Tigers vs. Pirates Odds, Pick, Prediction: Mitch Keller Gives Pittsburgh the Edge (Wednesday, June 8)

Tigers vs. Pirates Odds, Pick, Prediction: Mitch Keller Gives Pittsburgh the Edge (Wednesday, June 8) article feature image

Justin Berl/Getty Images. Pictured: Dan Vogelbach and Ke’Bryan Hayes.

  • The Pirates are short home favorites on Wednesday afternoon against the Tigers.
  • With one starting pitcher overperforming expected results and the other underperforming, there's value on one side of this matchup.
  • D.J. James breaks down the game and shares his best bet below.

Tigers vs. Pirates Odds

Tigers Odds-105
Pirates Odds-115
Over/Under8 (-115/-105)
Time12:35 p.m. ET
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Mitch Keller and the Pittsburgh Pirates will host Alex Faedo and the Detroit Tigers for the finale of a quick two-game set on Wednesday afternoon.

Keller has been sharper as of late. Granted, his outings have taken place in more of a long relief role, besides a strong game against the Dodgers, where he only allowed two earned runs on seven baserunners. Faedo is definitely the worse of these two starting pitchers, but much of this depends on how deep Keller can pitch into this game.

Since he went five innings in his last appearance, he should do the same here, considering how poorly the Tigers have performed against right-handed pitching in the past month. This is the angle here, so a small bet on the Pirates with a little wiggle room has the most value in this game.

How Far Can Faedo Take the Tigers?

Faedo owns a 3.09 ERA, which is seemingly impressive for a lower-rated prospect in comparison to the other arms in the Tigers system. However, this doesn't tell the entire story of his MLB experience as his xERA ranks in the 20th percentile at 4.97, which is more in line with expectations. He is giving up an Average Exit Velocity of 90.7 MPH, and his xwOBA comes in at .363. Keller’s is .338.

However, the Pirates have their fair share of injuries. Roberto Pérez, Yoshi Tsutsugo, Kevin Newman, Ben Gamel, Jake Marisnick, and Greg Allen have all found their way to the Injured List. This will not necessarily bode well for Pittsburgh, as most of these hitters have had success off of righties.

Dan Vogelbach, Jack Suwinski, Ke’Bryan Hayes, and Bryan Reynolds have kept the offense afloat with xwOBA's over .320. This number does not jump off of the stat sheet but, combined with Faedo allowing baserunners, should lead to more runs for the Bucs.

In the bullpen, the Tigers have a 3.69 xFIP in the past month, which ranks seventh in baseball, even with some unexpected names underperforming. Gregory Soto and Michael Fulmer are above the 4.00 mark, and these are usually reliable relief arms. Their usage will depend on how far Faedo goes into this game, and if he has a short leash, the ‘pen for the Tigers could be exhausted.

Time to Buy Low on Keller and the Pirates

Mitch Keller is the opposite of Faedo, when it comes to luck. His 4.21 xERA is slightly below average, but his results have been brutal (5.77 ERA). He still has issues with walking opponents and not striking many out (bottom 30% of the league), but he limits damage.

His Average Exit Velocity is down significantly from last year from 91.5 MPH to 86.6 MPH, and his Hard-Hit Rate has plummeted from 47.5% to 32.6%. These marks are near the top of the MLB, so this is encouraging going forward, especially with how he handled a strong lineup like the Dodgers.

The Tigers also have plenty of injuries, as well with Victor Reyes, Austin Meadows, Robbie Grossman, and Jake Rogers all on the IL. Reyes and Meadows are two solid bats against right-handed pitching, so their absences are noticeable. Otherwise, the Tigers have four bats over .320 in xwOBA.

Yes, this is even with the Pirates, but the bottom of the Tigers lineup falls off much more sharply with expected results. In addition, Keller will not allow hard-hit balls like Faedo, and he will keep Detroit off balance.

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Tigers-Pirates Pick

Even if Pittsburgh’s bullpen is not up to par (4.43 xFIP in the last month), they still have an edge. Keller is the better of the two starters, and he will just need to go at least five innings in this game. The Pirates have some more reliable bats against right-handed pitching, and they have enough to get by in the bullpen.

Take the Bucs at -120 and play them to -135.

Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates -120 | play to -135

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