Mets vs Pirates Predictions, Pick Today | Monday MLB Odds (July 8)

Mets vs Pirates Predictions, Pick Today | Monday MLB Odds (July 8) article feature image

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Mitch Keller

Mets vs. Pirates Odds

Monday, Jul 8
12:35 p.m. ET
SportsNet PT
Mets Odds
-115o / -105u
Pirates Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The power of Grimace seems to have worn off as the New York Mets have lost five of their last nine games, but they are still playing better baseball than earlier in the season.

The Mets bounced back to win the past two games against the Pittsburgh Pirates after getting its doors blown off in the series opener.

The Pirates have been playing quality baseball of late and will need a win on Monday to get the series split. This should be a fun Monday afternoon game, with the moneyline hovering around a pick ‘em.

Check out my pick and preview for the Mets vs. Pirates matinee on Monday, July 8.

Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

New York Mets

Christian Scott is the Mets’ No. 2 ranked prospect. He was used as a relief pitcher in college at Florida, but New York saw something in him and took him in the fifth round. Everything clicked last season when he quickly moved through the minor league system and posted a 2.57 ERA.

Scott made his MLB debut on May 4 but has not yet gotten the results he wants. Through six starts, Scott has a 4.32 ERA and has struggled to miss bats. He had an 11.69 K/9 rate in the minors last season but has managed just a 7.29 K/9 rate in the bigs.

After previously relying more on a sinker, Scott has transitioned to utilizing his fastball as his main pitch but is allowing a 55.6% hard-hit rate on the year. Scott has great control and throws a lot of strikes, but his stuff in the zone has been hit hard, and is not missing many bats.

New York’s offense has been mashing the ball recently. Over the last month, this team is third in the league with a 132 wRC+ and a .350 wOBA. Catcher Francisco Alvarez is hitting .338 with a 1.021 OPS over the last month. Francisco Lindor and Brandon Nimmo are both having great seasons and Pete Alonso earned his fourth career All-Star selection.

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Pittsburgh Pirates

Many people have differing opinions over how good Mitch Keller is. He is probably not an elite ace of a staff, but with the emergence of Paul Skenes and Jared Jones, I think Keller makes a great No. 3 arm in the Pirates rotation.

Keller currently has a career-best 3.48 ERA and his 3.92 xERA is still above average. He doesn’t do anything at an elite level but is solid in every area. He has good command and does well at limiting hard contact.

Every offseason Keller seems to add a new pitch to his arsenal and this year it was a slider. He has mostly eliminated his changeup and dropped his cutter usage after it struggled last season. His curveball has been his best pitch with his sweeper, sinker, and fastball all working well too.

Sure, the Pirates offense is nothing to write home about. But they have slowly improved as the season progresses. When you look at the season as a whole, Pittsburgh ranks 27th in the league with 88 wRC+. But over the last 30 days, they sit 22nd with a 92 wRC+ and rank 16th with a 104 wRC+ over the last two weeks. Over the last week, Pittsburgh ranks fourth with a wRC+ of 127.

Mets vs. Pirates

Betting Pick & Prediction

Keller has been up-and-down this season but he has pitched much better at PNC Park. He has a 3.02 ERA at home allowing just a .672 OPS. Keller has allowed one run or fewer or four of his last five home starts.

Scott is a highly touted prospect but has yet to prove it at the major league level. He has failed to miss bats and is allowing too much hard contact.

Obviously, the Mets have an advantage at the plate, but they have been much better against left-handed pitchers. Pittsburgh will get New York in their lesser splits with the right-handed Keller on the mound.

That closes the gap between these two lineups. Over the last two weeks, Pittsburgh ranks 11th in the league in wRC+ and wOBA against right-handed pitching.

You would think the Pirates losing All-Star closer David Bednar would hurt the bullpen, but with his 5.17 ERA this season it might not have been a big loss. In fact, the Pirates relievers rank fifth in the league with a 3.36 xFIP over the last two weeks. Kyle Nicolas and Carmer Mlodzinski have yet to allow a run since Bednar’s injury. The Mets bullpen ranks 25th in xFIP over that stretch.

The Mets are just 1-5 in Scott’s starts this season. Pittsburgh has gone 11-6 during Keller’s starts. I’ll back Keller and the Buccos to Raise the Jolly Roger on Monday afternoon.

Pick: Pittsburgh -108 (Play to -108) via FanDuel

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