Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#927 Pittsburgh Pirates 9.5 vs.
#928 Los Angeles Angels -165
Tuesday, August 13, 2019 at 10:07pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

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A pair of teams likely looking to next year continue an interleague set out in the City of Angels. The Pittsburgh Pirates are on the road for the middle game of a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday night. Pittsburgh was swept in St. Louis over the weekend as they dropped the finale of the set 11-9 on Sunday afternoon. Los Angeles earned a split of their four-game series on the road in Boston as they prevailed 5-4 in 10 innings Sunday afternoon. The pitching matchup for Monday’s series opener saw Mitch Keller take the ball for Pittsburgh: he was scheduled to face the Angels’ Jose Suarez. First pitch in that contest was slated for 10:07 pm ET.

Pittsburgh Pirates Cratering in Second Half

Pittsburgh was in the thick of the NL Central race at the All-Star break: they entered Monday losers of eight straight and stood 4-24 in the second half of the season. Pittsburgh entered the opener of this set in the basement of the NL Central, 15.5 games behind the Cubs and 13.5 games behind the second wild card spot. The Pirates led 8-4 after six innings before giving up five in the seventh and two in the eighth to take the loss. Colin Moran (run), Bryan Reynolds (three runs) and Josh Bell (two runs, four RBI) each had three hits in defeat. Steven Brault didn’t factor in the decision as he allowed four runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts over 4.2 innings. Kyle Crick (3-7) took the loss as he allowed five runs on three hits and a pair of hit batters in two-thirds of an inning.

Trevor Williams gets the call for his 18th start of the year for the Pirates in this one. He has a 4-5 mark with a 5.06 ERA, a 1.344 WHIP, 24 walks and 78 strikeouts over 99.2 innings of work on the season. Williams took the loss in his last start, which came Wednesday at home against the Brewers. He allowed six runs on eight hits with one walk and one strikeout over five innings in a game the Pirates lost 8-3. Williams is 1-2 with a 5.50 ERA, a 1.28 WHIP, six walks and 10 strikeouts over 18 innings in his last three starts. He faces the Angels for the first time in his career in this, his 88th major league appearance and 75th start. That makes this his first career outing at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Los Angeles Angels Try to Extend Pirates’ Misery

Los Angeles snapped an eight-game slide of their own by taking the final two games of their four-game set with Boston. The Angels entered Monday fourth in the AL West, 19.5 games behind the Astros: they were 11 games behind the Rays for the second wild card spot. Shohei Ohtani (two RBI) had three hits for Los Angeles while Luis Rengifo had a pair in the victory. Anthony Bemboom drove in the winning run with an RBI single in the 10th inning. Patrick Sandoval didn’t factor in the decision as he allowed four runs on six hits with four walks and four strikeouts over 4.2 innings. Hansel Robles (4-0) earned the win in relief as he tossed 1.1 scoreless innings: he allowed one hit with no walks and two strikeouts.

Griffin Canning is expected to get the ball for his 17th appearance and 16th start for the Angels in this contest. He comes in with a 4-6 record, a 4.76 ERA, a 1.197 WHIP, 26 walks and 86 strikeouts over 79.1 innings of work on the year. Canning picked up the win in his last start, which came against the Tigers at home on July 30. He threw six innings, allowing no runs on four hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in a game the Angels won 6-1. After that start, he was placed on the injured list with right elbow inflammation but is expected to return here. Canning is 1-0 with a 3.65 ERA, a 1.46 WHIP, eight walks and 15 strikeouts over 12.1 innings in his last three starts. This marks his first career appearance or start against the Pirates. Canning is 3-2 with a 4.93 ERA, a 1.145 WHIP, 14 walks and 46 strikeouts over 22.1 innings in nine career appearances, eight starts, at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Let’s be honest: both teams are playing for pride and that’s about it over the last six-plus weeks of the season. The Pirates have won four times in a month since the All-Star break and now stand 8.5 games out of fourth place in the NL Central. Williams has struggled this season as injuries and other problems have taken a toll on him and the rest of the Bucs. The Angels aren’t great either but they entered the series with back to back wins. Pittsburgh hasn’t done that since the final two games before the All-Star break July 6-7. Mike Trout and Ohtani are too much for the Pirates here as the Angels claim the victory.

Prediction: Los Angeles Angels -160

Full-Game Total Pick

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Pittsburgh has flat out fallen off a cliff in the second half of the season as their record clearly points out. The Pirates have averaged four runs a game while posting a .244/.304/.390 slash line at the plate in that stretch. On the mound, the numbers are no better as Pittsburgh has a 5.62 ERA and a 1.446 WHIP while allowing 50 homers in those 28 games. Los Angeles has had their struggles but managed to win their last two games heading into Monday’s opener. The Angels play pretty well at home, especially in interleague games. Can Los Angeles pick up a win here and keep the Pirates in a death spiral?

The over is 5-0-1 in the Pirates’ last 6 interleague games vs. a team with a losing record, 9-1-1 in their last 11 interleague games, 4-1 in their last 5 interleague road games vs. a team with a losing record and 18-6-2 in their last 26 vs. a team with a losing record. Los Angeles has seen the over go 7-3 in their last 10 vs. a team with a losing record. The over is 4-0 in the last four meetings: with the Pirates’ pitching a train wreck right now and Canning likely being monitored pitch count wise, this one goes over the number.

Prediction: Over 9.5

First Five Innings Side Pick

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The Angels are just one game above .500 on the season at home entering Monday night but when you’re facing a team that is 20 games under that mark just in the last month, you’re doing okay. Canning was sharp in his last start against the Tigers and now comes back after a couple weeks off with elbow inflammation. Williams was lit up in his last start and there’s not a ton of reasons for optimism for the Bucs at this point. The Angels, with their talent at the plate, gets the upper hand after five innings.

Prediction: Los Angeles Angels -157

First Five Innings Total Bet

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We’ve seen the Pirates give up runs by the truckload in the second half of the season. Their starting staff has an ERA of 6.41 with a 1.504 WHIP and 34 homers allowed in 139 innings in the second half. That’s a major reason why the starters are 3-15 since the All-Star break. Canning hasn’t been terrific as he has ERAs above four in the second, third and fourth innings. Pittsburgh put some runs on the board in Sunday’s loss: both teams get the bats going early in this one, pushing it over the total after five innings.

Prediction: Over 5.5
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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. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.