Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#2963 Pittsburgh Pirates vs.
#2964 San Diego Padres
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 8:10pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

This article covers a past game!

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The Pittsburgh Pirates will head on the road to Petco Park on Wednesday afternoon for the second game of their three-game series against the San Diego Padres.

These two teams split a four-game series early in the year but the Pirates have been trending in the wrong direction as of late. After getting shut out for the second straight game, the Pirates enter play on Tuesday in last place in the National League Central race with a 12-16 overall record. Pittsburgh has dropped five straight after a strong start to the season while the Padres have won four of five to improve to 17-13, good for second play in the NL West.

Can the Pirates right the ship on the road at Petco Park against the Padres on Wednesday?

Brubaker seeks to continue breakout season vs. Padres

The Pirates will hand the ball to emerging right-hander J.T. Brubaker, who is starting to break out during his sophomore season. The 27-year-old is 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA with 30 strikeouts in five starts this season. Brubaker has surrendered three runs or fewer in all five of his starts but is coming off his worst outing of the season. The Pirates’ right-hander gave up three runs on seven hits in five innings of work in a loss versus the St. Louis Cardinals. He struck out seven batters and walked none, something he’s done for three consecutive outings.

Brubaker flashed his stuff during a strong rookie season but has turned things up a notch during his sophomore campaign. He cut his walk rate nearly in half, down to just 1.65 BB/9 while upping his strikeout rate of 9.88 batters per nine through 27 ⅓ innings of work. While he owns a 91.2 percent strand rate this season, Brubaker hasn’t benefitted from a very low BABIP (.275), so it wouldn’t be a surprise to keep up his success for a full campaign.

This will be the right-hander’s first career appearances against the Padres.

Darvish one quality start away from tying Padres' franchise record

The Padres will counter with right-handed ace Yu Darvish, who can tie a franchise record with his sixth consecutive quality start on Tuesday. The Padres’ ace has been the team’s most consistent starts as of late. Since allowing four earned runs in his Padres’ debut, Darvish pitched his way to a 1.35 ERA over his last five starts, spanning 33 ⅓ innings of work. Darvish is coming off of arguably his most dominant performance of the season last time out against the San Francisco Giants. He struck out 12 batters in 6 ⅓ frames to come away with his second straight win.

Darvish remains one of the most feared strikeout pitchers in baseball. Hes’ fanned 11.61 batters per nine innings of work while walking just 2.35 batters per nine so far this season. However, the right-hander could be due for some regression after posting five consecutive quality starts. He’s also benefitted from a .235 BABIP while stranding 89.5 percent of his baserunners in 38 frames.

In seven career starts against the Pirates, Darvish is 3-2 with a 2.30 ERA and 0.72 WHIP. Last season, he tossed seven innings of three-hit ball, allowing one run with six strikeouts in a win on the road in Pittsburgh as a member of the Chicago Cubs. According to Baseball Savant, current Pirates are batting just .114 in 77 plate appearances versus Darvish heading into Wednesday’s contest.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Both starters come into this game with plenty of confidence. Darvish has not allowed more than a single earned run in any of his last five starts but there should be some value on the other side here. Brubaker has allowed three runs or fewer in all five of his starts this season and has the stuff to match the Padres’ ace. The key for him will be limiting the long ball in this game, which he should be able to do at Petco Park, which has been the seventh-most pitcher-friendly ballpark in terms of runs scored this season. Take the Bucs to come out on top on the road at this price on Wednesday afternoon.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Pirates +205

Full-Game Total Pick

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These two teams are projected for only 6.5 runs, which is about as low as you’re going to see in a nine-inning baseball game. Darvish has been excellent in his first season in a Padres uniform and Brubaker is in the midst of a breakout campaign with the Pirates but this total is simply too low here. Brubaker has given up five runs over his last two starts combined and is due for some regression after posting an unsustainably high strand rate through his first five starts. Take this game to go over the projected total on Wednesday afternoon.

Prediction: Over 6.5
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Written By Nick Raffoul , "Nick Raffoul"

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.