Dodgers vs. Pirates Expert Pick and Prediction – April 25, 2023
LOS ANGELES DODGERS VS. PITTSBURGH PIRATES MLB EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – April 25, 2023 — Are the Pirates for real? At 16-7, Pittsburgh is off to its best start since 1992, when the Pirates won 96 games and their most recent division title.
Of course, that was so long ago that the Pirates were in the NL East, and they’ve played a relatively soft schedule, collecting 10 of 16 wins against the Reds, Rockies and White Sox. Still, seven wins in a row is impressive no matter who you’re playing, and they’ve got a great chance to prove themselves against the Dodgers.
Los Angeles has had a big problem to this point in the season: the final three innings. The Dodgers hold a record of 12-11, and one of the biggest reasons is that the bullpen isn’t doing its job. Only Colorado and Oakland have given up more hits than the Dodger bullpen, and Los Angeles’ relievers hold an ERA of 5.05 for the season. Few people have been hurt more by that than Noah Syndergaard, who’s 0-3 on the season because the bullpen keeps putting the game out of reach in the wrong way. Over his past three starts, he’s given up 11 runs in 16 innings, but the bullpen has given up 14 runs over 11 innings and the Dodgers have lost every one of them by at least two runs. The Pirates have been winning by preventing runs more than scoring them, but against the leaky Los Angeles bullpen, this might be where that changes.
|Los Angeles Dodgers
(16-7 SU, 14-9 RL)
When: Tuesday, April 25th at 6:35 pm EST
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Starting Pitchers: Noah Syndergaard, LAD (0-3, 4.91 ERA, 19 K’s) vs. Johan Oviedo, PIT (2-1, 2.22 ERA, 25 K’s)
Public Bets: 67% on Los Angeles
Public Money: 62% on Los Angeles
Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of April 24th, 2023
Los Angeles vs. Pittsburgh In-Season Trends
It’s not really surprising that Pittsburgh’s been a home away from home for the Dodgers for the past several years. The Pirates have been that for everyone as they’ve struggled to rebuild, and the Dodgers have dominated the game for the past several years. As such, Los Angeles has gone 8-2 in its past 10 games in Pittsburgh.
The teams have also piled on the runs in Pittsburgh, regardless of whether or not the Pirates have been good. PNC Park’s a hitter-friendly park, and Pittsburgh’s pitching hasn’t been all that strong over the years. But the Pirates have held their opponent to three runs or less in 10 of their past 11 games. Whether that holds depends on control; Los Angeles leads the majors in working out walks and Pittsburgh has issued 82 free passes on the season.
Players to Watch
The Dodgers might lead the majors in walks, but they’re also second in the majors in strikeouts. Johan Oviedo has recorded three consecutive quality starts, and he’s averaged seven strikeouts per start in those appearances. As long as the Dodgers don’t get to Oviedo early, his number of 5.5 strikeouts should be very attainable.
Max Muncy would have been a great choice for a prop play if he were in the lineup, as he’s knocked in six runs over the past four games. But he’s off for paternity leave, so the choice falls to James Outman. Outman’s been on a power surge as of late, hitting four home runs in the series against the Cubs. He might be hard-pressed to hit another one out, but driving in a run at +155 looks like a solid option.
Syndergaard’s going to get something to go his way at some point, but with the Dodgers’ bullpen behind him, it’s not likely to happen soon. He’s got to be almost perfect to pick up a win, and he’s not been anywhere close to that this season.
Oviedo, on the other hand, has a solid bullpen behind him and has pitched very well in each of his starts in 2023. Throw in the Pirates’ fan base starting to get excited about what their team could be, and this isn’t an ideal situation for the Dodgers to walk into.
|Dan’s Picks||Pirates ML (+115)
Johan Oviedo Over 5.5 Strikeouts
James Outman RBI (+155)