Pick #6: Pittsburgh Pirates F5 -0.5 (-160 PointsBet)
The Pittsburgh Pirates are primed to cover the -0.5 spread in the first five innings of their game against the Oakland Athletics today, thanks to their ace Mitch Keller and a struggling A's lineup.
The Pirates have been on a tear lately, winning six straight games, and they're looking to continue their dominance in today's matchup against the Oakland Athletics. With Mitch Keller (7-1 record, 3.25 ERA) taking the mound for the Pirates, facing off against James Kaprielian (0-6 record, 8.12 ERA) of the A's, it's no wonder that the odds are in favor of the Bucs.
Keller has had a couple of rough outings in his last two starts, giving up 10 runs over 12 innings, but let's not forget that before this hiccup, he had surrendered only 13 runs across his previous nine appearances (58 innings). His ERA might have jumped to 3.25, but Keller still boasts an impressive 1.08 WHIP and a 93:17 K:BB ratio across 74.2 innings.
The Pirates' ace is hungry to get back into his dominant form, and facing an Oakland lineup that has a -10.3 wRAA on the road over the last month should provide him with the perfect opportunity. The A's have also been struggling at the plate with a dismal .133 ISO, which should make it easier for Keller to keep them in check.
On the other side of the coin, the Pirates' offense should have no problem putting up runs against Kaprielian, who has given up three or more runs in six of his seven starts. Pittsburgh has been crushing it against right-handed pitchers at home over the past month, with an 11% BB rate and a .343 OBP, both sitting comfortably within the top 5 of the league. This sets the stage for the Pirates to jump out to an early lead and never look back.
Oakland's Kaprielian will be desperate to turn things around, but facing a red-hot Pirates lineup, it'll be a tall order for the struggling right-hander. The first A's pitcher to start a season 0-6 since Mike Mohler in 1997, Kaprielian is searching for his first win, but it seems unlikely to come against the surging Pirates.
Tough to ignore the numbers here, and they're all pointing towards the Pirates covering the -0.5 spread in the first five innings. The combination of Keller's bounce-back potential and the Pirates' relentless offense going up against Kaprielian's struggles makes this a matchup that Pirates fans and bettors alike should be excited about.
While there's never a "sure thing" in sports betting, the stats, trends, and recent performance all support the notion that the Pirates are in a great position to cover that -0.5 spread in the first five innings today. So lock in your bets, sit back, and get ready to watch the Bucs plunder the A's for another victory.