The Oakland Athletics are the rest of the league’s punching bag this season, so the Pittsburgh Pirates need to take care of business in Game 2 of this three-game series at PNC Park, especially with its ace on the mound. The A’s have the worst record in baseball and it’s not even close.
Tonight, the Pirates will hand the ball to Mitch Keller for the 13th time this season and he comes into this start at 7-1 with a 3.25 ERA. He will be opposed by James Kaprielian who had made 10 appearances, seven of those starts, and is 0-6 with an 8.12 ERA for Oakland.
The Pirates are once again big favorites at home and need to keep their hot stretch of playing going as they battle with Milwaukee at the top of the NL Central. Let’s get into the odds for Oakland and Pittsburgh.
Athletics vs. Pirates odds, run line and total
Athletics vs. Pirates prediction and pick
The west coast road trip was not kind to Mitch Keller as he ended up allowing 10 earned runs on 17 hits in 12.0 innings across two starts, but the Pirates won both. Despite those outings, his ERA is still just north of three and his FIP is down at 2.86 for the year. He was still missing bats with eight strikeouts in each of those two six inning starts and only three walks in all.
Keller will be happy to be back on the mound in PNC Park because he’s been dominant at home this year. He is 3-0 in five starts with a 2.18 ERA and he is allowing a .506 OPS to opposing hitters. His WHIP at home is 0.818 compared to 1.296 on the road. Keller’s road ERA is 4.10 and hitters have an OPS of .715 in his seven road starts.
So far this year, Keller’s strikeout rate is up 10% from last season, 20.1% to 30.4%. That is the big reason for his dominance and the A’s have struck out the fourth most times of any team this season. Oakland’s offense is even more lifeless now that Brent Rooker has come crashing back down to Earth. Rooker has an OPS of .523 in the week leading up to this series with Pittsburgh.
The Pirates are a winning team with a legitimate ace on the mound, yet somehow there are still plus odds on their run line for this one. That’s too much value to pass up.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change