Pittsburgh Pirates (25-24) at Seattle Mariners (26-24)
Game Info: Friday, May 26, 2023 at 10:10 p.m. EST (T-Mobile Park)
Betting Odds: Mariners (-160) / Over/Under (7)
Pick: Pirates ML (+135)
With a fresh slate of MLB games all throughout Friday into the late hours of the night, let's head out to the West Coast to check out the first game of the series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Seattle Mariners.
After beginning the season on a tearing run, the Pirates have cooled down a bit over their last 10 games, going 4-6. Still, they sit in second place in the NL Central, only 1.5 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers. Now they will take on a trip to the west, where they will first be meeting with the Seattle Mariners for a 3-game series. On the bump for the Pirates tonight will be their budding ace, 27-year old Mitch Keller. Although he only had a poor 5-12 record last season, he drastically improved his ERA from the previous year (6.17 to 3.91). In his first 10 starts of the year, he has weeded out even more of the negatives in his game , as he is boasting a stellar 2.44 ERA. Even more impressively, over his last 27.0 innings pitched, he has only let up 16 hits and 3 earned runs. If he can continue on this pace, we will surely be seeing Keller in the All-Star game in a few months. Offensively, the player that I have my eye on to turn things around soon is third baseman, Ke'Bryan Hayes. He has looked a bit lost at the plate and will need to right the ship as soon as possible, as he is placed in the meat of the Pirates lineup to produce.
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Seattle comes into this series off of a sweep of the Oakland Athletics. In that series, they only let up a mere 5 runs, and got excuisite pitching performances from various starters and relievers. With no disrespect to the Athletics, the Mariners will know that the Pirates are a superior team though, so they will need to be ready from the first pitch on Friday night. They will have 25-year old George Kirby on the mound for their first encounter, who has also pitched tremendously so far this campaign. After a solid first year in the big leagues last year where he started 25 games and had a 3.39 ERA with a 8-5 record, he has only gotten better, where he stands with a 2.62 ERA in 9 games started up until this point. Flipping over to their lineup, it seems as though Jared Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez have still not gotten the MO that they are allowed to both play good at the same time. Over his first two seasons with the Mariners, at times it looked as though Kelenic couldn't hit the ball even if they gave him four strikes, but he clearly went into the offseason with a plan and has executed on it superbly. On the flip side, in his first 200 or so at-bats, Rodriguez only has a .227 average to begin the year off. Can they turn the corner and produce in the middle of the lineup for Seattle as the season moves along?
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- The Mariners are 15-19 when playing against non-division opponents
- Pittsburgh is 13-11 when playing away from home
- The under is 12-6-2 when the Pirates are playing as an away underdog
In my eyes, Keller is simply pitching too well right now to pass up on this number. Anytime I can get plus-money on a starting pitcher who is pitching his socks off, I will always slam it. Furthermore, we have already seen that he can go the distance, as he pitched a 9-inning shut out a few games ago, so we certainly do not have to worry about him being pulled early. Lastly, an indication that we are on the right side is shown in the disparity between the bet % and money being thrown on each team tonight. Despite the Pirates only getting backing from 33% of the bets, they are bringing in over 75% of the money. Raise the Jolly Roger!
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