Cleveland Indians vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Weekend Series Preview, Betting Odds
This weekend features an interleague matchup of Central teams as the Cleveland Indians (38-28) take on the Pittsburgh Pirates (23-44). The Pirates will host this three-game series at PNC Park starting on Friday.
The Indians come into play Friday on a bit of a roll. They started the week by sweeping the Baltimore Orioles in a four-game series. On Thursday, the Indians won 10-3 behind four home runs, including Jose Ramirez’s 16th of the season.
For Pittsburgh, they may be the coldest team in baseball right now. In fact, they have been swept in three straight series and have lost ten games in a row. They had an off-day on Thursday, their first in nine games.
The schedule for the three-game series at PNC Park is as follows:
- Friday, June 18 – 7:05 pm ET
- Saturday, June 19 – 4:05 pm ET
- Sunday, June 20 - 1:05 pm ET
Here is the pitching matchup for each game of the series:
- Friday: J.C. Mejia (1-1, 4.26 ERA) vs. Chad Kuhl (0-4, 6.52 ERA)
- Saturday: Cal Quantrill (0-2, 3.11 ERA) vs. Wil Crowe (0-4, 6.75 ERA)
- Sunday: Sam Hentges (1-1, 7.57 ERA) vs. JT Brubaker (4-5, 3.88 ERA)
Looking At Odds
In the A.L. Central, the Indians are trying to catch one of the best teams in baseball in the White Sox, but they are still +450 to win the division. The Pirates are +30000 to win the N.L. Central.
In terms of winning the World Series, the Indians have the better odds to do so at +4000. The Pirates are currently tied for the worst odds in baseball to win the World Series at +30000.
By The Numbers
Offensively, Cleveland has been the better team this year. They currently rank 17th in scoring averaging 4.25 runs per game. The Pirates rank dead last, averaging just 3.39 runs per game.
Defensively, it is once again the Indians with the advantage. They rank 14th in MLB, allowing opponents an average of just 4.26 runs per game. The Pirates rank 22nd allowing 4.88 runs.
Indians Look To Keep Pace In Division
The Indians are currently in the thick of the A.L. Central race as they sit just 3.5 games behind the Chicago White Sox. Cleveland has played well, going 7-3 in the last ten games, but visiting the Pirates, they should be able to add to their win total.
Leading the way for the Indians offensively is third baseman, Jose Ramirez. He is currently hitting .272/.352/.544 with a team-leading 16 home runs, 44 runs batted in, and 47 runs scored.
The Indians have also been excited by the recent play of first baseman Bobby Bradley. In his last seven games, he is hitting .364/.440/.773 with three home runs.
Pirates Just Hoping To Avoid Another Sweep
At 23-44 and 15 games out in their division, the Pirates have to worry less about playing catchup and more about just getting a win. Especially with their dreadful zero for ten stretch over their last ten games, Pirates’ fans are dying for just a single win.
Leading the way offensively for the Pirates has been outfielder, Bryan Reynolds. He is currently hitting .293/.393/.504 with a team-leading ten home runs, 32 runs batted in, and 38 runs scored.
Over the last week, outfielder Ben Gamel has probably been their best hitter. In the last six games, he is hitting .412/.412/.706 with a home run.
Indians Need To Think Sweep
Worst case scenario, this has to be a series win for the Indians, but after the Pirates have been swept for three series in a row, the Indians need to think the same way.
On the pitching side, Cleveland likely has the starting pitching advantage in at least the first two games, with Pittsburgh possibly having a slight edge in the finale.
Still, with a Pirates’ offense that struggles to score runs, the Indians could easily take all three if they keep playing the way they have recently.
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