MLB Friday preview: Brewers at Pirates, Mets at Diamondbacks
Milwaukee Brewers (32-25) at Pittsburgh Pirates (27-28), 7:05 p.m. ET
MLB Free Play: OverJhoulys Chacin (3-6, 4.88 ERA) (MIL) -115 / -1.5 runs (+130) / Over 9.5 runs (-110) Chris Archer (1-5, 5.75 ERA) (PIT) +105 / +1.5 runs (-155) / Under 9.5 runs (-110)
There should be runs aplenty in Friday night's series opener at PNC Park.
Milwaukee's Jhoulys Chacin has been terrible in six road starts this year, pitching to a 5.90 ERA and .274 opponent batting average. In his last seven efforts against Pittsburgh (37 2/3 innings), Chacin is 0-3 with a 3.35 ERA and a .237 batting average against. The Pirates' offense, led by hot-hitting first baseman Josh Bell (1.287 OPS in May), is seventh in batting average over the last two weeks.
Chris Archer counters for Pittsburgh, and he has struggled in three starts (8.56 ERA) following an IL stint for thumb inflammation. In his previous three starts against the Brewers (15 innings), Archer is 0-2 with a 6.60 ERA and an opponent batting average of .271. Look for center fielder Lorenzo Cain (9-for-18) and third baseman Travis Shaw (6-for-17, two home runs) to drive the offense for the Brew Crew.
New York Mets (27-29) at Arizona Diamondbacks (28-29), 9:40 p.m. ET
MLB Free Play: Mets runlineZack Wheeler (4-3, 4.63 ERA) (NYM) -115 / -1.5 runs (+135) / Over 8.5 runs (-120) Jon Duplantier (1-0, 2.25 ERA) (ARZ) +105 / +1.5 runs (-160) / Under 8.5 runs (EVEN)
The seasoned Zack Wheeler gives the Mets an edge over Jon Duplantier, the Diamondbacks' Triple-A replacement for the injured Luke Weaver.
Wheeler has a mediocre 4.19 ERA in May but has done yeoman's work for New York, pitching at least seven innings in four of his last five starts. His strikeout/walk ratio is a strong 5.86, and he faces an Arizona lineup that is 12th in the majors in strikeouts and 22nd in walks drawn. Seth Lugo is likely to return to the Mets bullpen in this one, which will give their relief corps a much-needed boost.
Duplantier has been effective in five bullpen appearances in the majors this year, but his last three starts in the minors were shaky (8.89 ERA). The 24-year-old appears to be on a strict pitch count, so New York should get plenty of cracks at the Diamondbacks' 24th-rated bullpen by opponent batting average (.260).