Rangers vs Pirates Odds, Picks | Wednesday MLB Betting Guide
Pictured: Johan Oviedo. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
- The Pirates host the Rangers for a Wednesday matinee.
- Pittsburgh found itself in quite a rut recently, but has bounced back, and our expert feels there's now value on the Pirates.
- Continue reading to see why D.J. James is backing the Pirates on Wednesday afternoon.
Rangers vs. Pirates Odds
-115 / -105
-115 / -105
Johan Oviedo is beginning to throw much better for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After getting crushed in three straight outings, he has put together two straight starts, where he went a combined 11 innings and only allowed 2 earned runs. His opponent on Wednesday will be Martín Pérez and the Texas Rangers. Pérez has underachieved, compared to his 2022 accolades. In fact, unlike Oviedo, his trajectory over the past few outings has been subpar. The Oakland A’s even scored four earned runs off of him.
Since the Pirates have stabilized, after going on a bit of a slide, they are the correct bet between these teams.
Pérez may have held a sub-3.00 ERA in 2022, but the 32-year-old has come back to earth. He held a 3.59 xERA in 2022, so it was bound to happen. This year, he has a 4.01 ERA against a 4.99 xERA. His Average Exit Velocity is amongst the highest in his career at 89.4 mph and his xBA ranks in the 12th percentile. He’s also only striking out 17.5% of hitters. None of those stats are encouraging.
Texas has done well hitting right-handers in May. The Rangers have a 108 wRC+, but also have a sub-6% walk rate. Their OPS of .761 is also impressive. They do only have five hitters above a .330 xwOBA on righty sliders. This seems to be a pitch that takes out the latter part of the batting order.
In relief, Texas has had trouble. They have a 5.09 xFIP in May with a 20.6% strikeout rate and nearly a 10% walk rate. A 61.5% LOB percentage does not help, but they rank only above the Milwaukee Brewers and Oakland A’s in xFIP this month.
Oviedo should give the Rangers a test, as long as he keeps his slider usage up. He throws this pitch around 42% of the time, which should neutralize much of the Texas’ lineup. He has a 4.69 ERA, but his xERA is 3.90, so future success should be in the cards. It also helps to throw a 96 mph fastball as a secondary pitch. His Average Exit Velocity and Hard Hit Percentage are in the middle of the pack. Overall, Oviedo’s arsenal is just more impressive than Pérez’s.
The Pirates have also done well against left-handed pitching. In May, they have a 95 wRC+ with a .720 OPS, but they have juiced those numbers up to a 121 wRC+ and a .809 OPS in the past two weeks. That should be more indicative of their performance against a struggling starter (like Pérez) and bullpen. They do only have four active hitters above a .330 xwOBA off of lefties this season, but much of the bottom of the order is over .320.
In relief, Pittsburgh has been at the top of the heap. It has a 4.07 bullpen xFIP in May. However, five relief options are below a 4.00 xFIP in May, which shows a multitude of options on the back of Oviedo’s start. That said, Oviedo just needs to limit walks, and he should be in good shape.
David Bednar, Heaters 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/Ie9eLRdf4S
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 14, 2023
Rangers vs. Pirates Betting Pick
Pittsburgh and Texas have had similar results against these types of starting pitchers. Texas, however, has a much worse bullpen, and Pérez has been horrible lately, while Oviedo is pitching better. Pittsburgh, with a more reliable pitching staff, is the side to back in this game. Take them from +114, and play them to -110.
Pick: Pirates Moneyline
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