It was the Tampa Bay Rays that spoiled the Pittsburgh Pirates' hot start and sent them spiraling, but the Baltimore Orioles weren’t phased by the best team in baseball and took two of three from Tampa this week. Baltimore is riding high at 24-13, still five games back of the Rays for the top spot in the AL East. Pittsburgh is now 21-17 and somehow clinging to first in the NL Central after losing nine of their last 10 games.
For Game 1 of this three-game series in Baltimore, the Orioles will send Kyle Bradish to the mound for the sixth time this season. In those previous five starts he has managed a 1-1 record despite a 5.95 ERA. Pittsburgh will counter with Johan Oviedo who, like the rest of the Pirates, has come crashing back down to earth after a hot start. Oviedo is 2-3 with a 5.59 ERA.
Here are the odds for Game 1 between Pittsburgh and Baltimore tonight:
Pirates vs. Orioles odds, run line and total
Pirates vs. Orioles prediction and pick
It’s not really that Oviedo has pitched all that bad for Pittsburgh in his last three outings, but the Pirates defense has just been a disaster. It’s not even just errors that they’re making, but it’s poor decision making in the field that is giving their opponents extra outs. They have made the third most errors in baseball, and there isn’t a true shortstop on Pittsburgh’s roster with Oneil Cruz injured.
Typically, if a team isn’t good in the field it’s because that manager is loading up the lineup and sacrificing defense for some extra pop. That is not the case for the Pirates who have scored more than two runs in just one game this month and that came in a loss. Simply put, the Pirates do not have enough major league hitters on this roster and it’s time for them to bring Henry Davis up from Double-A. Maybe after the Orioles and their former No. 1 overall pick catcher, Adley Rutschman, knock them around for three games this weekend, Pittsburgh will finally get the memo.
Davis has a 1.121 OPS in 80 at-bats for Double-A Altoona with eight home runs already this season. That’s the same number of hits as Austin Hedges has in 56 at-bats for Pittsburgh and Davis’s 17 RBI is one less than the number of hits Jason Delay has in 50 ABs. Delay has given them some offense when he does the catching, but they don’t seem to trust him as the everyday guy and if I have to watch Austin Hedges and his .404 OPS anymore, I’m going to go crazy.
In this 10-game stretch, the Pirates have lost by two or more runs seven times, so I feel very comfortable taking Baltimore on the run line and getting the plus odds. Please give me Henry Davis.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change