Padres vs. Pirates prediction and odds for Thursday, June 29 (Ortiz isn't the Answer)

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Luis Ortiz (48)
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Luis Ortiz (48) / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like the Pittsburgh PIrates finally found some offense back at PNC Park this week in their series against the San Diego Padres, but in the series finale, their former starting pitcher will try to shut them back down. Joe Musgrove has made 11 starts this season and is 6-2 with a 3.88 ERA.

The Pirates will counter Musgrove with Luis Ortiz who has been a pleasant surprise in their rotation since coming up from Triple-A Indianapolis. Ortiz is 2-3, but with a 3.74 ERA in his eight starts and one appearance out of the bullpen. The Padres are the favorites to win the series finale in Pittsburgh. 

Padres vs. Pirates odds, run line and total

Padres vs. Pirates prediction and pick

The Pirates seem to have gotten a new rotation piece in Luis Ortiz, but there’s a chance that he isn’t quite as good as his 3.74 ERA would indicate. Ortiz has given up 52 hits in his 45.2 innings of work this year with 31 strikeouts to 22 walks. He’s also allowed six home runs and has a fielding independent pitching of 5.12. Ortiz is seventh percentile in strikeout rate in the league, and in the bottom 20% of walk rate, and the issues don’t stop there. 

Not only is Ortiz failing to get swing and miss with a 28th percentile whiff rate, but his average exit velocity is bottom 10% of all pitchers in baseball meaning that he gets hit very hard too. Ortiz has an expected ERA even worse than his 5.12 FIP. His xERA is in the bottom five percent of all pitchers at 6.24. There is no way that what he is doing on the mound is sustainable and after the Pirates had to send Roansy Contreras to the bullpen because of his struggles, Ortiz is going to be next. 

The Pirates seem to have found something in their lineup with McCutchen pulling every pitch on the inner third into left field for a knock like he did in 2013 and Henry Davis and Nick Gonzales giving a spark of talent as former first round picks of Ben Cherington. Maybe the Pirates will be able to hang around, but they’ll need to have another offensive outpouring like Tuesday night to do it, so I’ll take the over.

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