Philadelphia Phillies vs Pittsburgh Pirates Prediction, Odds & Preview -- 7/30/21

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 7:05 p.m. ET; July 30, 2021

PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA

Where to watch: NBCSP, AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Recent lineups


Jean Segura (R) 2B
Brad Miller (L) 1B
Bryce Harper (L) RF
Andrew McCutchen (R) LF
J.T. Realmuto (R) C
Didi Gregorius (L) SS
Alec Bohm (R) 3B
Odubel Herrera (L) CF
Aaron Nola (R) P


Ben Gamel (L) LF
Ke'Bryan Hayes (R) 3B
Bryan Reynolds (S) CF
Gregory Polanco (L) RF
John Nogowski (R) 1B
Jacob Stallings (R) C
Rodolfo Castro (S) 2B
Kevin Newman (R) SS

Odds at USA Sportsbooks

Phillies  team's money line -140, Pirates +120

Recent Form:

Phillies: Entering Thursday, are 3-3 in their last six, lost 3-1 in first game of doubleheader against Washington Thursday.

Pirates: Entering Thursday, 3-7 in their last 10

Phillies - Pirates Preview

It's time for the Philadelphia Phillies to make something happen. Good news: They're within striking distance.

The Phillies enter Thursday 4.5 games back of the first-place New York Mets in the National League East. But halfway through Year 3 of the Bryce Harper era, it's time for the loaded Philly lineup to make a charge for a playoff spot.

Philadelphia, after wrapping up its set against the Washington Nationals on Thursday, will turn attention to a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It's the start of a six-game road trip for the Phillies; they'll play at Washington starting Tuesday.

Wednesday's game against Washington was postponed due to a COVID outbreak within the Nationals. The teams played a doubleheader Thursday, with Washington winning the first game 3-1.

“We need to win some games,” said pitcher Zack Wheeler after the Game 1 loss. “That was a big game for us and I needed to go out and post some zeros, especially against Max [Scherzer] because he’s going to hold us or try to and I let us down out there.”

For the Phillies, it's all about consistency. Being a .500 team through 100 games, the question is when is the star power going to get going. Harper has been very good, batting .295 with 16 homers. But outside of Harper and second baseman Jean Segura, others are having time putting the ball in play for Philadelphia.

Andrew McCutchen, the former Pirates star, is second on the club with 19 homers, but is batting an abysmal .237. Didi Gregorius, who signed a two-year contract with the Phillies this past offseason, is batting a team-worst .213. This is a guy who batted .284 with the Yankees not too long ago. Rhys Hoskins, leading Philly with 22 home runs, is batting .236. It's hit or miss for the once NL East powerhouse. Accuracy at the plate is nonexistent.

To be ahead of the Atlanta Braves at this point, though, with Ronald Acuna Jr. out, is quite the miracle. And the Braves couldn't have picked a better time to help Philly by beating the Mets 6-3 on Thursday.

As for the Pirates, it remains a bad time for the NL Central bottomfeeders. Not even the great Roberto Clemente could get these guys caught up to the Milwaukee Brewers. The rebuild is underway after trading Adam Frazier to the San Diego Padres.

Bryan Anderson is inching closer to a 20-20 season while batting close to .310, so there are bright spots, but it seems like he's the only one to show up for first pitch. But bless him for leading the team in strikeouts (83) but offsetting that with good play.

Another bright spot has been 22-year-old rookie Rodolfo Castro becoming the first player with his first five hits being homers. Yes, seriously. And his swing is as pretty as you'd imagine. Maybe a late addition to your fantasy baseball lineup?

"It's a little interesting, said manager Derek Shelton. "I don't think it's sustainable, but if he wants to try, he can try. To do it from both sides of the plate, too ... he continues to take good, aggressive swings."


- The Pirates are 15-33 (-14.2 units) as an underdog between +100 - +150 this season.

- The Phillies are 4-1 against NL Central opponents when Nola starts. He is 2-2 in his career with a 3.24 ERA and a WHIP of 1.000 against Pittsburgh this season.

Phillies - Pirates Prediction

MLB picks are never easy. Free bets are also not free. It's easy to say Philadelphia will win because Pittsburgh just doesn't look good. But two things I'm taking into consideration: The doubleheader, and the little bit of travel. If this is the day for the Pirates to get a tired Philadelphia team on the ropes after an exhausting 24-48 hours, this might be the time. I see the over barely cashing, and the Pirates getting a rare 6-5 win.

Don't miss our champion handicappers free picks and expert baseball picks today.  And if you enjoyed this Philadelphia Phillies - Pittsburgh Pirates prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily MLB projections and previews.

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.

© 2021 Al McMordie's All Rights Reserved.