Among the surprises in the young MLB season for many people is the Pittsburgh Pirates having the second-best win percentage in the National League as they look to continue their hot start at home on Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Toronto Blue Jays (-145, 9) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
One of the keys to the Pirates hot start to the season has been the unexpected excellence from their starting pitchers, ranking ninth in the league entering Friday night in ERW from starters and send Johan Oviedo to the mound on Saturday.
Since the Pirates acquired Oviedo at the 2022 trade deadline, he has a 4.02 ERA and 0.6 home runs per nine innings allowed across 13 starts with one run or less allowed in three of his last five starts.
On the other side, Jose Berrios gets the nod for the Blue Jays despite some of the league’s most drastic home and road splits.
For his career, Berrios has been a solid pitcher at home, posting a career ERA of 3.57 with just under 0.9 home runs per nine innings allowed since coming into the majors in 2016 while allowing more than 1.5 home runs per nine innings with a 4.99 ERA on the road.
The road woes have gotten even worse for Berrios since the start of the 2022 season, posting a 6.93 ERA with more than 1.8 home runs per nine innings allowed.
The pitching advantage the Pirate have extends to the bullpen with Pittsburgh’s bullpen ranked seventh in the league in ERA this season entering the series while the Blue Jays entered Friday night 18th in this category.
The Blue Jays are 0-4 in Jose Berrios road starts this season and with the Pirates entering the series a top 10 offense with five runs per game, the Berrios road woes will continue.
The Play: Pirates +125