pirates have been playing better the last month or so of the season and if only for a bad start to the year, they might actually lead the NL Central. The Blue Jays also got off to a terrible start, and have never really recovered. They got back to .500 but then they fell off again, and they’ve been spinning their wheels ever since.
Tallion looks for seventh win
Jameson Tallion will be looking for his seventh win of the year on Friday night. He’s been decent this year, but certainly not spectacular. He’s got one more win than losses, but his ERA is too high for my liking, coming into Friday’s game with a 4.60. He’s also gone 0-2 with one no decision over his last three, so he’s not pitching that well coming in.
On the season, his WHIP is 1.50 and batters are hitting .294 against him. It’s somewhat surprising because the guy has good stuff and has struck out 84 batters in only 86 innings. If the Pirates want to make a run at the postseason, they will need Tallion and I expect him to pitch well Friday.
Stroman has been great
Marcus Stroman has been great all year, and that’s really the only Toronto Blue Jay you can say that about. He is 10-5 with an ERA of 3.17 and was solid to start the year and is still pitching well as of late. In fact, over his last six starts, he hasn’t lost, going 2-0 with four no decisions during that span.
He’s allowed three earned runs or less in eight of his last 10 starts, and one of those two was when he allowed four earned runs. He’s only really been hit around once in 10 starts. He gave up 11 hits over 6.2 innings in his latest start, but still managed to hold the Astros to only two earned runs. That shows that he knows how to get out of tight spots against a tough team.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are:
- 37-14 in their last 51 interleague games vs. a team with a losing record.
- 6-2 in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a losing record.
- 14-3 in their last 17 interleague road games vs. a team with a losing record.
The Toronto Blue Jays are:
- 1-4 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing record.
- 1-7 in their last 8 during game 1 of a series.
I like the way the Pirates have been playing of late, and they are one of my teams to bet on down the stretch. Jameson Taillon has been solid, if not great, but I think he’ll pitch well enough to get the win on Friday.