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Pirates Daily: Mitch Keller Looks to Make More Progress

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Tuesday, Sept. 6,  the Pittsburgh Pirates (49-84) finally start a three-game series against the New York Mets (85-50) at PNC Park at 6:35 p.m.

The Pirates and Mets are starting their series a day late after rain forced both Monday’s scheduled game to be postponed. The Pirates are on a four-game losing streak and have lost 11 of their last 13 games. The National League East-leading Mets are coming off back-to-back losses to the Washington Nationals, the only team in the major leagues with a worst record than the Pirates.

The game will be aired on AT&T Sportsnet PIT and can be heard on 100.7 The Fan.

Starters

Starting for the Pirates will be Mitch Keller (4-10, 4.43 ERA). Keller put forth a strong effort in his last start last Tuesday against the Brewers in Milwaukee when he pitched six innings and gave up just two earned runs on four hits. Keller strayed away from his sinker and primarily used his four-seam fastball (42%) and induced six out of his 14 swings and misses with the pitch..

Starting for the Mets will be Taijuan Walker (10-3, 3.45 ERA). Walker is coming off his most recent start last Tuesday against the Dodgers when he gave up three earned runs on five hits and three walks. Walker showcases a six-pitch mix with a four-seam fastball (29.8%), split-finger (27.9%), slider (17.2%), sinker (10.3%), and occasionally throws a curveball (7.5%) and a cutter (7.3%).

Betting Odds

The Mets are strong -215 favorites on the moneyline and the Pirates are listed at +184. On the runline, the Mets are -1.5 (-132) and the Pirates are +1.5 (+108). The over/under is 8.5 (O -102, U -118).

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not

Who’s Hot: The enigma of Oneil Cruz continues, but it’s hard to deny his 116-mph effortless home run from Sunday. Cruz has now registered four RBIs in his last five games.

Who’s Not: Tucupita Marcano laid a goose egg during  the Pirates’ Sunday game, going hitless in four at-bats. He has now registered just four hits in his last 23 at-bats.

Tidbits:

  • Mitch Keller has now pitched the most innings (124) in a season in his major league career. Keller’s previous high was set 100.2 innings last season.
  • Good news for Pirates fans, Walker has pitched in 11.1 innings against the Bucs and has had a rough go of things. Walker’s ERA is 7.94 and Pirates batters are slashing .340/.466/.489 with an OPS of .955.
  • Walker’s ERA against the Pirates is by far the worst against any team he has faced. The next closest opponent is the Detroit Tigers with a 6.46 ERA.

Links

Pittsburgh Pirates Three Stars Of The Week: Aug. 29-Sep. 4

Perrotto: Despite Complicated Career, Dave Parker Deserves More Than Pirates’ HOF (+)

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