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Pirates Preview: Keller & Crew With a Chance to Steal Series From St. Louis

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Pittsburgh Pirates- Mitch Keller

The Pittsburgh Pirates (9-6) will finish their four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals (6-9) with a chance to take the series on Sunday.

The Pirates battled through nine full innings and got the boost they needed after a two-run blast from Andrew McCutchen in the top of the 10th to secure at least a series split with a 6-3 victory.

Roansy Contreras battled through six strong innings despite a rough first inning and not his best stuff throughout most of the game.

First pitch is expected to be at 2:15 p.m. You can watch all of the action on AT&T Sportsnet, or listen to it on the Pirates radio network, 93.7 The Fan.

Weather

It will be a cloudy day in St. Louis on Sunday. Temperatures will range from 48-51 degrees, and there will be high winds of 19 mph blowing west.

The Pirates will send out RHP Mitch Keller (1-0, 3.57 ERA)

Keller put forth another stellar performance in his last outing on April 11 against the Houston Astros.

Keller managed to pitch six innings with six hits given up, two earned runs, two walks, and seven strikeouts. Keller threw 94 pitches and tossed 64 of them for strikes.

Keller, so far in his three starts (17.2 innings pitched), has limited hard-hit balls ranking in the 95th percentile in average exit velocity and ranking in the 95th percentile in hard-hit percentage.

Keller’s newfound cutter has been electric this season, with an opposing batting average of .222 and an exit velocity of just 75.8, and just two hits on 72 cutters thrown in total.

The best news we could hope for with Keller has been more whiffs, and he’s getting that with a 34.4% whiff rate on his cutter and 30% on his four-seam.

Keller has faced the Cardinals eight times (eight starts) and holds a 2-1 record with an ERA of 3.38.

The Cardinals will send out RHP Miles Mikolas (0-1, 10.05 ERA).

The Cardinals’ pitching staff has been extremely lackluster to start the season, and Mikolas is no exception.

In his last start on April 11, against the Colorado Rockies, Mikolas allowed ten hits, six earned runs, two walks, three strikeouts, and lasted five innings on 89 pitches (59 for strikes)

Mikolas offers a slider (29.6%), four-seam (28.9%), sinker (20.6%), and a curveball (17.7%) Mikolas is also allowing some pretty loud contact with an average exit velocity of 91.7 mph.

The lowest batting average on any of his pitches is .364; the rest are at least .400 and above, so if the Pirates ever wanted to take advantage and steal a series, now is the time.

Mikolas has faced the Pirates 19 times (16 starts) and holds a record of 5-5 with an ERA of 3.05 in 100.1 innings pitched.

Interesting Batting Match Ups

St Louis Hitters

  • Tommy Edman 5-16 with a double and three walks against Keller
  • Wilson Contreras 1-9 with a double and 7Ks against Keller
  • Dylan Carlson 1-10 against Keller

Pirates Hitters

  • Ke’Bryan Hayes 4-10 with a double against Mikolas
  • Bryan Reynolds 9-28 with four doubles against Mikolas
  • Andrew McCutchen is 2-16 against Mikolas
  • Rodolfo Castro 0-5 with three strikeouts against Mikolas
  • Jack Suwinski 0-5 with two strikeouts against Mikolas

Tidbits

  • Pirates starters have made it through six innings in their last five games, with Contreras going six full on Saturday.
  • Johan Ovideo became the first Pirates’ pitcher this year to record double-digit strikeouts on Friday night.
  • The Pirates are now tied for first in the National League in stolen bases with 18. The Arizona Diamondbacks have 18 as well. The league lead belongs to the Cleveland Gurardinas with 24.

Links

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