MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Pirates vs. Mets: Is New York Too Heavily Favored? (Thursday, July 8)
Adam Hunger/Getty Images. Pictured: Jeff McNeil.
- The Pirates and Mets begin their final series before the All-Star Break on Thursday.
- Taijuan Walker gets the nod for New York against Pittsburgh's J.T. Brubaker.
- Kevin Davis explains below why the Mets may be too big of favorites over the Buccos.
Editor’s Note: Thursday’s game between the Pirates and Mets has been postponed because of inclement weather.
Pirates vs. Mets Odds
|Over/Under||7.5 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Thursday afternoon and via William Hill.|
This weekend the New York Mets host the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Mets are in first place in the NL East with a 45-38 record, while the Pirates are in last place in the NL Central with a 32-54 record.
While New York is obviously a better team than Pittsburgh, New York is not as good of a team as it appears to be. The Mets have only a +3 run differential, and should really only have a 42-41 record based on their performance level. Pittsburgh has a -116 run differential meaning they lose each game by an average of 1.35 runs, which is the third worst in MLB.
Are the Pirates worth backing as heavy +170 moneyline underdogs? Let’s take a look.
Brubaker Gives Pirates a Chance
The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of the worst teams in the league, but they have a few bright spots. They have a handful of promising position players, and a few decent starting pitchers. One of those decent starting pitchers is rookie JT Brubaker.
In 15 starts, Brubaker has a 4-8 record, 4.09 ERA and a 3.85 xFIP. Most impressively, Brubaker is averaging almost 5 2/3 innings per start. He may not be one of the better pitchers in the league, but as a decent player on a weak team, Brubaker gives the Pirates a chance of winning whenever he pitches.
Backing up Brubaker is a Pittsburgh lineup that is only averaging 3.5 runs per game, which is the worst in the league. However, the Pirates hitters are not nearly as bad as they seem. With Ke’Bryan Hayes, Adam Frazier and Bryan Reynolds, the Pirates have three strong offensive players to build around. If those three players can produce against Taijuan Walker and the Mets, then the Pirates could win.
Walker Continues Ascent For Mets
Walker is having the best year of his career as he has a 7-3 record with a 2.44 ERA after 15 starts. While Walker has put together a strong season, he has been lucky.
With a 3.84 xFIP, Walker should be allowing 1.4 more runs per nine innings than he is currently allowing. Additionally, he has only allowed 0.64 home runs per nine innings. Over the second half of the season, Walker should regress.
Backing up Walker is a struggling Mets lineup. New York is averaging only 3.65 runs per game, which is the second-worst in MLB. Only the opposing Pirates score fewer runs per game.
Outside of Pete Alonso and backup Luis Guillorme, the Mets do not have any offensive players who are performing better than the league average this season. If New York expects to win the NL East, its offense needs to produce more runs per game.
The Mets are certainly a better team than the Pirates, but not enough to merit making them -190 favorites.
New York has a weak lineup that is almost as bad as Pittsburgh’s. Additionally the Pirates are relying on a decent starting pitcher in Brubaker.
At +170, the Pirates are worth a moneyline bet and I would bet them up to +155.
Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates Money Line +170 (William Hill) would bet up to +155