Pittsburgh vs Houston Astros by Sors

Ivan Nova (9-6 with a 4.83 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who look to avoid fifth straight loss and second in this series against the Houston Astros at PNC Park.


The Pirates averaged 2.25 runs per game during their four-game losing streak and are now 3 ½ games behind the Cardinals in the race for the last NL wild-card spot.


Nova pitched 12 1/3 solid innings against the Reds (5-3) and Los Angeles Dodgers (5-1) in his first two starts for his new club, before surrendering 8 hits and 4 runs over four innings of a 6-5 win at San Francisco last Wednesday.


The 29-year-old right-hander has posted a 4.80 ERA in fifteen starts for the Yankees in 2016, allowing four or more earned runs in eight of those fifteen outings.


Nova is 1-1 with a 5.93 ERA in three appearances (two starts) versus Houston.He yielded 4 hits and struck out five through four scoreless innings in a relief appearances against the Astros on April 6 (16-6), but was tagged for 7 runs over four innings in his last start against them, a 1-15 loss at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 25, 2015.


Jose Altuve hit safely in seven consecutive games and is 2-for-5, with an RBI and two walks off Nova, while Evan Gattis hit a two-run home run in 2 at-bats against him.


Nova will get his first look at Alex Bregman (12-for-32, with two doubles, 4 HR and 10 RBI over his last seven games) and Teoscar Hernandez (5-for-13, with 2 HR and 5 RBI over his past four games).


The Houston Astros will give the ball to Joe Musgrove (1-1 with a 4.18 ERA) for his fourth MLB start.


The 23-year-old rookie was hammered for 8 runs over 5 1/3 innings in his last start at Baltimore on Aug. 18 (5-13), but threw fourteen solid innings in his previous two starts, allowing 11 hits and 3 runs while striking out thirteen batters of a 3-5 home loss to Texas on Aug. 7 and at Rogers Centre five days later (5-3).Musgrove has never faced the Pirates or any of their hitters before.


Gregory Polanco has 5 hits in his last 16 at-bats, but Andrew McCutchen went 0-for-4 in Monday’s series opener and has just 2 hits in his last 16 at-bats.David Freese went 1-for-11 over his past three games, Starling Marte is hitless in his last 12 at-bats, while Jordy Mercer went 1-for-15 over his last five games.


I think that the Houston Astros will manage to win that game.


Pick Bookmaker Odds * Stake Result
Houston Marathonbet 1.92 8 7-1 LOST (-8 units)
* Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.
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