When you think of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, baseball might not be the first thing that comes to mind with that in-state rivalry, but we don’t have the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins in the summer.
So, the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates will have to do for now. There might not be the same animosity as on the ice, but the stakes are still high with the Phillies fighting for a Wild Card spot just ahead of the trade deadline.
Philly comes in at 55-47 and will send Zack Wheeler to the mound against Mitch Keller and the 45-57 Pirates. Wheeler is 7-5 with a 3.88 ERA across 20 starts and Keller is 9-6 in 21 starts with a 4.01 ERA.
The Phillies are road favorites in Game 1, so let’s get into the odds.
Phillies vs. Pirates odds, run line and total
Phillies vs. Pirates prediction and pick
Mitch Keller’s season has started to fall apart completely after an All-Star game appearance. Keller’s ERA has ballooned from 3.34 coming into July to 4.01 now. He’s allowed six home runs in his four starts this month and 18 earned runs in 23 innings.
He had one dazzling start on July 8, but outside of that has been a mess. His stuff doesn’t seem nearly the same and he’s a really tough pitcher to trust right now.
If Keller isn’t absolutely phenomenal, then it’ll be tough for the PIrates to win. Though they took two of three from San Diego this week, that says more about the Padres than it does the Buccos.
In July, the Pirates are 25 in runs scored and have a team OPS of .646. As a pitching staff, they’re also 26th in ERA this month at 5.50.
Pittsburgh’s bats won’t have a chance against Zack Wheeler. His ERA isn’t fantastic, but he has 134 strikeouts in 118.1 innings of work to just 23 walks and has only allowed 10 home runs.
That makes for an incredible Fielding Independent Pitching of 2.88. Wheeler’s expected ERA is also 3.27. By the end of the season I wouldn’t be surprised if Wheeler’s ERA is sitting right around 3.00.
The Phillies will cruise in Game 1 of this series even facing Pittsburgh’s ace. Keller has only had about four total good months of baseball in his entire career, so maybe he’s not the foundational rotation piece that the Pirates hope.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change