Pittsburgh and Arizona both won on Sunday, but as they get ready to open up their series in the microwave hot desert, both teams have traveling in different directions of late.
Pittsburgh salvaged one game in Chicago, but that hardly makes the Pirates feel good about themselves. Pittsburgh has lost seven straight series and in the process have lost 16 of 23 to fall into fourth place in the NL Central.
Arizona is in Phase 3 of their season at the present time. The Diamondbacks with the sweep at Colorado have won nine of 12 and are back in first place in the NL West. After starting 21-8, the D-backs offense and starting pitching fell apart and they went into a 5-17 tailspin, but have rebounded since.
In the series lid lifter, Arizona was a -155 favorite on the overnight line with a total of 8. Will each team continue on the same paths or do their fortunes start to change with this contest?
Former Houston Astro Joe Musgrove (2-1, 1.89 ERA) will make this four start in a Pirates uniform. The 25-year old right-hander came off the DL last month and pitched extremely well in his first two outings. Against a boiling hot Dodgers outfit, he was taken deep twice in a 5-0 setback. Musgrove has averaged close to a strikeout an inning while walking one batter about every four innings. Against a hot D-Backs lineup card, his command will be imperative.