The Atlanta Braves host the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight, Monday July 25th, as they open a four-game set with a possible playoff preview. The Pirates are 2-6 in the last 8 meetings. MLB oddsmakers have the Braves as -200 moneyline home favorites over the Pirates (+170) with the over/under set at 7 runs. Be sure to get your Pittsburgh Pirates vs Atlanta Braves prediction in now.
Pittsburgh (52-47, 26-22 V) have won six of their last ten games and took two of three against Houston on their last road trip. The Pirates haven’t made a postseason appearance since that heartbreaking defeat nearly 19 years ago, begins its seven-game trip atop the NL Central after moving percentage points ahead of both St. Louis and Milwaukee with Sunday's 4-3, 10-inning victory over the Cardinals. Pittsburgh, which dropped both meetings with the NL wild card-leading Braves in May, has lost nine of 13 in Atlanta over the previous four seasons. Brian McCann, who homered for the second time in three games Sunday, is hitless in five at-bats against Pirates pitcher McDonald
The Pirates give the ball to James McDonald (6-4, 4.15), who has thrived since mid-May. The right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.84 ERA over his last 11 starts after yielding four hits and three walks while striking out seven in 6 1/3 innings of Tuesday's 1-0 victory over the Reds. McDonald is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA over two career starts versus the Braves.
Atlanta (59-43, 30-19 H) has won five of their last ten games and they won six of their last seven at home. The Braves are likely looking forward to returning to Turner Field after Sunday's 4-3 walk-off loss at Cincinnati capped a 3-4 road swing. Atlanta has outscored opponents 75-35 in winning 12 of 14 at home. Brian McCann, who homered for the second time in three games Sunday, is hitless in five at-bats against Pirates pitcher McDonald. Braves seven-time All-Star Chipper Jones has been a key reason why the Braves always beat the Pirates. Out since July 8 with a meniscus tear in his right knee, Jones likely will be activated from the 15-day DL in time to continue his hot hitting versus the Pirates. He's gone 20 for 50 (.400) with one homer and 12 RBIs in his last 13 home matchups in the series. "I talked to him; he said he feels great," manager Fredi Gonzalez
Tim Hudson (9-6, 3.39 ERA) gets toss from the slab tonight after winning a season-high four consecutive starts. Hudson, 4-0 with a 1.96 ERA over his last six outings overall, didn't receive a decision despite limiting Colorado to two runs and five hits in seven innings of a 3-2 road defeat Wednesday. The right-hander is 5-4 with a 2.75 ERA lifetime against the Pirates.
Recent Trends to Consider:
Under is 4-1-1 in the last 6 meetings in Atlanta.
Under is 5-2-1 in Hudsons last 8 starts vs. Pirates.
Under is 34-15-2 in the last 51 meetings.
Pirates are 11-31 in the last 42 meetings in Atlanta.
Pirates are 2-6 in the last 8 meetings.
Pirates are 4-0 in McDonalds last 4 road starts.
Pirates are 4-0 in McDonalds last 4 road starts with the total set at 7.0-8.5.
Braves are 4-0 in Hudsons last 4 starts as a home favorite.
Braves are 4-0 in Hudsons last 4 home starts with the total set at 7.0-8.5.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs Atlanta Braves
When: Monday July 25th@7:10 PM ET
Pick: Braves -200
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The Bottom Line: Atlanta has their number. Be sure to get your Pittsburgh Pirates vs Atlanta Braves prediction in now.