The Pittsburgh Pirates are 6-3 and have won two straight series, but that’s where the good news ends.
Yesterday, Oneil Cruz suffered a broken ankle that required surgery on a play at the plate and is expected to be out 10-12 weeks. The bad news continues, because the Bucs now welcome in the defending champs, the Houston Astros for a three-game series.
In Game 1, the 4-6 Astros send Framber Valdez to the mound and the Pirates counter with Roansy Contreras. Let’s take a look at the odds.
Astros vs. Pirates odds, run line and total
Astros vs. Pirates prediction and pick
There was more excitement around the Pirates this past weekend than any weekend since Andrew McCutchen was on the team the first time. The Pirates are actually playing really good baseball, but this Cruz injury has completely taken the wind out of the sails of the Pirates and the entire city of Pittsburgh.
There is still some hope that this team can tread water while Cruz is gone. The name of that hope is Bryan Reynolds. You know, the major league leader in home runs (5) and RBI (14) and second in the big leagues in OPS (1.334). The Pirates got their former MVP outfielder back on the team and then Reynolds, who’s been great for a few years, might have turned into the next one. Cruz was playing well, but only had one home run and a .750 OPS. It’s a massive blow to the team and Cruz’s development, but there is still reason to be optimistic about this team.
Another reason is Roansy Contreras who went 5.2 innings and only allowed one run on three hits in his season debut on April 4, against Boston. Framber Valdez has been even better in his two starts, only allowing two earned runs across 12.0 innings pitched. The Astros are 24th in OPS right now and with the Pirates losing a lot of pop from their lineup I’ll take the under.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change