Diamondbacks vs Pirates Prediction | Friday MLB Odds & Pick
Pictured: Corbin Carroll. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Diamondbacks vs Pirates Odds
-120 / +100
-120 / +100
Johan Oviedo had a few tough starts for the Pittsburgh Pirates that wiped away the good results he experienced at the onset of the 2023 season. He rebounded by throwing five innings of one-run ball against the Baltimore Orioles in his last start, but will now face the Arizona Diamondbacks, an offensive juggernaut against right-handed pitching.
Zac Gallen will start for the D’backs, and Pittsburgh has struggled mightily off of righties.
There is a wide discrepancy between these starting pitchers and Arizona’s lineup is far more potent. The D’backs should go over their team total, which presents better value than the moneyline.
Gallen is one of the more underrated hurlers in baseball. He owns a 2.35 ERA and a 2.99 xERA on the season. His walk rate is 3.7% and his strikeout mark is 32.1%. He does allow some hard contact, ranking in the 25th percentile in Average Exit Velocity and the 31st percentile in Hard-Hit Percentage. However, with an xwOBA below .275, the Pirates won’t have an easy time at the dish on Friday.
Arizona has a 9% walk rate, a 18.6% strikeout rate and a 112 wRC+ off of righties this season. In May, the D’backs have been even better with a 12.5% walk rate, a 16.4% strikeout rate and a 131 wRC+. They have seven batters with a .325+ xwOBA, which doesn’t bode well for Oviedo.
Home runs in back to back games for Christian Walker! pic.twitter.com/aBGaZkql4c
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) May 17, 2023
The Arizona bullpen ranks in the top-half of the league in xFIP at 4.09. Joe Mantiply is on the Injured List, but the D’backs have four other relievers with a sub-4.00 xFIP.
Oviedo’s poor starts showed that his expected stats are much better than the results. He has a 5.12 ERA against a 4.06 xERA. His main issue is that he strikes out less than 19% of hitters and walks around 10%. His Average Exit Velocity and Hard Hit Rate are around league average, so those aren’t necessarily areas of concern. That said, the D’backs have very few holes in the lineup, so this may not end favorably.
The Pirates have fallen off since starting the 2023 season strong. Their hitting never exactly took off, but in May, despite a 9.4% walk rate, they own a 30.9% strikeout rate off of righties, which ranks last in the MLB (by a lot). They also rank last in wRC+ (44).
In relief, they have David Bednar and Colin Holderman propping up the numbers. They rank fifth with a 4.02 xFIP and have a few other options with an xFIP under 4.00 xFIP. However, they may need more help in this matchup as Oviedo has a tendency to walk batters and hasn’t made it out of the sixth inning since April 19.
Diamondbacks vs. Pirates Betting Pick
Arizona is the better team and Gallen is the better starter. This is not to say Oviedo or the Pittsburgh relievers are weak, but he Pirates lineup won’t be able to back them up. In addition, Arizona has been one of the most consistent lineups against right-handed pitching this season and should continue to fare well in this matchup. Take Arizona to go over their team total over of 4 (-137), and play to 4.5 (-130).
Pick: Arizona Diamondbacks Over 4 (-137) | Play to Over 4.5 (-130)
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