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Pirates Daily: Can Keller and His Sinker Outperform Alcantara’s Marlins?

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Pirates Keller Marlins Alcantara

The Pittsburgh Pirates (40-55) offense might have been stifled Saturday night, but their pitching staff put together one of the best performances of the season in beating the Miami Marlins (44-50), 1-0. Now the Pirates enter into Sunday’s game at PNC Park hoping to steal this series from the Marlins. 

Pirates’ Lineup

  1. 2B, Kevin Newman
  2. 1B, Josh VanMeter
  3. 3B, Ke’Bryan Hayes
  4. LF, Ben Gamel
  5. RF, Cal Mitchell
  6. CF, Greg Allen
  7. SS, Oneil Cruz
  8. DH, Yoshi Tsutsugo
  9. C, Jason Delay

Weather

The weather in Pittsburgh at first pitch (1:35 p.m.) will be the hottest game of the series, with temperatures reaching 91 degrees. There will be partial cloud coverage with 13 mph winds blowing from the southwest.

Starters

The Pirates are expected to send out the refreshed looking Mitch Keller. (3-7, 4.55 ERA) Keller and the Pirates will face an extremely tough test in an N.L. Cy Young favorite Sandy Alcantara (9-4, 1.76 ERA).

Since May 11, Alcantara has gone at least seven innings with three complete games and five eight-inning games. Alcantara has pitched 28 innings against the Pirates for his career and posted a 2.89 ERA.

In Keller’s last three starts, he has gone at least six innings and has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings pitched. One of the bigger stats for Keller in July has been his walk totals, which sits at just three. Can Keller continue his success against the Marlins?

Betting Odds

The Pirates are opening as the underdogs with the money line at +150 as opposed to the Marlins at -177. The over/under is opening  at 7.5 runs, and the run line sits with the Pirates at +1.5 (-118) and the Marlins at -1.5 (+100).  

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not?

Who’s Hot: Jason Delay, in his brief time with the Pirates, has exploded onto the scene with a .324 average and an OPS of .861. 

Who’s Not: Josh VanMeter, in his last seven games, has posted a .133/.125/.200 slash line and for the entire month has a .083 average. Yikes. 

Tidbits

  1. Based on the heat map, Keller has been placing his newly found sinker fairly well in the strike zone. Keller stays either on the inside edge against righties or the outside edge versus lefties and has seen success.   
  2. The Pirates’ offense has scored two or fewer runs in five of the last seven games. Facing Alcantara might make for another long day.
  3. In Keller’s last three games, the Pirates’ offense has given him exactly two runs of support, which happened to be against the Marlins on July 11. 

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