The Pirates have lost nine of their last 10 games after a terrific start to the season, and the schedule isn’t getting any easier. Pittsburgh will travel to Baltimore to face the red hot Orioles in an interleague matchup this weekend, Kyle Bradish is set to start the series opener on Friday for the Orioles, facing Johan Oviedo. The Orioles are favored at -155 on the moneyline.
Let’s make predictions for Friday’s matchup at Camden Yards and break down why the Orioles are in a good spot here.
Pirates vs. Orioles Prediction
I have some hesitation on the Orioles just because it feels like momentum has to swing back in the Pirates’ direction at some point soon, but Baltimore started to wake up against the Rays and has a strong matchup with Oviedo here. One of the Pirates’ weakest links on the pitching staff, Oviedo just doesn’t miss bats and could be in for a long day with Adley Rutschman starting to show signs of life again.
Baltimore is in position to win the bullpen battle if Bradish has another short outing, and the way the Pirates have been playing of late isn’t an indication that they’re ready to break out against a surging Orioles team.
Baltimore -155 is the pick here, but over 8.5 runs is also pretty attractive. Yes, both offenses have hit bumps of late and the dimensions of Camden Yards don’t help, but these are two lineups with some pop and two starters who just haven’t gotten the job done this season.
Pirates vs. Orioles Prediction: Orioles -155, Over 8.5 Runs
Pirates vs. Orioles Odds
The Orioles enter as home favorites at -155 on the moneyline. The over/under is 8.5 runs, and you can get Orioles -1.5 at +127.
It’s not a surprise to see Baltimore as a fairly decisive favorite after taking two out of three from the Rays. Bradish has been one of the Orioles’ weaker arms, but Oviedo has been equally as unsteady for a Pirates team that isn’t entering with any momentum.
Pirates vs. Orioles Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Pirates vs. Orioles.
Adley Rutschman vs. Johan Oviedo
Adley Rutschman is the player who seems to consistently be the difference for the Orioles. When he was in a deep slump, the team was in a deep slump. When his bat woke up in the last two games, the Orioles started winning again.
Baltimore needs Rutschman to prove his last two games are a sign of better days ahead. He homered against the Rays on Tuesday and reached base via a hit and a walk the following night. That’s exactly what they should be able to get from Rutschman against Oviedo, who despite not allowing any home runs recently has been hit hard.
Oviedo is prone to giving up contact and walks, two aspects that Rutschman has figured out. If he’s making things happen in the middle of the Orioles’ lineup and proves to be past his early-May slide, Baltimore is a much better team.
Pirates Lineup vs. Orioles Bullpen
The Orioles and Pirates have had some surprise success to this point because of how solid their bullpens have been. In the Orioles’ case, they’re probably going to need plenty of it on Friday.
Bradish has only lasted past the fifth inning in one of his five starts this season, largely the result of how much he’s been hit around. He could surprise Brandon Hyde and deliver a strong outing, but in all likelihood, the Orioles will need at least 3-4 innings out of their bullpen.
Led by Felix Bautista and Yennier Cano, the back end of the bullpen has been phenomenal. Bryan Baker and Danny Coulombe have also pitched very well. With the unit fully rested coming off of an off day, the Orioles may have to lean on this bullpen against a Pirates lineup that does have some pop.
Pirates vs. Orioles Starting Lineups
Pirates Starting Lineup
3B Ke’Bryan Hayes R
LF Bryan Reynolds S
DH Andrew McCutchen R
1B Carlos Santana S
LF Jack Suwinski L
RF Connor Joe R
CF Ji Hwan Bae L
SS Tucupita Marcano L
C Austin Hedges R
Orioles Starting Lineup
CF Cedric Mullins L
C Adley Rutschman S
RF Anthony Santander S
1B Ryan Mountcastle R
2B Adam Frazier L
LF Austin Hays R
3B Gunnar Henderson L
SS Jorge Mateo R
DH Kyle Stowers L