Mets vs Pirates MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Play the Underdog Despite Woes (Tuesday, September 6)
- The Mets are big road favorites on Tuesday evening against the Pirates.
- Taijuan Walker is set to take the mound for New York, while Pittsburgh will counter with Mitch Keller.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Mets vs. Pirates Odds
|Time||6:35 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB oddshere.|
Taijuan Walker has crumbled on the pitching mound, as usual, in the second half of the season for the New York Mets.
He has a 3.45 ERA on the season but basically lucked into it with his 4.23 xERA. His ERA in August gets even worse. He has a 6.98 mark in 19 and 1/3 innings of work.
Tuesday, he and the Mets will face Mitch Keller, who is not necessarily good. He has similar stats: a 4.43 ERA and 4.23 xERA. The difference is Walker can go a little longer into the game. That said, Keller is above average in allowing hard contact, ranking in the 54th percentile of MLB in Average Exit Velocity, while Walker ranks in the 35th percentile.
Now, the issue here is the Mets rank third at 115 wRC+ off of right-handed pitching in the last month of baseball, while the Pirates rank 28th at 67 wRC+. This number is abysmal, but diving a bit deeper, the Bucs have enough in their lineup to put strong plate appearances together with Walker on the bump.
Aiming at the Pirates moneyline is the right call, given how close these two starting pitchers truly are lately.
Starting Pitching a Concern for Mets
Walker has a 6.10 ERA after the All-Star Break. Last season, his post-All-Star ERA was 7.10. This seems to be a trend of his — fatigue — and a good spot to fade him on the bump, even if he is throwing against Pittsburgh of all teams.
The Pirates have three active hitters with a .320+ xwOBA off of righties in the last month. This is not too powerful. However, they have three others above .300, so this at least says they can battle for the majority of their lineup. Walker does not strike many hitters out, and Pittsburgh has one of the highest strikeout rates in that same timeframe off of righties. This should play into their collective hands.
The Mets do tout a massive edge with their bullpen. They have a team xFIP of 3.87, but they have five relievers under a 4.00 xFIP. If the Pirates can manage to get to the middle relievers from the Mets, they have a chance to score, but Adam Ottavino and Edwin Díaz at the back of the bullpen is one of the best combinations of setup and closing in the MLB.
Keller Needs to Throw Strikes for Pirates
Keller has actually been better in the second half this season with a 4.11 ERA against a first-half ERA of 4.55. This is more in line with how he has thrown all season. He has been fairly unlucky, and a balance seems to have come his way.
He will have a solid lineup to get through on Tuesday night, but he can do it. He just needs to throw strikes. His walk rate and strikeout rates have been subpar and have left him only going three or four innings at times in the last couple of months.
Luis Guillorme and Brett Baty are on the Injured List, so this eliminates a little versatility in the Mets lineup. Otherwise, they do have eight hitters eclipsing a .325 xwOBA. Keller needs to throw strikes and prevent the hard contact he has in the past. The Mets only rank in the middle of the MLB in Average Exit Velocity, so if Keller can play into his advantage, he should be in decent shape.
Keller needs to throw deep into this game because Pittsburgh’s bullpen is terrible. They have a team xFIP of 4.87 with David Bednar on the Injured List. Wil Crowe and Manny Bañuelos are two of the better arms that likely need to be used in this outing for the Pirates to win.
The Mets are the better of these two teams, but this line is too steep to back them against the Pirates with Walker starting against a comparable pitcher. Keller can hold his own and needs to limit hard contact with the Mets. If he can do so, the Pirates can squeak this game out with the core of their relief staff. Take the Pirates at +185, and play them to +180.
Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates +185 | play to +180