The Pittsburgh Pirates are suddenly taking on water after a dream start to this season, dropping the series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night for their fifth straight loss. The two teams will meet again for game two on Saturday night from PNC Park in Pittsburgh, with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m. ET. Jose Berrios (2-3, 5.29 ERA) will look to keep it going on the mound for Toronto, while the Pirates counter with righty Johan Oviedo (2-2, 4.78).
The Blue Jays enter as -150 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while Pittsburgh is a +130 underdog. The run total is set at 9.
Blue Jays-Pirates picks: Saturday, May 6
Day to day: RP Zach Pop (hamstring)
Out: RP Adam Cimber (back), RP Mitch White (elbow), SP Hyun Jin Ryu (elbow), RP Chad Green (elbow)
Day to day: SP Vince Velasquez (elbow)
Out: SP Wil Crowe (shoulder), RP Rob Zastryzny (elbow), 1B Ji-Man Choi (Achilles), RP Chase De Jong (back), SS Oneil Cruz (ankle), SP JT Brubaker (elbow), RP Jarlin Garcia (biceps), RP Max Kranick (elbow)
Jose Berrios vs. Johan Oviedo
Berrios was roughed up his last time out, allowing five runs on 11 hits in 5.1 innings against the Boston Red Sox, but the righty had been solid before to that — allowing just three runs in 19 innings in his prior three starts. The key for the righty is always fastball command: When he’s avoiding the heart of the plate, he can allow his sweepy curve to shine and find success, but when he’s landing here:
He’s going to get in trouble, as batters are slugging .500 on the pitch so far this year.
Oviedo has also seen a recent rough patch spoil a strong start, as he’s allowed nearly twice as many runs in his last two starts (11) as he gave up in his first four (6). Again, it comes down to the fastball: Oviedo’s two breaking balls are both elite, while hitters are slugging .567 against his heater in 2023 — which could spell trouble against an aggressive Blue Jays lineup that hunts fastballs.
This Jays lineup feels like a bad matchup for Oviedo if he’s not careful in commanding his fastball, while Berrios has been too rocky to expect him to keep Pittsburgh off the scoreboard entirely. After a low-scoring affair yesterday, I’m expecting runs aplenty on Saturday.
Pick: Over 9
Berrios and Oviedo are both boom-or-bust options, so when in doubt, go with the better lineup. (Hint: It’s the one with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette in it.)
Pick: Blue Jays