Pirates vs. Mets Odds & Pick: Betting Value on Friday’s Total (July 9)
Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Taijuan Walker.
- The Mets and Pirates start what will be seven straight games against each other on Friday night.
- JT Brubaker is slated to start for Pittsburgh opposite Taijuan Walker, with both starters enjoying impressive starts to 2021.
- Mike Ianniello breaks down his best bet for the game below.
Pirates vs. Mets Odds
|Over/Under||7.5 (-118 / -104)|
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
The Pittsburgh and New York Mets will play the rare seven-game series over the next week. After last night’s game was postponed, the first game will take place Friday night. The two squads will play a doubleheader on Saturday and wrap up the four games in Queens on Sunday.
Following the All-Star break, the series will shift to Pittsburgh for three games next weekend at PNC Park from Friday-Sunday.
The Mets enter the weekend in first place of the National League East while the Pirates sit in last place in the NL Central, with the second worst record in the NL.
Both teams are coming off series victories. The Buccos are 3-1 in their last four games and the Mets are 4-2 in their last six.
Let’s see who has the edge in this one.
Originally schedule to pitch on Thursday, JT Brubaker will take the mound tonight instead. Brubaker has been the Buccos’ best pitcher this year. He has a 4.09 ERA and .241 batting average against.
Outside of a couple bad starts, Brubaker has been pretty solid for the most part. He has allowed two runs or fewer in nine of his 15 starts and three or fewer in 12 of them. He has lasted at least five innings in every start except two.
Brubaker mostly throws his sinker and slider and uses those two pitches to generate a ground-ball rate of 49%. While he doesn’t have great strikeout numbers, he also doesn’t allow many free passes, ranking 12th in the whole league with just 5.1% walk rate.
The top of the Buccos lineup features a pair of All-Stars in MLB hits leader Adam Frazier and Bryan Reynolds. After those two and rookie Ke’Bryan Hayes, though, the Pirates production completely falls off a cliff.
Other than Frazier, Reynolds and Hayes, the rest of the Pirates roster is batting .202 on the season and not a single player has double digit home runs.
New York Mets
The Mets will start Taijuan Walker on Friday night. Walker has been fantastic for New York this season, posting a 7-3 record and 2.44 ERA through 15 starts. He has surrendered two runs or fewer in 12 of his 15 starts.
Walker uses a wide mix of pitches, throwing a fastball, sinker, slider, splitter and the occasional curveball. He has produced a negative run value with all five pitches this season. His fastball, slider and splitter have been especially dominant, all allowing a batting average below .200 and wOBA below .275.
Not that Pittsburgh has been a dangerous home run threat, but hitting a four-bagger will be even more difficult against Walker, who has allowed just six all season. His six long balls allowed is tied for the third fewest among qualified pitchers, the same amount as his teammate Jacob deGrom.
The only reason the Mets are in first place right now is their pitching staff. New York ranks 29th in the league in runs per game, with only the Pirates behind them. They are 25th in batting average, 27th in OPS and 28th in home runs.
After signing a $341 million contract this offseason, shortstop Francisco Lindor has been one of the worst offensive shortstops in the National League this season. Among all NL shortstops with 300 plate appearances, Lindor ranks second-to-last in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS. The only shortstop worse than him is Pittsburgh’s Kevin Newman.
The Mets got a huge boost with the return of Brandon Nimmo last week. In six games since his return from injury he is batting .364. He and Dominic Smith have been the Mets best hitters of late.
These two teams rank last in all of baseball in runs this season. They rank 29th and 30th in runs per game, and two of only three teams averaging less than four runs per game.
Friday’s game will be at Citi Field, which is one of the best pitching environments in all of baseball. The Mets are averaging just 3.32 runs per game at home this season, the worst in the league. The Pirates average just 3.00 runs per game on the road this year, almost a full run lower than at home.
Walker has been brilliant at home this year, going 4-0 with a 1.52 ERA and .204 batting average against. He has allowed just seven runs and one home run in his seven starts in Queens.
The under is 26-10-2 (68.4%) at Citi Field this season and with two weak offenses and two solid pitchers, I’ll play the under 7.5 tonight.
Pick: Under 7.5 -106 (Bet to -115)