In the win-loss column, the Pittsburgh Pirates are a model of mediocrity through the first six weeks of the 2012 Major League Baseball season. All that separates them in the Central from first place St. Louis is three games – and a nearly 2:1 scoring ratio!
The Pirates will try and move to .500 on the season with a win in Florida tonight and continue their surge up the money maker’s list as a big road underdog
The Pirates are 17-18 overall, 10-8 at home and 7-10 on the road but the team ranks dead last in runs per game (2.86), hits (7.11) and OPS (.629). The inability to score runs put the Pirates in a 2-6 hole to start the season but in the past 10 days they are 4-1 in games decided by a one-run margin.
It’s propelled Pittsburgh into the top 10 for baseball betting +/- (+3.0 units) and they are keeping pace with a few unusual suspects.
TOP 10 MONEY MAKERS IN BASEBALL
1. Orioles, +13.0
2. Dodgers, +11.1
3. Mets, +9.3
4. Rays, +7.4
5. Nationals, +7.3
6. Athletics, +6.9
7. Braves, +5.4
8. Rangers, +4.4
9. Indians, +3.9
10. Pirates, +3.0
PIRATES AND MARLINS
Kevin Correia (1-3, 3.47 ERA) is starting for Pittsburgh and like most pitchers; he could be looking to catch a break in what was perceived as one of the more hitter friendly ballparks in baseball. Correia has served up four long balls in his past two starts and they weren’t exactly power hitting opponents.
Miami averages 0.91 home runs per game this season and their home average is 0.87, ranking them 13th amongst all big league clubs. The team has slugged 14 of its 32 dingers in the past 13 games, so it seems that Marlins Ballpark may not be quite as forgiving as first thought.
Correia’s numbers, however, are following a very similar pattern to 2011 and it makes this game worth circling. In three road starts, Correia has a 2.20 ERA and no home runs allowed through 16.1 innings. At home those numbers spike to 4.50 and five home runs but the Pirates are scoring exactly 2.67 runs for their chucker whether it is at home or away.
In 2011, Correia was 2-8 at home with a 7.71 ERA and 15 home runs through 65.1 innings pitched. Opponents hit .349 against him and scored 60 runs – exactly twice as many as they did during his 88.2 innings of road work.
Correia was 10-3 when traveling with a 2.64 ERA and he only gave up nine home runs; five of them at Milwaukee and Toronto.
It’s hard to explain the problem Correia faces at home but the numbers speak for themselves and the baseball odds for tonight’s game favor Miami -180. Josh Johnson (0-3, 5.87 ERA) is 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA against the Pirates but Pittsburgh is a proven money maker that’s figured out how to win close, low scoring games. Miami is 22nd in scoring at 3.71 runs per game and against one of the toughest “road warriors” in the game, our money is on the big dog.
Pick: Take the Pirates
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