Pirates vs. Phillies Odds, Preview, Prediction: Value on Pittsburgh vs. Kyle Gibson (Friday, September 24)
DETROIT, MI – APRIL 21: Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Miguel Yajure (89) fields a hard grounder and throws to first for the out during the Detroit Tigers versus the Pittsburgh Pirates game on Wednesday April 21, 2021 at Comerica Park in Detroit, MI. (Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire)
- The Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies will face of Friday night in the city of brotherly love (7 p.m. ET on MLB.TV).
- The Phillies are in must-win mode and sit two games behind the Braves entering Friday as huge favorites (-220 odds).
- DJ James explains why the Pirates will have a slight edge on Friday against righty Kyle Gibson.
Pirates vs. Phillies Odds
|Time||7:05 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Philadelphia Phillies are clinging to their playoff hopes, sitting three games back of the National League East lead.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have clearly been eliminated from playoff contention, but they have not been too shabby against right-handed pitching as of late.
The Phillies send Kyle Gibson to the hill, who has struggled lately against Miguel Yajure of the Pirates. Do the Phillies have enough artillery to warrant a bet on their spread?
Miguel Yajure has not pitched for the Pirates since May 14, in which he threw a one-hit shutout in five innings of work.
In limited work, Yajure has primarily featured a cutter and a changeup with similar usage (around 26-27%). On cutters in September from righties, the Phillies have a .319 xwOBA, but they have only faced 24 cutters from right-handers this month.
Philadelphia does have a .341 xwOBA off of right-handed cutters since August 1. That number declines slightly on changeups to .321 xwOBA.
These are decent collective numbers, so Yajure will not get an edge over the savvy veteran, Kyle Gibson.
The Pittsburgh lineup has been solid off of righties this month, however.
The Pirates have four hitters over the 100 wRC+ mark this month.
Jacob Stallings is unavailable as he is on the Injured List, so this rules out one of their more consistent bats. If Pittsburgh stacks their hitters, though, they should be able to achieve some success from the top of the order.
These four hitters (Yoshi Tsutsugo, Anthony Alford, Ben Gamel, and Bryan Reynolds) also have above a .375 OBP this month and .500 SLG. They have enough bats to keep up with the Phillies.
For the Pirate bullpen, Connor Overton, Chasen Shreve, and Anthony Banda have all been reliable this month.
Shockingly, Chris Stratton has been having the hardest time lately, but his 3.30 xFIP encourages positive regression. They do have a few people who can throw after Yajure, but they need at least four strong innings out of him to have a shot in this game.
David Bednar being sidelined certainly does not help.
Kyle Gibson has had a horrible month for the Phillies. He owns a 7.48 ERA and 1.57 WHIP this month in four starts.
Gibson’s best feature is not allowing barrels, in which he ranks in the 92nd percentile. The rest of his peripherals hover around league average, even with his 3.51 ERA and 3.77 xERA on the year.
Unfortunately for Gibson, the Pirates can basically only hit sinker-ballers and he throws his sinker 33.9% of the time. Their .358 xwOBA against sinkers shows they have a strong pairing with Gibson.
Now, the Phillies lineup has a collective 103 wRC+ in the month of September off of righty pitchers. This is propped up by a probable MVP season from Bryce Harper. Otherwise, only Freddy Galvis, J.T. Realmuto, and Brad Miller hit above the 100 wRC+ mark.
Three hitters over the .350 OBP mark demonstrate how the Phillies are actually worse than the Pirates since September 1 in hitting right-handers. This should at least leave the two teams equal from a hitting standpoint, so there is no edge here.
The Phillies bullpen has a 5.31 ERA in the month of September. They also have a 4.75 xFIP, so this indicates a bit of positive regression.
Missing Connor Brogdon to the Injured List hurts Philadelphia’s bullpen quite a bit. José Alvarado, Cam Bedrosian, Héctor Neris, and Ian Kennedy have been their most reliable arms.
At the end of the day, their relievers do not give them any sort of competitive advantage over the Pirates, so it’s a wash.
This game seems about dead-even to me with the recent struggles from Kyle Gibson factored in.
The bullpens and lineups against righties are about even the last month as well. This tells me there is some value in the Pirates moneyline.
Take Pittsburgh at +180 to win outright, and play this to +145.
Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates +180, play to +145