While the Pittsburgh Pirates are falling out of the race in the NL Central, the Cleveland Guardians are still in the mix to win the AL Central division.
The Pirates are looking to just get back on the right track after a really bad stretch and maybe an afternoon start on a getaway day can be that catalyst.
The Pirates have just one left-handed pitcher in their rotation and they lined him up to pitch the final game of this series for a reason. Rich Hill will take the mound for the 20th time this season and he has a 7-9 record and 4.76 ERA in his previous 19 starts. Hill will be opposed by Aaron Civale who is 3-2 with a 2.65 ERA in 10 starts this year.
Let’s get into the odds for the series finale between Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
Guardians vs. Pirates odds, run line and total
Guardians vs. Pirates prediction and pick
The reason that the Pirates lining Rich Hill up to start this game is important is because Cleveland has a really hard time against lefties and he’s the only one in the rotation and one of the few in the entire pitching staff.
Hill hasn’t been great, but he’s a craft lefty vet who will know how to get left-handed hitters like Andres Gimenez, Steven Kwan and Josh Naylor out.
In terms of platoon splits, Hill hasn’t been great against lefties this year, but it’s only in 75 at-bats because he rarely faces them. For his career he only allowed a .219 average and a .659 OPS in left-on-left matchups.
The Guardians have a team OPS of .679 against lefties and 27th in the league. It’s a slight improvement from last year when they were dead last against lefties, but not by much.
From the first look at it, just Hill being a lefty isn’t enough to bet the Pirates, especially with Civale’s 2.65 ERA. However, He has a 3.80 FIP which says to me that he won’t sustain this dominant level. It’s pretty tough to bet on the Pirates ever, but I’ll take them in the series finale.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change