First Five Play In Pittsburgh

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Mets vs. Pirates, 4:05 ET

Saturday baseball is one of the more enjoyable times to watch a game. Crack open a cold one, sit back on a nice warm day with the windows open and you can almost smell the warm cut grass of the field and feel like you’re at the ballpark. Also, with the speed of baseball’s game now, you’re not there three hours, you’re there somewhere around two hours. Much more reasonable if you ask me. Today, we will think about ourselves in Pittsburgh as the Mets take on the Pirates.

If you went into this game blindfolded, and someone asked which of these teams is over .500 and which would be under, most casual fans would think the Pirates would be under and the Mets over. It is the opposite right now. The Mets have been very bad on the road this season and I’m not sure there is much hope of them getting better. I knew that New York was going to have a tough time hitting this season, but they don’t seem to have much of anything going for them right now. Somehow the Mets blew three consecutive three or more run leads against the Braves in a three-game sweep. Now they are turning to Kodai Senga to try and stop some of the bleeding. I’m not optimistic as he has been very bad on the road this season with 17 earned runs allowed over 25 innings. He has allowed at least three earned runs over four of his five road starts. He has never faced the Pirates before.

The Mets visit the Pittsburgh Pirates in a Saturday afternoon game. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The Pirates are one of those teams that you just watch and are waiting for the wheels to fall off. I am fairly confident that the wheels will fall off, but I’m not rooting for it to happen either. Their team has hit fairly well over the year even if they aren’t hitting for a ton of power right now. The pitching staff has kind of carried them this year and they sit atop the NL Central right now. I don’t know how long this will last, but let’s enjoy the underdog story for now. Today, the Pirates get Johan Oviedo taking the ball for them. He doesn’t have a super impressive stat line, but he has been solid enough this season. Over his past five starts, he has allowed three or fewer earned runs as well. He doesn’t really have any drastic splits, but is slightly better at home than he is on the road. He’s been solid enough against the Mets with a 7-for-35 at-bat history against him.

The Pirates might actually have the edge in this game. Trying to figure out if the first five innings or full game is the best approach could be a challenge. I am going to take the first five innings with the Pirates at +115. The Mets bullpen has been bad lately, but Oviedo has also been one of the more profitable first five starters this season. Full game is worth a look as well.

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Written by David Troy

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