It looks like a mismatch, but as Monday’s series opener showed, looks can be deceiving.
The Pittsburgh Pirates, a perennial contender for last place in the NL Central and currently seven games below .500, continue their West Coast swing against the Dodgers, perennial World Series contender and currently tied for the best record in baseball.
It sounds like a recipe for a Los Angeles laugher, but the Pirates are currently 2-2 on their six-game road trip at San Diego and L.A. and have upset the Dodgers to start the series in Chavez Ravine. Which way to lean at the best sportsbooks and betting sites?
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Tuesday, May 31, 2022 – 10:10 PM EDT at Dodger Stadium
Pirates vs. Dodgers: Game 1 Recap
- Pittsburgh scored 4 runs off Walker Buehler on Monday.
- Then survived a Dodger rally and scored 2 ninth-inning runs off closer Craig Kimbrel to stun the Dodgers in the first of three games.
- The Pirates will look to clinch a series win and at least a .500 record on their toughest road trip of the season in Game 2 on Tuesday.
Pirates' Records Against Los Angeles
The Pirates’ surprising Monday win was the team’s first at Dodger Stadium since 2016 and gives Pittsburgh an equally eyebrow-raising 3-1 record against Los Angeles this season.
The Pirates can credit an offensive explosion against one of the best pitching staff in MLB for their improbable success against the Dodgers. Monday was the third time in four games the Bucs have scored at least 5 runs against Los Angeles. They’ve done it just 10 times in 43 games against everyone else.
Pittsburgh is hitting .271 with a slugging percentage of .526 against the Dodgers and scoring 4.25 runs a game. Against the rest of MLB, they’re hitting .217, slugging .335, and scoring 3.35 a night.
Pirates' Lineup Breakdown
Will David Bednar Play for the Pirates Today?
The Pirates likely won’t have closer David Bednar available on Tuesday. He has 9 of the team’s 12 saves this season but blew his first save of the year on Monday.
Bednar ended up getting the win but threw 50 pitches in two innings to do it.
Will Yu Chang Play for the Pirates Today?
The Pittsburgh infield should get a boost, as Yu Chang, acquired in a trade with Cleveland on Monday, should arrive on the coast for Tuesday’s game.
Who Pitches for the Pirates Today?
The Pirates are officially TBD on a starting pitcher for Tuesday but are expected to start right-hander Mitch Keller on the mound for Game 2. He’s 1-5 with a 6.05 ERA.
He returns to the rotation for his eighth start of the year after pitching out of the bullpen in his last two appearances.
Why Did the Dodgers Lose Yesterday?
Closer Craig Kimbrel blew his first save of the season, but inconsistent pitching preceded Monday’s meltdown for Kimbrel. It was his third straight appearance where he’s allowed at least one run, and teams have scored off of him in 5 of his last 7 outings. In 16 games this season, he’s recorded a one-two-three inning just three times.
The Dodgers left Monday’s loss with plenty of concerns, despite leading the National League with a 33-15 record.
"I'll be the first one to tell you my last couple of outings have been pretty bad," Kimbrel said. "Haven't really been like I should be. I've been hurting myself a lot by walking guys and throwing wild pitches or hitting guys."
It doesn’t sound like a change is on the horizon… yet. “I’m not concerned, but I do think there are things we certainly have to clean up,” manager Dave Roberts said.
Dodgers' Lineup Breakdown
The team is also battling injuries.
- Max Muncy went on the injured list over the weekend
- Cody Bellinger was a late scratch in the starting lineup on Monday due to left leg tightness.
Who Pitches for the Dodgers Today?
The Dodgers will try to even the series with Julio Urias on the mound. He already has more losses this season than last year’s 20-3 campaign, going 3-4 with a 2.49 ERA.
Pirates vs. Dodgers: Betting Pick and Prediction
The Pirates have been playing well on their current trip and have had the Dodgers’ number early this season, but for your MLB picks, look for Los Angeles to set things right with Urias on the mound and Pittsburgh’s starting situation in flux.
MLB Pick: Under 8.5 Runs (-117) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.