Two last-place teams meet on Monday as the Arizona Diamondbacks host the Pittsburgh Pirates at Chase Field.
The Diamondbacks avoided a sweep with a 6-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. Arizona has the worst record in the majors at 27-68. The Pirates lost to the New York Mets 7-6 on Sunday but won that series. Pittsburgh is 36-57 on the season and in the last place in the NL Central team standings.
The Pittsburgh Pirates blew a six-run lead on Sunday and lost the New York Mets by one run 7-6. All six of the Pirates’ runs came in the first inning with Bryan Reynolds and Kevin Newman producing RBI singles and John Nogowski coming up with a two-run double. But ultimately, the Mets erased the deficit and took the lead on a two-run homer by Michael Conforto in the 9th inning.
Pittsburgh has struggled on offense this season. They are averaging just 3.6 runs per game this season. Reynolds has been the lone bright spot in the offense with an OPS of 0.916, 17 home runs, and 52 RBI. Their pitching is also near the bottom of the rankings with a combined ERA of 4.83.
Chase De Jong will take the mound for the Pirates in the opener on Monday night. The 27-year old journeyman has started a total of 8 games this season and has posted a record of 1-3 with an ERA of 5.59. In his last outing against the Mets last weekend, De Jong gave up five runs on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts in five innings of work.
Odds from BetOnline as of 07/19/2021
The Diamondbacks opened the second half of the season with two losses in three games against the Chicago Cubs. Arizona only has had one series win since the middle of May and they have the worst record in the majors. In their last game, however, they beat the Cubs behind Merrill Kelly who allowed four runs on six hits with no walks and six strikeouts in eight innings of work.
Arizona has a major league-worst 0.674 OPS and has averaged just 4.04 runs per game this season. Their pitching has been even worse as they are last in the National League with a combined ERA of 5.45 and just a 2.27 K/BB ratio.
Caleb Smith will open on top of the mound for Arizona. The 29-year old has a 4.54 ERA and 81 strikeouts across 71.1 innings split between the rotation and bullpen. However, he was shelled by the LA Dodgers in his last start on July 10th, giving up 9 earned runs on six hits with three walks in just one inning.
Pittsburgh is 4-1 in their last five games played. The Pirates are 34-73 in their last 107 games after a loss, 19-43 in their last 62 games as underdogs, 15-36 in their last 51 Monday games, 23-59 in their last 82 games after allowing more than five runs in their previous game, and 22-60 in their last 82 games played on the road.
Arizona is 9-46 in their last 55 games played. The Diamondbacks are 1-9 in their last 10 games after a win, 11-40 in their last 51 games against a right-handed starter, 5-16 in their last 21 Game 1 of a series, 3-14 in their last 17 games against the National League Central, and 7-22 in their last 29 home games.
Head to head, Arizona is 16-5 in the last 21 meetings between these two teams.
Betting on the Diamondbacks isn’t advisable as they are the owners of the worst record in the majors at 27-68. However, the Pirates are one of the teams that they can actually match up well with.
At 36-57, Pittsburgh has the 4th worst record in the majors and although they are 10 games better than Arizona, the pitcher matchup in this game is interesting.
Pittsburgh is using Chase De Jong to take up some innings during a rebuilding season and he has struggled to keep the ball inside the yard with a 46% hard-hit allowed rate this season. The Diamondbacks’ lineup isn’t really a standout but they have been able to plate in runs better than the Pirates who are an MLB-worst .367 in slugging percentage.
Meanwhile, Caleb Smith had a relatively above-average ERA and FIP before he was battered by the Dodgers last week. He’s thrown some good stuff with his 25.7% strikeout rate. He’s also shown flashes of brilliance throughout his career and that should be enough against the struggling Pirates’ team.
This is a battle between two of the worst teams in the league this season. The team with the better pitcher should win this game. Between the two, I trust Smith more than DeJong right now.
Prediction: Arizona Diamondbacks
The total has gone over in 10 out of the last 14 games played by the Pirates. The over is 6-1 in their last seven Game 1 of a series, 6-1 in their last seven games after a loss, 6-2 in their last eight games as betting underdogs, 6-2 in their last eight games on grass, and 21-8-1 in their last 30 Monday games.
The total has gone over in six out of the Diamondbacks’ last seven games as betting favorites. The over is 5-1 in their last six home games as favorites, 22-7 in their last 29 games after a win, 27-9 in their last 36 games after scoring more than five runs in their previous game, and 5-2 in their last seven games against a right-handed starter.
Head to head, the over is 10-5 in the last 15 meetings between these two teams. The total has gone over in six out of their last seven meetings played in Arizona.
Odds from BetOnline as of 07/19/2021
Both teams are coming off high-scoring series last weekend and while neither offense is very good, these teams have two of the worst pitching staffs in baseball today so there should be plenty of runs scored in this game.
Smith’s numbers have dropped since moving to the starting rotation and when he leaves this game, the numbers on Arizona’s bullpen is worse with a 5.51 ERA. When it comes to pitching staff ERA, these teams are in the bottom 6. When you have that kind of pitching, you can trust the hitters to find the ball here.
Prediction: Over 9.5