Philadelphia Phillies vs Pittsburgh Pirates Prediction, Preview & Odds -- August 1, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 1:05 p.m. ET
Venue: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
Where to watch: NBCSP, AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Season-to-date
Phillies: 51-52 (2nd place, NL East)
Pirates: 39-64 (Last place, NL Central)

Recent lineups


Phillies:
J.T. Realmuto (R) C
Brad Miller (L) 1B
Bryce Harper (L) RF
Andrew McCutchen (R) LF
Alec Bohm (R) 3B
Didi Gregorius (L) SS
Ronald Torreyes (R) 2B
Odubel Herrera (L) CF
Kyle Gibson (R) P

Pirates:
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
Mitch Keller (R) P

Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Phillies -135, Pirates +115; O/U 9


Recent form
Phillies: 4-6 in last 10
Pirates: 3-7 in last 10

Larry Ness finished July at 104-70. Get Larry’s Sunday MLB Best Bets at our Shop Picks page, where you can find all of today's entire Major League Baseball premium pick predictions.

Phillies - Pirates preview


Much like we talked about the other day, the Philadelphia Phillies are not out of the NL East race by any stretch. It doesn’t help that they lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday in the first game of their three game set.

Which we did predict correctly, by the way, so you’re welcome.

But the Phillies did make some notable additions ahead of the MLB Trade Deadline on Friday, acquiring starter Kyle Gibson and reliever Ian Kennedy from the Texas Rangers to bolster their rotation. Gibson is expected to make his Phillies debut Sunday at PNC Park.

“We’re really happy with what took place,” said Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. “We think it gives us a chance to win -- a little better chance to win -- based upon what we did.”

Gibson was the ace on a horrendous Texas squad, going 6-3 with a miraculous 2.87 ERA. If he can be even half of that with the Phillies, that’s an added bonus. Philadelphia entered Saturday 3.5 games back of the New York Mets for the division lead.

New York too made a splash Friday acquiring Chicago Cubs second baseman Javier Baez to round out their talented infield.

The Pirates did in fact take advantage of the worn-down Phillies in Friday’s opener, coming off a doubleheader in Washington. Pittsburgh combined to one-hit Philadelphia in a 7-0 loss highlighted by starting pitcher Wil Crowe throwing six innings with four strikeouts.

Vince Velasquez only lasted two innings and allowed five runs for Philadelphia.

Pittsburgh won’t be making any waves come September, but this is a chance to see the young guys in action. Following the decision to trade Adam Frazier to the San Diego Padres, the Pirates have begun the youth movement. Bryan Reynolds went 2-for-5 with an RBI, and Rodolfo Castro’s historic streak of hitting a home run every time the ball touched the bat ended, but he drove in a run in his last appearance.

Trends


Against the money line, the Phillies are 17-6 (+11.7 units) following a loss of four runs. The odds favor Philly rebounding Saturday, but keep in mind how Saturday’s game goes should the Phillies rebound and win.

The under has cashed 20 times following a Pirates win. The total opened at 8.5 for Saturday before falling to 7.5. Keep an eye on how the line fluctuates. That’s a steep drop from the Friday game.

PHI-PIT Prediction


For the Phillies, it’s all about keeping ground on the Atlanta Braves. Whichever team bets on their bats coming alive at the right time will have the inside track on the NL East and make a run at the playoffs. The Phillies should bounce back overall in this series and win Sunday now that the hoopla against the Nationals has been restored. Phillies win, under cashes.

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.

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