The Pittsburgh Pirates just keep doing what they haven't done in years: winning.
This time it was a 5-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium to get to 8-5 on the season. Pittsburgh is just a game back of Milwaukee for first in the NL Central. The Cardinals are 5-8 and last in the same division.
After taking Game 1 of this four-gamer on the road, the Bucs hand the ball to Johan Oviedo, who they acquired from the Cardinals last season, for Game 2. This is Oviedo’s third start of the season and he is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA. He is opposed by Jake Woodford, 0-2, 9.00.
The Pirates are one of the best stories in baseball so far, but can they keep it going through this long series in St. Louis? Let’s check the odds.
Pirates vs. Cardinals odds, run line and total
Pirates vs. Cardinals prediction and pick
Yesterday, I wrote somewhat of an obituary for the Pirates.
They’ve lost Oneil Cruz for four months and didn’t have much talent to begin with. Then on Wednesday, they got pounded 7-0 by the Astros and I expected them to come into St. Louis and leave with an under .500 record.
That’s not going to be the case anymore, they’re three games over with three left in St. Louis. Now, they have Oviedo pitching and from the look of his first two starts, he could become a foundational piece in their rotation.
Last time out, Oviedo went 6.2 scoreless against the White Sox with five strikeouts and no walks. He is 91st percentile in fastball velocity and 92nd in extension, so his heater jumps all over hitters. He has a 26.9% whiff rate on that pitch and it’s not even his best. He throws his slider more and has a 36.8% whiff rate with a put away percentage of 20.8%. We need more of a sample size, but he looks like a quality starting pitcher at 25-years-old with a lot of potential left in that right arm.
The Pirates have been scraping across just enough offense yesterday it was Connor Joe and Rodolfo Castro who had back-to-back home runs to put the game out of reach. Jake Woodford has allowed 13 hits and nine earned runs across 9.0 innings. He’s already allowed four homers on the year. I think there’s value riding the hotter team and betting the Bucs to keep it going.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change