MLB OddsBetting Overview

The MLB betting dream continues for baseball fans in Pittsburgh. The MLB standings has the Pirates only one and a half games out of first place in the NL Central. Not only has it been a long time since the Pirates were in the pennant race this late in the season, it has also been a long time since Pittsburgh was above .500 in July. With a 43-41 record, the Pittsburgh Pirates are keeping pressure on the NL Central leading Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals while trying to stay ahead of the hard-charging Cincinnati Reds. The Reds trail the Pirates by only a half a game, and it makes for one of the best pennant races in all of baseball.

The Houston Astros occupy that place of infamy as the worst MLB team in all of baseball. The Astros’ 29 wins is the lowest in baseball and its 56 losses are the highest. In the last 10 games, the Astros have only won two games and that includes getting swept by the Boston Red Sox at home. The Astros have reached the point where, even though almost half of the season is still left to be played, they are now trying out new players to see if they have anyone that can help for next season. No one on this Houston roster is immune to being cut, and when you are 16 games out of first place before the all-star break, that is the way it should be.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The very consistent Jeff Karstens takes the mound for the Pirates in the first game of this series. Karstens is 6-4 this season, but his recent play, and his 2.65 season ERA, indicate that he is a bit more valuable to the Pirates than his record may indicate. Karstens is 3-0 in his last six starts. He is not the kind of pitcher that will throw a lot of complete games, but he consistently pitches into the seventh inning to get to the bullpen’s set-up man. His last three starts were interleague games where he went 2-0. He beat the Boston Red Sox and the hard-hitting Toronto Blue Jays while pulling a no-decision against the Cleveland Indians. Prior to interleague play, Kartsens’ last NL start was a six and two-thirds inning masterpiece against the Houston Astros where he allowed no earned runs and only three hits.

Houston Astros

The Astros will send one of their more consistent pitchers, Wandy Rodriguez, to the mound against Houston. Rodriguez is 6-4 on the season with a 2.97 ERA, but his record has been improving steadily in the last few weeks. In his last 10 starts, Rodriguez is 5-2, and one of those wins was a two-run effort against the Pittsburgh Pirates. During this most recent 10 game stretch, Rodriguez has held the opposition to no earned runs five times. He has had impressive control, and he gives the Astros a chance to win whenever he takes the mound.

The Bottom Line

The Astros just do not have the hitting to compete with the Pirates. Rodriguez gives Houston a chance in this game, but Karstens can shut the Houston offense down and keep the game close until it has to go to the Houston bullpen. That is when the Pirates will take this game over.

BSNblog Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates

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