Miami Marlins vs Pittsburgh Pirates (7/24/22) Starting Lineup, Betting Odds, Prediction

Happy Sandy Alcantara Day!

While the Padres ace and current National League Cy Young favorite lost his last outing in an upsetting 2-1 fashion, he rebounded by throwing a perfect second inning in the All-Star game and striking out two batters including Giancarlo Stanton and Byron Buxton.

Alcantara will look to shut down a somewhat pathetic Pirates team. Pittsburgh is just 39-55 coming out of the All-Star break and will throw out the consistently underachieving Mitch Keller in this battle.

So, where does the value lie?

Let’s dive into the starting lineups, betting odds, and my prediction for Sandy Day.

Miami Marlins vs Pittsburgh Pirates Odds

There was once a time that the Marlins were consistent underdogs with Alcantara on the mound. Given his absurd dominance this season, those days are gone.

We now have to find the strike price for Alcantara, as well as the price that’s needed to fade him and the Marlins.

Keller offers decent upside as a pitcher. He’s got solid velocity and has underperformed his metrics this season.

The total looks just about right at 7.5 and I’m already eyeing the under. Although the wind is projected to be blowing out to left field in this one.

Miami Marlins Starting Lineup

2B J. Wendle L
DH G. Cooper R
LF J. Soler R
1B J. Aguilar R
RF A. Garcia R
CF J. Sanchez L
3B B. Anderson R
SS M. Rojas R
C J. Stallings R

Miami Marlins vs Mitch Keller

Keller was one of the top prospects in baseball just a few short years ago. He has yet to establish himself as a good MLB pitcher, although he’s worked enough innings to post fWARs above 1.0 in every season but the COVID-shortened one.

He’s having one of his better seasons, given his fastball velocity has jumped over two ticks year-over-year. But he’s now throwing that pitch much less than in past seasons, instead developing a very effective sinker. He throws the sinker about 20% of the time and it’s accumulated a -7 Run Value this season.

chart 2022 07 23T184648.435

Image credit: Baseball Savant

While the new pitch has helped his overall effectiveness, his numbers still don’t jump off the page. Keller’s 4.55 ERA and 4.19 xERA are paired with mediocre batted-ball statistics and mediocre Whiff rates. But all those numbers have still significantly improved from 2021.

Keller has a chance to put up a big start here. The Marlins cannot produce runs without Jazz Chisholm Jr. in the lineup, who is still on the IL for an undisclosed amount of time. Miami recently went through a 34-inning scoreless streak and has posted the league’s lowest wRC+ over the last two weeks (55).

Pittsburgh Pirates Starting Lineup

2B K. Newman R
LF B. Gamel L
3B K. Hayes R
DH J. VanMeter L
1B Y. Tsutsugo L
SS O. Cruz L
RF C. Mitchell L
CF J. Marisnick R
C J. Delay R

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Sandy Alcantara

Alcantara looked like the best pitcher in baseball during the All-Star Game.

Sandy continues to amaze with every appearance. He’s now made 13 straight appearances of seven or more innings, pitching to a 1.31 ERA during the stretch. He allowed two flukey runs in an eight-inning performance against the Phillies while striking out 12 and his ERA went up.

It’s just impossible to get to this guy. Alcantara works too many ground-balls with a disgusting left-to-right triple-digit sinker and records too many Whiffs with his 94mph changeup. He mixes in a plus-slider and plus-four seam and mixes all four pitches all-too-smoothly.

chart 2022 07 23T185337.008

Image credit: Baseball Savant

Alcantara is almost guaranteed to go seven innings against the Pirates here, the only question is if he does it by forcing ground balls or striking out the side.

The Pirates don’t have it all together yet, and they have posted just an 88 wRC+ over the last month, but there is promise in this organization. Mostly because of O’Neil Cruz’s breakout, as he’s shown the ability to play defense and hit with the best of them.

Miami Marlins vs Pittsburgh Pirates Pick & Prediction

My picks: Miami Marlins ML (-169 at WynnBet Sportsbook) | Under 7.5 (-110 at Caesars Sportsbook)

Alcantara might throw a complete-game shutout here. The Pirates offense has some upside with O’Neil Cruz in the lineup, but Daniel Vogelbach is now gone, and Bryan Reynolds and Jack Suzunski are on the IL. There are very few hitters that should be able to take advantage of Sandy’s stuff.

In the meanwhile, Keller is always vulnerable no matter what lineup he’s facing. But this Marlins lineup is pathetic with Chisholm still hurt. And if you remember that David Bednar has not yet been dealt, I’m not sure how the Marlins put up too many runs here.

This is why I’m targeting the under. This feels like a game that could finish 1-0 or 2-0.

However, the Marlins have already seen some sharp money hit that side, pushing the line up from an opener of -140. I do still project some value on the Fish despite the extra juice.

So give me the Marlins to pull out a small victory on Sandy Alcantara day.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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