By Stephen Nover

Phillies minus $1.50 at Pirates

There wasn’t much to gut. But the Pirates dealt Adam Frazier and closer Richard Rodriguez as part of five trades they made leading up to the trade deadline in their eternal quest to become relevant again. 

Now Pittsburgh is even worse than its 39-64 record since Frazier and Rodriguez were having strong seasons. The Pirates have the lowest run total in the majors and Frazier was by far their best hitter. 

I’ll venture 1 1/2 units to win 1 unit backing Aaron Nola and the Phillies to rebound after an embarrassing 7-0 loss to the Pirates on Friday. That loss could spell the end for Vince Velasquez staying in the Phillies’ starting rotation. So maybe one good thing came out of that defeat for the Phillies. Philadelphia manager Joe Girardi said it was the poorest his team played all season. How’s that for a kick in the pants?

Philadelphia trails the Mets by 3 1/2 games in the NL East. The Phillies can’t afford to keep losing to the team that has the second-worst record in the National League. 

Nola should fix that. He’s coming off one of his strongest starts pitching 8 2/3 innings against the Braves giving up one run on four hits and no walks with nine strikeouts this past Sunday. The Pirates had scored four runs in their last four games before Friday’s game. 

The Phillies bolstered its bullpen, acquiring veteran Ian Kennedy, who was solid as the Rangers closer. Kennedy is expected to be available if needed. 

Second-year pitcher JT Brubaker goes for Pittsburgh. Brubaker showed some early-season promise, but has hit the wall. He hasn’t won since May 11. Brubaker missed most of 2019 in the minors because of a forearm injury. He pitched 47 1/3 innings in the majors last season. He’s gone 96 1/3 innings this season, throwing nearly 1,500 pitches. Brubaker has surrendered 17 earned runs in his last four starts spanning 18 2/3 innings. During this time frame, he’s given up 18 hits and eight homers. 

The Phillies are hoping to get back both Rhys Hoskins (groin) and Jean Segura (knee) today. They missed Friday’s game. Neither is expected to go on the injured list. 

I have three premium MLB plays going today in addition to this free selection. I also have locked into two Week 1 preseason NFL totals. These are available for purchase, too, along with my NFL Season Wins/Props package. I am looking to beat the NFL for the 25th time in 28 years. If you’re interested in my sports service please email me at, or message me via Twitter.

Best of luck and no bad beats! 


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