The Philadelphia Phillies will host the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third match-up in a four-game series. The Phillies took the opening game 12-6 on Thursday.
Heading into Friday night's game which was not complete at the time of this preview, the Phillies are 79-74, second in the NL East, and still alive in the postseason hunt. The Pirates are last in the NL Central with a 57-95 record.
Pirates trying to avoid 100 loss seasonThe Pittsburgh Pirates are coming to the end of their third straight losing season, presently holding the fourth-worst record in MLB. As bad as the record is, Pittsburgh's over/under win total coming into the season was only 58.5, which they are two wins away from surpassing.
Carmen Mlodzinski: the most fascinating prospect in baseball. pic.twitter.com/3mlfABWJJB— Young Bucs (@YoungBucsPIT) September 23, 2021
On Saturday, Pittsburgh will start right-hander Wil Crowe. In 24 games and 23 starts this year, Crowe is 4-7 with a 5.77 ERA. In 12 road games, Crowe is 3-2 with a 6.53 ERA.
Phillies fighting until the endThe Philadelphia Phillies don't have much room for error. Heading into Friday night, the Phillies had a 20% to reach the postseason, according to the Elo Ratings. The Phillies are second on the NL East, trailing the Atlanta Braves by two games, which seems like their best chance at the playoffs. The St. Louis Cardinals have a 4.5 game lead over the Phillies for the final spot in the Wild Card race.
Foot stays on the gas. pic.twitter.com/OYm1levnRN— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) September 24, 2021
The Phillies will send 26-year-old southpaw Ranger Suarez to the mound on Saturday. In 37 games, including 10 starts, Suarez is 6-5 with a 1.60 ERA and 1.06 WHIP this year. During home games, Suarez has a 5-1 record, 1.75 ERA, and three saves.
- Pirates are 1-6 in their last 7 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15.
- Phillies are 6-0 in their last 6 games vs. a right-handed starter.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This game is meaningless to the Pirates other than for pride. As for the Phillies, this contest on Saturday is an absolute must-win. The Phillies still have a shot in the division but need to take care of business with the Braves currently playing the National League's worst team, Arizona. When it comes to the Wild Card, St. Louis Cardinals has won 13 games in a row, and Philadelphia's last hope to catch them would likely be winning out.
The Phillies certainly have not given up, having won their last three games and seven of their last 10. Philadelphia holds almost every significant advantage in this game against Pittsburgh, and if they can't take care of business on Saturday, they don't deserve the postseason anyway. Take the Phillies to get the job done and win by at least two runs.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Phillies and Pirates have had precisely 50% of their games go over, and 50% fall under the total this year. The Phillies will be sending Ranger Suarez to the mound, who has been lights out as a starter. Suarez has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his previous six outings, which have all gone at least five innings. Expect to see another dominant outing from Suarez facing a Pirates team that is dead-last in MLB, averaging just 3.7 runs per game, with a league-low 119 home runs.
Although Pirates' starter Wil Crowe has not had a great season, the Phillies will need a lot of one-sided offense to push this game over. I will take the Phillies to win this game 6-2, with the under prevailing.