Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#2979 Boston Red Sox vs.
#2980 Pittsburgh Pirates
Tuesday, August 16, 2022 at 7:05pm EDT
Written by Jordy

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The Pittsburgh Pirates say goodbye to a brutal road run for a head-to-head showdown with the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday. Boston stood strong and fended off the New York Yankees at Fenway Park in a three-game series over the weekend. Now, they’ll be going on the road to take on a Pirates team currently on a four-game losing streak. The Red Sox are expected to start right-handed pitcher Nick Pivetta in this matchup opposite of Pittsburgh’s Mitch Keller.

A triumphant return for Wacha

On Sunday, Michael Wacha stepped right into the fire in a finale against the New York Yankees. It was the first time he’d stepped on a big-league mound since June 28.

And he was absolutely flawless.

The Yankees couldn’t even muster a single run, and the Red Sox held on for the 3-0 victory. Now, it’s time for Boston to show they can do more than just pester New York. They’re two victories away from being at .500 win percentage. It’s an incredible turnaround for a team that’s ranked dead last in the AL East division.

But the inconsistent play has bedeviled this Red Sox team. They can’t just turn around and go back to their same sad defensive ways against the Pirates in this game. It would be easy to just coast considering the Pirates are the third-worst run-scoring team in the league. There isn’t a lot that’s offered at the plate from this Pirates team, and it should only add to the confidence of Nick Pivetta on the mound. The starting righty is throwing a 4.51 ERA with an 8-9 record on the season. Confidence is something that’s seriously needed in this game considering Pivetta is getting pounded at the plate with hits.

There isn’t a lot of familiarity with these being two interleague teams. So the Red Sox have to be careful of an upset.

Can the Pirates shock the Red Sox?

The fact that this is an interleague series works in Pittsburgh’s favor. They’re playing in their home building against a team that doesn’t have a lot of familiarity with them as an opponent. Things can get a bit crazy in these interleague games.

The Pirates are likely hoping for as much crazy as they can get to fend off a Red Sox team still soaring high from their series victory over the New York Yankees during the weekend. But if this is like every other game, then Pirates fans can expect quiet bats and ugly pitching (Sorry, Mitch Keller).

The Pirates’ starting righty is throwing a 4.25 ERA and 4-8 record. He’ll be facing a Red Sox lineup averaging the sixth-most hits in games. The biggest conundrum for Boston has been finding a way to consistently get runners across home plate. They’re currently ranked as the fifth-worst team in the league in runners left in scoring position.

And that number has been even worse on the road.

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This Red Sox team has struggled throughout the season, but they don’t know struggle like the Pittsburgh Pirates. This is the norm for a Pirates team that has finished dead last in three consecutive seasons with a seven-year drought in playoff berths.

So no, the Red Sox aren’t struggling on that level.

They are also coming into this game with more momentum after knocking off the New York Yankees in a series over the weekend. This series will give them a shot at improving their record enough to get back to .500 win percentage. The Red Sox should be fired up for this game.

Do you want to know who else will be fired up? Nick Pivetta.

Considering his recent struggles, this game marks a legitimate opportunity for the veteran pitcher to set things right against a Pirates batting lineup slashing .221/.289/.221 on the season. The bats are too quiet in Pittsburgh, and while Mitch Keller hasn’t been as bad as he was last season, he’s still riding the struggle-bus. I’m taking the Red Sox in this game.

Prediction: Boston Red Sox (-140)

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Trusting in Pittsburgh’s offense can be hazardous for your health, but then again, the Red Sox love giving up runs this season. They currently have the seventh-worst run-scoring defense in the league with opposing teams averaging 4.72 runs against them. Don’t expect anything but understanding from Pittsburgh fans considering the Pirates are allowing an average of 5.01 runs. It has been too easy to score on both teams, and that isn’t an element changing in this matchup. I’m not ready to believe in Boston’s defense just because they beat the Yankees. Give me the over in this one.

Prediction: Over (8.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast, and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY, and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys, and all the Sun Drop you can drink.