Pirates vs. Angels prediction and odds for Sunday, July 23

The Pirates have needed more out of their latest top prospect to debut in the big leagues and yesterday they finally got it from Endy Rodriguez.
Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Endy Rodriguez (25)
Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Endy Rodriguez (25) / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Today, the Pittsburgh Pirates will face a somewhat familiar foe in Tyler Anderson. Anderson spent half of the 2021 season in Pittsburgh, but frankly there aren’t a lot of players left that were on that team. Anderson will make his 17th start for the 50-49 Los Angeles Angels and will be opposed by Mitch Keller. 

The Pirates shut out the Angels yesterday in a 3-0 win to get to 43-55 and will have their ace on the mound for the rubber match in Anaheim. Keller is 9-5 with a 3.73 ERA in 20 starts this year and Anderson is 4-2 with a 5.17 ERA for the Angels. 

Even with Keller on the mound, the Pirates are underdogs in the series finale out on the west coast. 

Pirates vs. Angels odds, run line and total

Pirates vs. Angels prediction and pick

Yesterday was a hugely encouraging win for the Pirates because of the development of one player in particular. Endy Rodriguez was really struggling since coming up from Triple-A both at the plate and behind it. The Pittsburgh pitching staff was spiraling with Rodriguez calling pitches and he was unable to do much damage with the bat. Endy seems to have found himself in Anaheim and yesterday hit his first career home run while catching a shutout. 

His development will be huge for Pittsburgh and for Keller because last time Keller took the mound he allowed eight runs on 10 hits to the Guardians with Rodriguez as his battery-mate. I expect much better from Keller today, and it’ll be interesting to see if the Sunday lineup features Rodriguez behind the plate. 

The Pirates have the advantage on the mound because Anderson has not been the pitcher that Pirate fans will remember from his half season in Pittsburgh. He’s been better in July and his 4.59 FIP points to positive results coming soon because it is a half run lower than his ERA. However, the Pirates worked six hits and two runs off the lefty Reid Detmers yesterday and with Connor Joe and Andrew McCutchen in the middle of the lineup they match up well against left-handers. 

It’s not often that I’m backing the Pirates lately, but I like them quite a bit as an underdog in this one. 

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