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Pirates vs. Yankees MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Bet Rejuvenated New York Offense (Wednesday, September 21)

Pirates vs. Yankees MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Bet Rejuvenated New York Offense (Wednesday, September 21) article feature image
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Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Giancarlo Stanton

  • The Yankees are huge home favorites in tonight's matchup with the Pirates.
  • Luis Severino returns to the mound for New York, while former Yankees prospect Roansy Contreras will start for Pittsburgh.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

Pirates vs. Yankees Odds

Pirates Odds +235
Yankees Odds -280
Over/Under 8 (+100 / -120)
Time 7:05 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

On the heels of one of their most thrilling wins of the season, the New York Yankees will look to secure a series victory over the lowly Pirates on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Can these bats continue to trend upward against a former Yankees farmhand? Let’s dive into this one.

Contreras Must Limit Hard Contact

The Pirates will once again trot out Roansy Conteras, who will be making his 16th start of the season.

Contreras was the headline of the package that the Yankees sent back to Pittsburgh a season ago for Jameson Taillon, and after some solid outings in the minor leagues the Pirates decided to get him going at the big-league level this season.

Contreras hasn’t had the cleanest first full season in the major leagues. His 3.24 ERA is somewhat shiny, but the underlying numbers are troubling. He’s pitched to a 9.8% barrel rate, which is significantly higher than league average and a 46.7% hard-hit rate, which is in the bottom 3% of the majors.

It’s not as if Contreras has an awful expected batting average or expected wOBA on contact, it’s that he’s been incredibly average in those departments and has compounded it with a 9.8% walk rate and 20.7% strikeout rate, both of which classify as worse than average.

Yankees’ Offense Is Back

The Yankees have been winning games and hitting the ball hard again, in spite of some injury trouble which has lingered into the waning stages of the season. Matt Carpenter is still in a walking boot and DJ LeMahieu remains out of action.

Yet, in spite of all that, the Yankees are third in wRC+ over the last two weeks with numbers you’d expect from them.

New York remains elite in the walk and power departments, and the return of Anthony Rizzo along with Giancarlo Stanton, who came back weeks ago, has really transformed this offense back into the exciting home run factory we were so used to seeing earlier in the season.

One addition to this lineup who gives it some renewed energy is Harrison Bader, who debuted to much fanfare on Tuesday night and drove in three, flying around the base paths to score a run.

The former Cardinals center fielder adds to a suddenly formidable outfield defense and will bring speed and situational hitting to a team which needs it.

Speaking of returns, Luis Severino will be making his first start since July 13th, when he was shelved for a couple of months. The right-hander had finally begun to look like himself before the unfortunate lat strain would change the course of his season.

While he might not go deep in this start, we should note that for the season he was sitting pretty with a 27.2% strikeout rate along with a 3.07 xERA.

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Pirates-Yankees Pick

The Pirates have struck out in 27.6% of plate appearances over the last two weeks, sitting 20th in wRC+ to boot. This makes for a good matchup for Severino, and while the Yankees did have to dig a bit deep into the bullpen on Tuesday they should still have some capable names available like Lucas Luetge, Wandy Peralta and Greg Weissert, who didn’t pitch in the win.

On the other side of things, Contrereas is in a brutal spot considering the fact that he can’t get outs via the punchout and has walked far too many hitters.

I think this offense looked pretty good for most of Tuesday’s game, and after exhaling should come out and dominate Pittsburgh.

Pick: Yankees -1.5 (-130)

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