The Pirates rebuild is going according to play in a big way. The team is getting heightened contributions from its young players and the veterans are also helping out.
Pittsburgh is in lockstep with the Milwaukee Brewers at the top of the NL Central through more than 60 games a piece. The PIrates, who were projected to be fighting at the bottom for the division this season once again, appear to be contending far sooner than expected.
The same can't be said for the Mets, who are quickly falling out of postseason contention during a massive losing skid. After getting swept by the NL East leading Braves, it's carried over against the Pirates.
Can the Pirates finish off a successful series against the Mets with the team's best pitcher Mitch Keller on the mound?
Here are the odds for Sunday's matchup:
Mets vs. Pirates odds, run line and total
Mets vs. Pirates prediction and pick
Things have gone from bad to worse for the Mets, who now won't have slugger Pete Alonso for the next few weeks after he suffered a wrist injury. While the Mets offense has been uninspiring this season, 20th in batting average, it's been the pitching that has plagued the team all year.
The Mets have had shaky starting pitching all season and the bullpen is bottom 10 in ERA as a unit. Carlos Carrasco will start for the Mets, who has had an up-and-down season, including a stint on the injured list, but even at his best he may run into trouble against a Pirates lineup that is top 10 in batting average and OPS over the last 15 days.
Meanwhile, the Pirates will start ace Keller. who may be undervalued after three straight shaky starts (15 earned runs combined over his last three starts). I think this is the time to buy low against a struggling Mets team that is being priced on its pricey payroll and not the current form.
Keller has a 3.60 ERA on the year and an xERA of 3.49, I believe we see the better version of him against a poor Mets lineup without its best hitter.