Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Pittsburgh Pirates: Preview, Prediction & Odds - Aug. 23, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 7:05 p.m. ET
Venue: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
Where to watch: Bally Sports Arizona, AT&T SportsNet-PIT, MLB Network

Diamondbacks: 42-83 (Last place, NL West)
Pirates: 44-80 (Last place, NL Central)

Recent form
Diamondbacks: 7-3 in last 10
Pirates: 3-7 in last 10

Projected lineup

Josh Rojas (L) SS
Ketel Marte (S) CF
Pavin Smith (L) RF
Christian Walker (R) 1B
David Peralta (L) LF
Josh VanMeter (L) 2B
Drew Ellis (R) 3B
Daulton Varsho (L) C
Caleb Smith (L) P

Yoshi Tsutsugo (L) LF
Ke'Bryan Hayes (R) 3B
Bryan Reynolds (S) CF
Colin Moran (L) 1B
Gregory Polanco (L) RF
Kevin Newman (R) SS
Michael Perez (L) C
Hoy Park (L) 2B
William Crowe (R) P

Probable starting pitchers: Smith (ARI) vs. Crowe (PIT)

Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Pirates -115, Diamondbacks -105

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Diamondbacks - Pirates preview

It’s a battle of last-place teams starting Monday when the Pittsburgh Pirates and Arizona Diamondbacks meet for a three-game series at PNC Park.

While this may be a non-appetizing meeting of the minds, these teams haven’t played like last-place squads in recent memory. After a quick six-game road trip, the PIrates return home after winning two of three against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

Sunday wasn’t too exciting of a spot. The Pirates were held to four hits in a 3-0 loss on Sunday to St. Louis. Pittsburgh got a strong 4 IP from left-hander Steven Brault, allowing only one earned run on five hits to drop his ERA to 1.93 in his fourth start. Unfortunately, the Pirates ran into a stellar Adam Wainwright with nine strikeouts in eight innings. Paul Goldschmidt now has 19 home runs on the season with his blast in the fifth inning, his 71st RBI of the season.

Wil Crowe will get the start for the Pirates, his 20th appearance in his second full season. Crowe has struggled this season, going 3-7 with a 5.23 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP.

As a whole, the Diamondbacks have been hoping to pack it up for a while now. Chase Field has become a desolate wasteland, where even the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs don’t want to show up and play. Even the Los Angeles Dodgers would wish to forfeit their games in that ballpark.

But there is some hope to be had for the recent play of the Diamondbacks; they avoided a three-game sweep from the Colorado Rockies by winning 8-4 on Sunday. A great way to celebrate in Phoenix when all it took was two home runs to lose in walk-off fashion on Saturday, but it doesn’t hide the stone-cold fact that the Diamondbacks odds of no longer having the worst record in baseball have increased over the past couple of weeks.

Arizona has a 7-3 mark over the past 10 that includes winning three of four against the San Diego Padres and a sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies. Catcher Daulton Varsho was dialed in from both sides of the plate since first pitch; he went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI. Taylor Widener gave five solid inning of work and five strikeouts, but had five walks.

While not official, Caleb Smith is the projected starting pitcher for the series opener on the Arizona side. The 31-year-old is 4-8 with a 5.20 ERA this season. His accuracy has not been up there to this point.

Betting trends

Free bets alert: The Diamondbacks are 2-10 this season when Smith starts as an underdog. The under has gone 7-5 on the run line.

The Pirates are 7-11 in all games that Crowe starts. Fantasy baseball players are clamoring for the one-day addition in need of some starting pitching help. This is for entertainment purposes of course.


For betting services, just understand that the reliability of any content is to understand that two teams with horrible records like this is a wash. But in an event like this, pitching and the home team is the full list you need to decide this one. Game-wise, this is like getting those voicemails for your car’s extended warranties. Newsrooms are not rushing to get the box score in this one. Pirates win 4-1.

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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