Last night, on April 12 nonetheless, the Penguins were eliminated from playoff contention, so in a year where the Steelers missed the postseason, the Pittsburgh Pirates are the city’s last hope, and after a 7-5 start to the year, maybe best chance to see a playoff run in 2023.
It’s sad times in Pittsburgh, so what’s better than a trip to face the St. Louis Cardinals for four games. The Cardinals, who the Pirates haven’t finished with a better record than since 1999 and who ruined the 2013-15 seasons for the Bucs.
It’s Game 1 tonight and Vince Velasquez takes the mound for Pittsburgh, while Jordan Montgomery starts for St. Louis. Let’s take a look at the odds.
Pirates vs. Cardinals odds, run line and total
Pirates vs. Cardinals prediction and pick
That may sound doom and gloom and that’s because it is. Times are tough in Pittsburgh sports right now and this little, scrappy, 7-5 Pirates team with Andrew McCutchen back in the three-hole is all yinzers have to hold on to.
That and offseason videos of Kenny Pickett throwing to George Pickens in shorts. The only problem is that the most exciting part of this Pirates season, Oneil Cruz is gone for four months and I’m not sure how many more days this team will spend over .500.
The Pirates have already had a winning record for more days this year than the rest of Derek Shelton’s tenure as manager combined.
Today, the Bucs face Jordan Montgomery and that’s bad news for a left-handed heavy lineup. McCutchen and Ke’Bryan Hayes are supposed to carry this lineup against lefties, and Cutch is doing his part with a .960 OPS overall, but Hayes has a .396 OPS on the season.
Ke’Bryan is slumping badly to start the year and that means the Bucs don’t have nearly enough firepower to score runs against left-handed pitching. They have a team OPS of .683 vs. lefties which is 21st in the MLB and they have just one home run, which is from Ji Man Choi, a lefty that is in the lineup as a necessity vs. left-handers.
It was an exciting start to the season, but after this weekend in St. Louis the Bucs will be back under .500 and it will probably be for good.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change