Nothing changed for the Pittsburgh Pirates in a scenery change Friday night, as they suffered another loss on the heels of getting swept against the Cardinals. The Bucs dropped their sixth straight game, as they’ve taken themselves out of the equation in the NL Central. The division is wide-open, but the Pirates haven’t been able to take advantage. In any case, there won’t too many expectations for Pittsburgh in 2019, so this is just par for the course.
They enter Saturday with a record of 46-57 and just 2-8 in their last ten games. It appears the team have given up and have their eyes set on vacation. However, there is still a lot of baseball left to be played with two months to go, so the Pirates are going to have to suck it up and get through the final stretch of the regular season.
The only thing that could go worse at this point is if the Marlins rally and pass them to put the Pirates dead last in the National League. That’s difficult to see happening, but who knows, if the Pirates don’t get rid of this mindset, the Marlins could sneak up on them.
The Mets won their second straight game and fourth in their last sixth with the victory last night. They were winners against the Padres in two out of three games and got off to a nice start against the Pirates a night ago. Jeff McNeil led the Mets with a 3-run kill shot in the 3rd inning.
Zack Wheeler had a decent night, but the bullpen was shining, with no runs allowed after Wheeler left in 5.1 innings having surrendered 3 runs. That was a trade showcase game for Wheeler and he handled it well. This could be the same for Steven Matz, but it’s going to take more assets for the Mets to budge on Matz. Trevor Williams is expected to counter for the Pirates on Saturday. Head below for our free Pirates vs. Mets pick.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. N.Y. Mets Pick:
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The Pirates were hoping that Trevor Williams would continue to breakout in 2019, but it’s largely been a bust for him. He put it together in his second full season at the major league a season ago, as he finished with a rock solid 3.11 ERA in 31 starts. Williams his regressed further back from where he was in 2017 when he got 25 starts and six appearances as a reliever. He posted an ERA of 4.07 in that particular season, while he’s not in danger of watching his ERA eclipse the 5.00 mark.
With an ERA of 7.88 in his previous three showings, Williams is certainly trending in that direction. He was also roughed up for a 2.06 WHIP and .425 OBA, which included 16 innings of work against the Cubs and Cardinals. The Mets are hitting .300 with a .364 OBP against Williams in 20 at-bats. Michael Conforto leads the Mets, having gone 3-for-6 against Williams for a .500 average. Williams shouldn’t expect to get solid run support against Matz.
Matz has been strong at Citi Field this season, posting a 2.54 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 39 innings of work. Also note the Pirates have had little success against Matz. They’re hitting just .211 with 1 long ball in 38 at-bats. Matz has yielded only 3 runs, and 2 of them were responsible from Gregory Polanco, who has been dealing with an injury recently. Polanco is hitting .286 with a home run against Matz, though will be unavailable. Expect more of the same from the Pirates against the Mets in this one. With the Pirates banged up and struggling, consider the Mets for a play on Saturday at Citi Field.