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Pirates Preview: Can Oviedo Best His Former Club?

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Pittsburgh Pirates- Johan Oviedo

The Pittsburgh Pirates (8-5) will play in game two of four against the St. Louis Cardinals (5-8) after blanking the Cards in game one Thursday night.

It was a closely battled affair Thursday night, but thanks to a dominant six innings from Vince Velasquez and some timely hitting from the Pirates, they were able to pull out a 5-0 win over the Cardinals.

Game two’s first pitch is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. You can catch all of the action on AT&T Sportsnet, or listen to it on the Pirates radio network, 93.7 The Fan.

Weather

The weather at first pitch in St. Louis will be a rather nice evening. Expect mostly clear skies and a temperature of around 72 degrees. There will be a slight wind of eight mph blowing southeast.

The Pirates will send out RHP Johan Oviedo

Oviedo shoved in his last outing on April 9 against the Chicago White Sox. In 6.2 innings, Oviedo allowed five hits, no earned runs, no walks, and five strikeouts on 89 pitches (62 strikes).

Surprisingly, Oviedo has gotten a decent amount of whiffs this early in the season, ranking in the 78th percentile, and is limiting hard-hit balls with an average exit velocity of 87.7 mph.

Oviedo’s slider will be his money pitch, most likely as he comes into his third start with a 37.3% usage rate and a whiff% of 36.8.

Oviedo has limited hard contact on his four-seam this season so far, with an average exit velocity of 83.9 mph and is averaging 96.3 mph on his velocity.

Oviedo has faced his former club twice and carries an 0-1 record with an ERA of 3.60 in ten innings pitched.

The Cardinals will send out, RHP Jake Woodford.

Woodford has stumbled coming out of the gate for the Cardinals in 2023.

In his two previous starts, he has failed to get out of the fifth inning, with his longest outing coming on April 9 against the Milwaukee Brewers with 4.2 innings pitched.

In his first two starts, Woodford has allowed 13 hits combined and nine earned runs in nine total innings pitched.

Woodford has allowed an average exit velocity of 92.8 mph, with his four-seam leading the way with an average exit velocity of 100.1 mph on 35 total four-seams thrown.

In terms of stuff, Woodford offers a sinker (37.9% usage), sweeper (24.7% usage), four-seam (19.2% usage), changeup (8.2% usage), curveball (7.7% usage), and a slider (2.2% usage).

This will be Woodford’s eighth appearance against the Pirates, but it will be his first start against them. In 11 innings pitched, Woodford holds a 1-1 record with an ERA of 5.73.

Interesting Batting Match Ups

St Louis Hitters

  • Wilson Contreras is 3-11 against Oviedo with three walks
  • Tommy Edman is 2-5 with a double against Oviedo
  • Juan Yeppez has yet to get a hit and is 0-5 against Oviedo

Pirates Hitters

  • Bryan Reynolds is the only one to face Woodford and is 0-5 against him.

Tidbits

  • Andrew McCutchen has now reached base safely in 11 out of his last 12 games, and is now five doubles away from 300 in his career.
  • The Pirates are currently near the bottom of MLB in terms of team batting average, with a .231 team average. The Cardinals rank fifth with a .276. That ranking alone should tell you how hard it was to shut the Cardinals out on Thursday.
  • The Pirates find themselves tied for fourth place in MLB with 14 stolen bases. The New York Mets are tied with the Pirates.

Links

Potanko: Altoona Building Culture That Should be Repeated (+)

Perrotto: Pittsburgh Pirates’ Depth Taking Hits in One Area (+)

Vince Velasquez Throws Six Scoreless Innings as Pittsburgh Pirates Blank Cardinals 5-0

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