Interesting scheduling for the lousy San Diego Padres as they had Wednesday off – which is very rare during the MLB season. The Friars then start a very tough 13-game road trip on Thursday night at surprising Pittsburgh. Who will be the favorite in the MLB lines?
Padres at Pirates MLB Lines & Game Info
Off day chillin’ 😎 pic.twitter.com/t6zghID7Tv
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) May 16, 2018
When: Thursday, 7:05 PM ET
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Probable pitchers (away/home): Eric Lauer/Chad Kuhl
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Radio: 97.3 FM (San Diego) / 93.7 FM (Pittsburgh)
Opening MLB Lines: Pirates -162, Padres +152 (8.5)
Why Bet on San Diego?
The Padres closed a 12-game homestand at 6-6 with a 4-0 win over Colorado on Tuesday. No Padres pitcher ever has had a no-hitter, much less a perfect game. But Jordan Lyles took a perfect game into the eighth vs. the Rockies. Alas, Trevor Story hit a one-out single and then Pat Valaika drew a walk, prompting Padres manager Andy Green to make a pitching change. Lyles struck out 10 in 7.1 scoreless. Brad Hand earned his 12th save of the season in the win. He got the final four outs of the game to keep the Padres’ combined shutout intact. He has a 2.45 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 35/11 K/BB ratio in 22 innings this season.
San Diego remains without one of its best hitters in outfielder Wil Myers. The Padres aren’t counting on Myers returning from his strained left oblique prior to June. It was supposed to be a short-term injury for Myers, but obliques often take longer than expected. Catcher Austin Hedges has been out since late April with tendinitis in his right elbow and isn’t all that close to returning. Outfielder Hunter Renfroe (elbow) has missed a month but could begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday with Triple-A El Paso.
It’s scheduled to be lefty Eric Lauer (1-2, 8.27) on the bump here. The 22-year-old lefty is looking to bounce back from a dreadful Petco Park debut in which he allowed four homers and six runs over 2 2/3. Most concerning: His fastball velocity dipped to 89 mph and he struggled to locate the pitch.
“I think it was because I was trying to do too much,” Lauer said. “When I try to do too much, my mechanics get a little off. I start pulling off, so I start trying to throw harder. It really comes out slower because my arm was dragging. Again, I don’t think it’s a huge deal. I think it’s an easy fix. I think mentally I’ll talk with some guys and figure out a little bit more about the mental side.”
Thirty-six of his 62 pitches found the strike zone. Only one fetched a swing and miss. Lauer has never faced Pittsburgh.
Why Bet on Pittsburgh?
The Bucs continue to battle for the NL Central lead and have won seven of eight. They finished a quick two-game sweep of the visiting White Sox on Wednesday with a 3-2 win. Felipe Vázquez allowed a baserunner but finished off a scoreless ninth inning Wednesday for the save. Tasked with protecting a one-run lead, Vázquez yielded a two-out infield single to Welington Castillo but got Jose Abreu to ground into a fielder’s choice to end it. The hard-throwing reliever is 8-for-8 in save chances and has given up only one earned run since the beginning of April.
Star outfielder Starling Marte confirmed to reporters on Wednesday that he’s dealing with an oblique injury. Marte also said he doesn’t think a trip to the disabled list will be necessary despite the injury. He wasn’t the lineup in Wednesday’s game against the White Sox, and he was removed early from Tuesday’s game with discomfort in his side. Marte is off to an excellent start to the year, with a .308/.363/.509 line along with six homers, 19 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 41 games.
Meanwhile, second baseman Josh Harrison (hand) played a second rehab game Wednesday in the minors. The Pirates are planning to reevaluate him after his third rehab game, which will either come Thursday or Friday. It sounds like he could be back with Pittsburgh sometime this weekend.
It’s Chad Kuhl (4-2, 4.17) on the mound. Kuhl didn’t factor into the decision in Saturday’s win over the Giants, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks over six innings while striking out six. The right-hander threw 52 of 90 pitches for strikes in recording his second straight quality start and fourth in his last five games.
The 25-year-old righthander will be making his ninth start of the season. He is 2-0 with a 3.52 ERA (23.0ip/9er) in four starts this season at PNC Park. He is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA (11.1ip/4er) in two career starts vs. San Diego. Kuhl received a no-decision in Pittsburgh’s 3-2 loss at Petco Park last year on 7/28 (5.1ip/2er) and won a 6-4 decision (6.0ip/2r) against Luis Perdomo on 8/9/16 at PNC Park.
Latest MLB Lines Trends
- San Diego is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games
- San Diego is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of San Diego’s last 8 games
- Pittsburgh is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
- Pittsburgh is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Pittsburgh’s last 6 games at home
Expert MLB Betting Prediction
Lauer has been terrible in all but one outing this season and Kuhl strong at home. Go Pirates on the MLB lines.