The Arizona Diamondbacks have been one of the pleasant surprises of the first half of the MLB season and with a win today they can ensure that they’ll go into the All-Star break in first place in the NL West.
After taking the first two games of this weekend series with the Pittsburgh Pirates, they are 52-38 which is a half game better than the Dodgers. The Pirates are 40-49 and in fourth place in the Central.
As Arizona goes for the sweep, they’ll have Zach Davies on the mound for his 11th start. Davies is 1-4 with a 6.52 ERA in those previous 10 starts and will have to outdo the bullpen of the Pirates.
Carmen Mlodzinski will make his first MLB start presumably as an opener though he did spend most of his minor league career before this season as a starter.
Let’s take a look at the odds.
Pirates vs. Diamondbacks odds, run line and total
Pirates vs. Diamondbacks prediction and pick
The Pittsburgh pitching staff is just awful and that will show today. They are 27th in team ERA at 5.18 over the past 30 days and are 7-20 in their 27 games during that stretch.
For the season their bullpen is 22nd in ERA at 4.32 and that’s after a strong start to the year. They have been falling ever since April in nearly every single way. Mlodzinski has pitched 10.1 innings this year and has a 2.61 ERA, but a 5.42 FIP with two home runs allowed and only eight strikeouts to three walks.
The Diamondbacks were struggling coming into this series and had worries about soreness in Corbin Carroll’s surgically repaired shoulder, but he was the hero last night with a walk-off single in the 10th inning to set up a chance for a sweep.
With Carroll presumably healthy Arizona should be fine offensively against a bad Pittsburgh pitching staff.
The only issue for Arizona is Zach Davies and that’s a big one. Davies has been very bad and last time out he gave up two home runs to the Mets over his 5.2 innings with four runs allowed. His 6.52 ERA is cumbersome, but he does have a 4.38 FIP. which is a good indicator.
Frankly against the Pirates that’s good enough for me to trust Arizona to win and win big.
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