MLB Picks and Predictions For Tuesday September 9

MLB Picks and Predictions For Tuesday September 9

Baseball continues to rumble towards the playoffs with more regular season action on the Tuesday scoreboard. Our team of writers and handicappers hands out their picks for Tuesday.

Florida Marlins (72-72) at Philadelphia Phillies (79-65)

As the Philadelphia Phillies continue to make a push toward the top of the NL East standings, they also are gaining ground in the wild-card race.

The Phillies look to do more of the same in both areas while trying for a second straight home victory over the Florida Marlins on Tuesday night.

Philadelphia (79-65) held on for an 8-6 victory over Florida in Monday's opener, after splitting Sunday's doubleheader with the East-leading New York Mets to finish a 5-5 road trip. With their latest win, the Phillies moved within 1 1/2 games of the idle Mets and three back of wild-card leading Milwaukee, which lost to Cincinnati on Monday.

Rookie Chris Volstad (4-3, 3.32) takes the ball for the Marlins after failing to factor in his last two decisions. He allowed three runs, six hits and five walks in six innings of a 5-3 win over Atlanta on Wednesday.

The right-hander, who is 0-1 with a 3.80 ERA in his last four starts, pitched well in giving up three hits in six innings of a 3-0 win over the Phillies on Aug. 7 in his lone career start against them.

Mike Jacobs and Cody Ross each hit two-run homers Monday for Florida, which is 1-3 on its six-game road trip. Jacobs, who has a career-high 31 homers, has four and six RBIs in his last six contests. Four of his six hits against Philadelphia this season have left the park.

Pick: Philadelphia - Best line -145 SBG Global

Pittsburgh Pirates (60-83) at Houston Astros (77-67)

A late-season surge has moved the Houston Astros back into postseason contention, and they aren't showing any signs of slowing down.

The streaking Astros will try for a fourth straight win on Tuesday, sending Randy Wolf to the mound to continue their four-game series against the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates.

Houston (77-67) has won 11 of its last 12 contests, and that successful stretch has the club fourth in the NL wild-card standings - just five games back of slumping Milwaukee with 18 remaining.

The Astros also have won six straight at Minute Maid Park, opening a seven-game homestand with a 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh (60-83) on Monday.

Wolf will try to keep things going for Houston, which beat Pittsburgh for just the third time in 10 meetings this season.

He is 5-1 with a 3.61 ERA in eight career starts versus the Pirates, though he hasn't faced them since earning a 5-4 victory on July 1, 2007 in Pittsburgh with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Pirates, losers of three straight, have fallen to 3-4 on their 10-game road swing. They are just 3-14 since Aug. 20, losing eight of 11 road games in that stretch.

Pick: Houston - Best line -190 SBG Global

Cincinnati Reds (65-79) at Milwaukee Brewers (82-62)

The Milwaukee Brewers may be losing sight of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central, but they also need to keep sight of maintaining their lead in the wild-card race ahead of a crucial series this weekend.

The Brewers try to bounce back from a tough loss as they continue a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday at Miller Park.

Given a chance to make up ground on the idle Cubs in the Central, the Brewers (82-62) frittered away that opportunity by squandering a two-run lead in the ninth inning of a 5-4 loss Monday. Closer Salomon Torres blew a save for the seventh time in 33 opportunities for Milwaukee, which is 3 1/2 games behind Chicago but now only three games ahead of Philadelphia in the wild-card chase.

Jeff Suppan (10-8, 4.56 ERA) looks to get himself and Milwaukee back on track and win for the sixth time in his last seven decisions. The right-hander had a personal five-game winning streak snapped Thursday, when he was reached for five runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-2 defeat to San Diego.

Suppan has pitched well against the Reds this season, going 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA in three starts. The win came in his most recent outing Aug. 6, yielding three runs in seven innings of a 6-3 victory. Suppan is 4-2 with a 5.21 ERA in 14 lifetime starts versus the Reds.

Pick: Milwaukee - Best line -165 SBG Global

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