Baltimore and Pittsburgh have been two of the weakest franchises in baseball for a number of years. The Orioles haven’t had a winning season since their division title in 1997 and Pittsburgh is on historic sports streak, as their last winning campaign came in 1992. When you are this bad, everyone has a shot to beat you, however certain teams can really put the hurt on you and both clubs face a nemesis that just doesn’t let up this evening.
Thank you sir may I have another
It was just four years ago, despite being a horribly run franchise, Baltimore (29-63, -20.8 units) always had the cushion of Tampa Bay (56-36, +2.8) below them to at least have a little dignity, keeping them out of last place in the AL East. No more, as the Rays figured out how to put together a farm system and Baltimore, they are still trying to work that point out.
The O’s came into the season believing they had turned a corner, with the development of a few of their younger players, despite the fact they were on a streak of the next season being worst than the prior since 2004.
This quickly turned into a futile campaign with abysmal 2-16 start. Enter Tampa Bay. The Rays are 6-1 vs. the Orioles this year, including 4-0 at Camden Yards, where the teams will meet again. Over the past three seasons, Tampa Bay is 15-7 where crapcakes are plentiful and 31-13 overall.
Sports betting online outlets have Baltimore as +180 home underdogs, after their 8-1 shellacking last night and the Birds are 2-19 after scoring one run or less this season. They will send potential sacrificial lamb Jake Arrieta (3-2, 4.62 ERA) to the mound and Baltimore is 11-36 off three straight losses against division rivals the last three seasons.
Tampa Bay will start Matt Garza (10-5, 4.05) who is 8-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 10 career starts against the Orioles and is 2-0 this season, permitting two earned runs in 16 innings and striking out 14. For this 7:05 Eastern contest, the Rays are 14-4 on the division road this season.
Oh that’s going to leave a mark
Prosperity and abundance are two words seldom associated with the Pittsburgh Pirates (32-60, -12.3). After scoring 21 runs on 36 hits in last two contests in taking the series against Houston, the Bucs must have been arm and leg weary and could only muster a lone run and six base-knocks against renowned Chris Capuano and other bullpen pitchers from Milwaukee (43-51, -7.8) in 3-1 defeat (Capuano’s first win in three years).
Pittsburgh losing to the Brewers is as predictable Lindsey Lohan and Mel Gibson being in the news, after awhile you hardly even notice.
The Pirates have fallen to the Brew Crew in nine of 12 matchups this year (5 of 6 at PNC Park) and they are 8-32 vs. Milwaukee since 2008. The latest slump has Pittsburgh losing nine of 11 and they are 8-27 with double revenge against opponent this season.
Betting on sports participants will note the Bucs are +117 underdogs with their best young pitcher Brad Lincoln (1-3, 5.14) taking the ball. Lincoln has mid-90’s heat, a curveball with a hard break and improving changeup. His problems have come leaving the ball up against big league hitters and has been tagged for four homers in last two starts. Pittsburgh is 50-101 after batting .250 or worse over a 20-game span.
Milwaukee counters with Dave Bush (4-7, 4.07), who has pitched his best baseball of the season of late, with 2.45 ERA in his last trio of starts. Half of Bush’s wins in 2010 have been at the expense of Pittsburgh and the Brewers are on 7-1 streak as a road favorite in the -110 to -150 range. The Crew is 7-0 against Pitt. when Bush is the starting pitcher since July 5, 2008.