There’s no place like home for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks will be the unlucky guests when the two teams clash on Saturday. Coming into this series against Arizona, the Pirates have a .672 winning percentage at PNC Park (41-20). While the Pirates hit more runs on the road, they hit for better average (and get more walks) and are more aggressive on the base paths (in other words, steal more bases) at home. The club’s starter for this contest, Jeff Locke, has pitched like an ace all season (9-3 with a 2.43 ERA) and while he has a minuscule sample size against the Diamondbacks, he’s been perfect: Hitters have zero hits in six plate appearances.
The road has been unkind to the Diamondbacks, who are 26-31 away from Arizona. Coming into this series, they had lost four of their last six as the visiting team. The team’s chosen starter here, Trevor Cahill, is in the midst of the worst season of his career. He has a 3-10 record and a 4.66 ERA. He’s had particular troubles on the road (2-6 with a 5.44 ERA) and in his one start earlier in the season against the Pirates, he struggled, yielding four runs in five innings of work. Pick Pittsburgh at 1.58 to win.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are great road warriors and will pick up a win at the home of the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies have been one of baseball’s worst teams since 20 July. Coming into this series, the club has put up a 4-19 record during that stretch. Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick has certainly not helped his team’s cause, throwing only two quality starts (six or more innings pitched; three or fewer earned runs) in eight appearances since 30 June. That’s a woeful rate that likely won’t change here. Dodgers hitters own a healthy combined batting average of .307 in 124 career plate appearances against Kendrick.
Being on the road for Los Angeles hasn’t been a distraction: coming into this series, the team holds a .569 winning percentage in away games. In general, the team is just smoking hot and boast a 13-1 record in August. Having Clayton Kershaw – the Dodgers’ best pitcher – throwing in this one is just an added luxury. Kershaw leads the National League with a 1.88 ERA. Choose the Dodgers (1.46) to come away victorious.