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Pirates Preview: Happy Opening Day!



Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates kick off their 2024 season on Thursday against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park.

It’s the 138th season of Pirates’ baseball, and the second time they’ve faced the Marlins on opening day. The Pirates shutout the Marlins 4-0 in the 1996 opener.

The Bucs wrapped up their Grapefruit League schedule with a 13-16-1 record after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays in their spring finale on Monday.

Thursday’s first pitch between the Pirates and Marlins is set for 4:10 ET. The game will be televised on SportsNet Pittsburgh and can be listened to on 93.7 The Fan.


The Marlins’ home ballpark is covered by a roof, so weather won’t be a factor for this four-game series.

The Pittsburgh Pirates Will Send Out RHP Mitch Keller

Keller gets his second-consecutive opening day nod for the Pirates. He becomes the first Pirates’ pitcher to start consecutive openers since Francisco Liriano did so three years in a row from 2014-16.

Last season, Keller was named an All-Star for the first time in his career. He wrapped up his All-Star campaign at 13-9 with a 4.21 ERA across a career-high 32 starts. Keller set a franchise record for strikeouts in a season by a right-handed pitcher with 210.

Keller has had success in five career starts against the Marlins. He is 1-0 and his 2.66 ERA against them is his lowest against any team he’s faced at least five times. He’s made two starts in Miami and allowed two runs in 14 innings.

The Miami Marlins Will Send Out Jesús Luzardo

Luzardo is coming off of his best season in the major leagues. Last year with Miami, Luzardo went 10-10 with a 3.58 ERA and struck out 208 batters in 178.2 innings across 32 starts.

The Marlins acquired Luzardo from the Oakland A’s in 2021 in exchange for former Pirates outfielder Starling Marte. Since joining the Fish, the left-hander has worked exclusively as a starting pitcher and is 18-22 with a 3.99 ERA.

Luzardo was masterful in his one prior appearance against the Pirates last year. In that start, which came in Miami, Luzardo tossed seven shutout innings and struck out nine batters. The Pirates eventually won the game 3-1.

Marlins Hitters vs. Keller

  • Bryan De La Cruz: 2 for 8, one home run, one RBI, two strikeouts
  • Avisaíl García: 2 for 8, one RBI, three strikeouts
  • Jesús Sánchez: 0 for 8
  • Josh Bell: 4 for 5, one double, one home run, three RBIs, three walks
  • Luis Arráez: 1 for 3
  • Nick Fortes: 0 for 3, one strikeout

Pirates Hitters vs. Luzardo

  • Andrew McCutchen: 0 for 6, one walk, two strikeouts
  • Connor Joe: 2 for 4, two RBIs, one strikeout
  • Michael A. Taylor: 1 for 3, one strikeout
  • Ke’Bryan Hayes: 0 for 3, two strikeouts


  • The Pirates have a 73-64 all-time record on opening day.
  • Of the 138 opening days in the history of the Pittsburgh Pirates, 107 if them have come on the road.
  • Andrew McCutchen enters the 2024 season one home run shy of 300 in his career. 10 active players have 300-plus home runs to their name.


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