Two once promising and now disappointing teams square off this week as the Mets host the Pirates. On Wednesday afternoon, New York’s Tylor Megill tosses the first pitch at 1:10pm before Johan Oviedo takes the mound for Pittsburgh.
The Mets are the betting favorites at -130 on the moneyline and the over/under is set at 9 runs. The prediction here is the Pirates win and the over hits.
Pirates vs. Mets Prediction
Starting pitchers: RHP Johan Oviedo (6-12, 4.42 ERA) vs. RHP Tylor Megill (6-6, 5.64 ERA)
At this point in the season, both the Pirates and Mets have all but given up hope of competing for a spot in the 2023 MLB Playoffs. Their goal for the rest of this season is to give their young players experience and continue to develop and evaluate them as pieces of their future.
Such is the case for the two starting pitchers in today’s game: the Pirates’ Johan Oviedo and the Mets’ Tylor Megill.
Megill lost his spot in the rotation on June 21 when he had a 5.17 ERA and 1.67 WHIP. Earlier in June he got slapped around by these Pirates, allowing 9 runs (7 earned) in just 3-2/3 innings.
He was recalled on August 5 after the Mets decided to be sellers at the trade deadline and shipped out pricy veteran aces Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. He has not looked any better in his first two starts since returning to the big league club. He has a 9.00 ERA and 1.90 WHIP over 10 innings, albeit against two of the best teams in the league (Orioles and Braves).
Oviedo’s season has been a bit more promising. He improved his ERA in both May and June, including a 3.23 ERA over five starts (30-2/3 innings) in June. But then things unraveled a bit with a few bad starts in July, when he posted a 6.28 ERA.
Oviedo was bouncing back from that rough stretch to post a 0.90 ERA and 0.95 WHIP over 3 starts (20 innings) in late July and early August. Then in last start against Cincinnati he allowed 6 earned runs in 5 innings and struggled with his control, plunking 3 batters and walking 2 others.
Control has been an ongoing issue for Oviedo, who is tied for 4th in hit batsmen (10) and 9th in walks (3.70 per 9 innings). That could be a problem against the Mets, who draw walks at the 7th highest rate in the league against right-handed pitching.
Still, Oviedo inspires more confidence right now than Megill. While the Mets have the better lineup, neither offense is particularly imposing, so we’re going with the pitcher we trust more in this matchup.
Head over to FanDuel to get the best odds on the Pirates’ moneyline (+116 as of this writing), and pair that with the over on 8.5 runs (-118).
Pirates vs. Mets Prediction: Pirates moneyline (+116), over 8.5 runs (-118)
Note: all metrics above taken before Tuesday’s games
Pirates vs. Mets Odds
The Mets are the betting favorites with -130 moneyline odds at DraftKings, while the Pirates are at +110 on the moneyline. As of this writing, the Pirates have slightly longer moneyline odds of +116 at FanDuel.
The Mets are laying -1.5 runs on the spread at +160 odds, while the Pirates are getting +1.5 at -190.
The over/under in this game is set at 9 runs with -105 odds on the over and -115 on the under at DraftKings. FanDuel currently has the line at 8.5 runs with -118 on the over and -104 on the under.
Pirates vs. Mets Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Pirates vs. Mets.
Johan Oviedo vs. Mets’ Lefties
Johan Oviedo has shown a higher ceiling and better recent production than Tylor Megill this season. He is the stronger pitcher in this matchup, which is one of the main reasons for the Pirates moneyline pick in our Pirates vs. Mets prediction.
If that pick is going to pay off, then Oviedo needs to take care of the lefties in the Mets’ lineup, and there are several of them. Francisco Lindor, Brandon Nimmo, Daniel Vogelbach and Jeff McNeil are some of the Mets’ best hitters, and they all hit from the left side (Lindor hits switch and is slightly better as a lefty).
Oviedo’s splits against lefties are not significantly worse than against righties, but they are meaningful. He allows a .740 OPS and .320 wOBA against lefties compared to .683 and .302 against righties. He also walks lefties on 10.9% of plate appearances compared to 7.4% against righties. Vogelbach and Nimmo are each in the top 30 in walk percentage against righties.
If Oviedo yields too many hits and walks against those hitters, then the Pirates will struggle to win the game.
With two questionable starters on the mound, the bullpens could play a significant role in this game. The Pirates have a clear edge out of the ‘pen.
Pittsburgh is 10th in the league in bullpen ERA and 5th in FIP since the All-Star Break. Over the same span the Mets are 28th in ERA and 26th in FIP. They are sorely missing injured closer Edwin Diaz this season, and they traded away his replacement, David Robertson, at the trade deadline.
If the Pirates’ bats can give Oviedo a lead, then their bullpen should be able to finish things out.
Pirates vs. Mets Starting Lineups (Projected)
Pirates Starting Lineup
3B Ke’Bryan Hayes (R)
LF Bryan Reynolds (S)
DH Andrew McCutchen (R)
1B Connor Joe (R)
RF Henry Davis (R)
CF Jack Suwinski (L)
2B Jared Triolo (R)
C Endy Rodriguez (S)
SS Liover Peguero (R)
Mets Starting Lineup
CF Brandon Nimmo (L)
SS Francisco Lindor (S)
1B Pete Alonso (R)
DH Daniel Vogelbach (L)
C Francisco Alvarez (R)
RF Jeff McNeil (L)
2B Jonathan Arauz (S)
LF Rafael Ortega (L)
3B Danny Mendick (R)