Thursday, July 28 and the Pittsburgh Pirates (40-58) are back from a rare off day and begin a four-game series against their cross-state rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies (51-47) at PNC Park. Can the Pirates halt their three-game skid?
- Kevin Newman 2B
- Oneil Cruz SS
- Ke’Bryan Hayes 3B
- Ben Gamel LF
- Bligh Madris RF
- Greg Allen CF
- Cal Mitchell DH
- Josh VanMeter 1B
- Tyler Heineman C
The weather in Pittsburgh at first pitch (7:05 p.m.) should be hot. The temperature is forecasted to be 83 degrees with a southwest wind of around 8 mph. No rain is expected.
Starting for the Pirates will be Zach Thompson (3-7, 4.64 ERA). Zack Wheeler (8-5, 2.78 ERA) will pitch for the Phillies.
Thompson is coming off of a very rough start last Friday against the Miami Marlins. Thompson went 5.1 innings while giving up seven earned runs on nine hits. Can Thompson rebound?
In July, Wheeler is carrying a 2.45 ERA in 25.2 innings. Last Saturday, Wheeler pitched seven innings of one-run ball against the Cubs. Can the Pirates’ bats get to Wheeler early?
The Pirates are opening as +164 underdogs for Thursday’s moneyline, whereas the Phillies are -200 favorites. The over/under stands at 7.5 runs. The run line is the Pirates +1.5 (-110) and Phillies -1.5 (-110).
Who’s Hot/Who’s Not?
Who’s Hot: In a week’s worth of games, Jason Delay is slashing .333/.400/.500. Delay has shown he belongs on the major league roster.
Who’s Not: Kevin Newman started out hotter than usual after returning from his injury, but in the last seven games he has posted a slash line of .214/.267/.357. Not what you would call ideal.
- Thompson has a very limited sample size against the Phillies, but in eight innings, opponents are hitting just .160 with an OPS of .530.
- In 16 career games against the Phillies, Ben Gamel has put up decent numbers. In 54 at-bats, he is slashing .296/.387/.519 with an OPS of .906.
- Wheeler has only pitched in PNC Park two times and has a 2.25 ERA in 12 innings. A good(ish) sign for the Pirates is they have a .261 batting average against Wheeler.
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