Pirates vs Mets prediction and odds for Monday, August 14 (Priester needs to improve)

The Pirates and Mets are both 53-65 but they've taken very diffferent paths to get there and the Pirates might be the ones with the arrow pointed in the right direction.
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Quinn Priester (64)
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Quinn Priester (64) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Over the weekend, the Pittsburgh Pirates were only able to take one of three from the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Mets salvaged the final of a four-game series with the Atlanta Braves.

The Pirates fell to 53-65 after splitting a doubleheader yesterday and tonight, and they will be in Queens to start a three-game series with the 53-65 Mets. 

For Game 1 the Pirates will send rookie Quinn Priester to the mound to make his sixth career start. So far through five starts he is 2-1, but with a staggering 8.75 ERA.

The Mets will counter with veteran Carlos Carrasco who has had his own problems this year and is 3-6 with a 6.42 ERA. 

From the look of it we could see a lot of runs scored tonight. Let’s get into the odds and especially take a look at the total in this one. 

Pirates vs. Mets odds, run line and total

Pirates vs. Mets prediction and pick

Well it’s a small sample size so far for Quinn Priester, but the Pirates can’t like what they're seeing. He has a 17.4% strikeout rate and a 13% walk rate. If you’re going to have any success in the MLB as a starting pitcher those two numbers can’t be nearly that close.

He’s able to work a decent bit of soft contact which is a good sign with his above average ground ball rate, but he also gives up more line drives than average and has already given up five home runs. 

Priester will likely be fine the first time through the order. He does have a 5.40 ERA in the first inning, but that drops to 1.80 in innings two and three. Then we see a huge jump to 14.40 in the fourth. That means major league hitters see him once and already have him solved for the next time they’re at the plate. 

Priester needs to start using his curveball more. He primarily utilizes it against lefties, but opponents are hitting .184 against it and he has a 44% whiff rate with that pitch. Yet he only throws it 14.7% of the time.

Now, Carlos Carrasco is not much better. He has a 15.5% strikeout rate and a 9.5% walk rate, which are both bad. He also gives up a ton of hard contact, ranking in the fifth percentile in hard hit rate and third percentile in xSLG. 

Both teams will put pressure on their bullpen and Pittsburgh’s is slightly better. The Pirates have also scored eight more runs than the Mets in the last 30 days with an OPS a few points better.

Neither team looks anything like it did on opening day, but in the Pirates case that’s because they’ve called up top prospects, some of which are producing. For the Mets that’s because they’ve traded away some of their best players and don’t have the prospects to replace them. 

Both teams are bad, but at least the Pirates arrow seems to be pointed up, so let’s take the Bucs. The over might not be a bad idea either. 

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change