No team ever wants to start the year off with an Opening Day loss, but I’m sure anybody would rather be 2-1 like the Boston Red Sox, who lost their first game of the season, than 1-2 like the Pirates who got the Opening Day win.
The Red Sox will look to extend this little win streak to three games today with Kutter Crawford on the mound at Fenway Park. This is the first of a three game series. The Pirates have Johan Oviedo starting.
Last season, Oviedo made seven starts for the Pirates after coming over from St. Louis at the deadline. Let’s check out the odds for this matchup of inexperienced starting pitchers.
Pirates vs. Red Sox odds, spread and total
Pirates vs. Red Sox prediction and pick
Johan Oviedo might be a legitimate breakout candidate in the Pirates rotation this year. Last season in those seven starts he had a 3.23 ERA and a 3.47 FIP, but the advanced numbers were even more impressive.
For the season he was 85th percentile in fastball velocity which is great out of a 6-foot-5 power pitching starter who throws 43.5% fastballs. He did have a high walk rate and was only average in terms of strikeout percentage and whiff rate, but his expected ERA was 3.17, 78th percentile, expected slugging was 86th percentile and he did not get hit hard.
His average exit velocity was 77th percentile.
On the other side, Kutter Crawford had a 5.47 ERA, a 4.34 FIP and was in the 25th percentile of the league in mostly all of the metrics I just mentioned for Oviedo. He was hit often and hit hard.
Neither offense is particularly frightening, but Adam Duvall is red hot with two homers, three doubles, 19 total bases and eight RBI. He could carry this offense that has a .959 team OPS. On the other hand, Pittsburgh has a .570 team OPS and have scored eight runs through three games.
I think Pittsburgh’s offense could perform slightly better today and Crawford, but I’ll take the under because of how much it’s struggled to this point, and because I trust Oviedo to give a strong 6+ innings.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change