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MLB Thursday April 11th Pirates at Phillies Betting Preview

The Battle for Pennsylvania This Weekend at Citizen's Bank

The hearts of Pennsylvania baseball fans will be up for grabs this weekend starting with the Thursday April 11th Pirates at Phillies betting matchup that kicks off a four game set. Philadelphia (6-6) is currently the darling of the state with a trip to the World Series and the NLCS the last two season, but Pittsburgh (9-3) is the surprise of the MLB early on.

The strength of schedule hasn’t been the greatest for the Pirates so far but it’s still a great start for a team that has lost 100+ games in two of the last three seasons. Everybody is waiting for the Pittsburgh drop off, and oddsmakers seem to think it starts this weekend with the Phillies (6-6) a -146 favorite for the series opener.

Why the Pirates Have Value on Thursday

Everybody is waiting on the seemingly inevitable drop for the Pirates, who sit atop the NL Central ahead of the surprising Brewers, but it might not happen. Pittsburgh started the season with a 6-1 road trip, and had a successful inaugural home stand with a series win over 7-4 Baltimore and a two game split with 7-4 Detroit.

The crazy thing about the hot start for the Bucs’ is that it could be even better if All-Star closer David Bednar wouldn’t have three blown saves in four opportunities – matching his total for all of last season. The Pirates do have Aroldis Chapman on their roster so they do have options at the back end of the rotation.

Pittsburgh is hoping that their offense (5th in runs/game) and a strong start from Jared Jones (1-1, 3.86 ERA) means this game doesn’t come down to their bullpen. Jones struck out 10 in his season debut against Miami and allowed just 2 ER over 6.0 IP on Friday against Baltimore. The Phillies offense is star-studded, but they’re still scoring just 3.75 runs/game which is 22nd in MLB.

Why the Phillies Have Value on Thursday

Philadelphia might be starting to turn things around after going 4-2 on their most recent road trip to Washington and St. Louis. Momentum is a good thing heading back to Citizen’s Bank Park, especially after the Phillies started the year 2-4 over their first two home stands.

Nobody on the Phillies have faced the Pittsburgh rookie Jones, and the likes of Bryce Harper (0-11 in St. Louis) and Kyle Schwarber (.208 on the season) could benefit from facing a young pitcher. Brandon Marsh has picked up some of the offensive slack going 5 for 11 vs. the Cardinals while Trea Turner also reached base 8 times over the three games at Busch Stadium.

Ranger Suarez (1-0, 4.09 ERA) makes his third start of the season for Philadelphia, with his team picking up the win in each of his first two outings. Suarez gave up 3ER over 5.0 IP in his 2024 debut vs Atlanta and followed that up with 6.0 IP and 2ER at the Nationals last Saturday.

Free April 11th Pirates at Phillies Betting Pick

The Pirates have started off great on the road in 2024 while the Phillies have struggled on their own field. This really feels like a toss up game and even though 65% of the betting public is on the Bucs’ they offer the more value in this spot.

Free Pick: Pirates +124

Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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