- When: Wednesday, May 3 at 6:40 PM ET
- Who: Pirates at Rays
- Starting Pitchers: Mitch Keller and Shane McClanahan
- Where: Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida
The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays continue their series Wednesday evening. The Rays defeated the Pirates yesterday 4-1 in a competitive game in which both teams left a ton of runners on base.
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The Pirates went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position, which is a good way to lose a game against the best team in baseball.
The Rays have been incredible to start the season winning 24 of their first 30 games!
Let's break down this matchup between the team with the best record in the National League, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the team with the best record in the American League, the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Pirates are sending out Mitch Keller on the mound, while the Rays are sending out ace pitcher Shane McClanahan.
Sugar Shane takes the mound for the @RaysBasball tomorrow! #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/koqROcy6I2
— Bally Sports Sun: Rays (@BallyRays) May 3, 2023
Both of these pitchers have yet to record a loss, with Keller posting a 3-0 record and McClanahan at 5-0. Keller has a 3.53 ERA with 40 strikeouts to just 12 walks meanwhile McClanahan has a 2.12 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 14 walks.
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Now, let's dive into the juicy part of this matchup: Shane McClanahan's strikeouts. At first glance, the 6.5 line might seem like a no-brainer for bettors familiar with McClanahan's abilities.
|McClanahan O 6.5||-115||-115||-110|
|McClanahan U 6.5||-105||-105||-105|
After all, the guy's been averaging 6.63 strikeouts per game this season, with a home average of 7.06 and a road average of 6.0.
But if we dig a little deeper into the numbers, it becomes clear that McClanahan's strikeout prowess has been steadily declining.
Over the last 20 games, McClanahan's strikeout average has dipped to 5.9, with just 10 games featuring more than 6.5 strikeouts.
The trend continues as we look at the last 10 games, where his average plummets to 4.1, and only 2 games with more than 6.5 strikeouts.
Shane McClanahan's 4th and 5th Ks. pic.twitter.com/015mvBu5Pc
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 28, 2023
Finally, examining the last 5 games, McClanahan's strikeout average has hit a concerning low of 3.4, with a whopping zero games featuring more than 6.5 strikeouts.
McClanahan's been struggling to keep his strikeout numbers up, making the under on the 6.5 line a tempting bet for savvy bettors.
Sure, he's several games this season with more than 6.5 strikeouts, but with his recent downward trend, it's hard to justify taking the over in this matchup.
So what's been causing McClanahan's strikeout slump? It's hard to pinpoint one specific factor, but it could be a combination of fatigue, adjustments in his pitching mechanics, or even just a temporary dip in confidence.
Regardless of the cause, it's clear that McClanahan's strikeout abilities aren't what they used to be, at least for the time being.
The pick in this one is Under 6.5 strikeouts for Shane McClanahan.
Both of these teams have great defenses so it's understandable for the total to be set at 7 runs. It feels like a solid number, but considering these pitchers it may be high.
|Over 7 Runs||-120||-121||-120|
|Under 7 Runs||+100||+101||+100|
After closer examination, I feel like we are set for another defensive battle. These pitchers are too talented to overlook. I am picking the Pirates to win this game 4-2.
I would recommend betting on Under 7 runs in this game.
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Baseball fans and bettors alike, prepare to be astonished as the Pirates take on the Rays in what's shaping up to be a game filled with unexpected twists and turns.
First, let's talk about why the Pirates are such an enticing underdog pick. Sure, the Rays are known for their strong pitching game, but the Pirates have shown they're not to be underestimated.
With a roster full of young, hungry players eager to prove themselves, there's no telling what kind of magic could happen on the field tonight.
And at a +175 money line, the potential payoff for backing the Pirates is just too alluring to pass up.
I am picking the Pirates to upset the Rays and would consider it the best bet in this game.