Phillies vs Pirates Picks and Predictions: Pittsburgh Sunk in Keystone State Series

Philadelphia has kicked off its cross-state series against Pittsburgh with back-to-back wins ahead of Game 3 today. With a shakey starter and a worse bullpen on tap for the Pirates, our MLB betting picks expect the Phillies to make it three straight.

Last Updated: Jul 30, 2022 11:29 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Kyle Schwarber Philadelphia Phillies MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Keystone State series rolls on at PNC Park on Saturday night as the Philadelphia Phillies visit the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Phillies have kicked off the four-game set with a pair of hard-fought victories, including Friday’s 4-2 triumph in extra innings. Can the Pirates get on the board in this spot? 

Find out in our free MLB picks and predictions for Phillies vs. Pirates on Saturday, July 30.

Phillies vs Pirates odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Phillies opened as consensus favorites of -166, but action has come in on the underdog Pirates to knock that line down about 10 to 15 cents at the majority of sportsbooks. 

The total has plummeted from the initial 8.5 hung on the board, with bettors pounding the Under down to 7.5 at some sites, but some 8.0s can still be found as of Saturday morning. 

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Phillies vs Pirates predictions

Picks made on 7/30/2022 at 11:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Phillies vs Pirates game info

Location: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
Date: Saturday, July 30, 2022
First pitch: 7:15 p.m. ET
TV: FOX

Phillies vs Pirates betting preview

Starting pitchers

Ranger Suarez (7-5, 3.84 ERA): Suarez is off to a solid start in July, not allowing any earned runs through two starts, albeit in only 10 innings. However, there were a lot of crooked numbers in the lefty’s game log in June, as he authored a 3.77 ERA and 1.29 WHIP.

Mitch Keller (3-7, 4.55 ERA): Keller has recorded three straight quality starts heading into this outing, but the inconsistent right-hander has had runs like this in 2022 before only to fall off again. Keller’s ERA in his prior three outings was 7.20. 

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Phillies have won each of their last five road games. Find more MLB betting trends for Phillies vs. Pirates

Phillies vs Pirates picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

The Phillies should make it three straight wins over the in-state rival Pirates on Saturday night.

Ranger Suarez takes on a Pittsburgh lineup that’s 28th in runs per nine innings this year (3.69), with an identical ranking in team OPS (.653). This order is feeling the sting of the Daniel Vogelbach trade to the Mets, as well as the temporary loss of Bryan Reynolds. 

Suarez has a minimal track record against the Pirates, but he’s held Ke’Bryan Hayes and Kevin Newman to identical 0-for-4 records in prior encounters. Considering the Bucs have a .654 OPS as a team against southpaws this season, the Venezuela native seemingly has little to worry about on the bump here.

Meanwhile, it’s been a Jekyll-and-Hyde-type campaign for Pittsburgh starter Mitch Keller. He’s had seven starts this season where he’s surrendered four or more earned runs, and that could happen once more on Saturday night. 

Nick Castellanos — formerly with the division-rival Reds — has a solid résumé against Keller, going 7-for-21 (.333) with a pair of dingers and five RBI. J.T. Realmuto and Kyle Schwarber are a combined 7-for-12 (.583) with four RBI off Keller, and Rhys Hoskins — fresh off a four-hit Friday with a tater — has hits in both of his prior at-bats against the Iowa native. 

The Pirates bullpen figures to only throw gasoline on the fire, as they’re 29th in ERA in the month of July at 5.63. Take the Phillies at a sensible price on the moneyline. 

Prediction: Phillies moneyline (-149 at WynnBET)

Over/Under analysis

Philadelphia should realize plenty of scoring chances throughout this contest, but Pittsburgh doesn’t figure to do its share for Over bettors. The steam on the Under appears to be smart money.

Suarez has put forth some excellent starts on the road this year, authoring a 3.23 ERA, which contrasts sharply with his 4.54 ERA at Citizens Bank Park. Opponents have hit 25 points lower against Suarez when he’s the visiting pitcher (.274 to .249) this year. 

Meanwhile, the Phillies’ bullpen has come a long way in 2022 after being a liability over the last few seasons. This unit is 11th in ERA (3.30), seventh in strand rate (77.5%), and eighth in strikeouts per nine innings (9.68) in the month of July. 

Jose Alvarado has recorded 17 scoreless appearances in his last 18 outings. Brad Hand has a 1.08 ERA this month, but not to be outdone is Corey Knebel, with a 0.00 ERA over 8 2-3 frames. Newly anointed closer Seranthony Dominguez is the only reliever that might be off limits here having worked two straight nights, but he’s thrown only 14 total pitches. 

This Philly bullpen can shut down any offense on its best day, but it doesn’t really have to fire its best shot against the anemic Pirates offense. The Bucs have tallied two runs or fewer in five of their first seven games out of the All-Star break. 

Prediction: Under 8 (-120 at PointsBet)

Best bet

Pittsburgh has far too many hitters batting below .220 in the month of July — including Hayes (.216), Oneil Cruz (.213), Ben Gamel (.206), and Michael Chavis (.214) — to think that it'll outslug the Phillies on Saturday night. 

It’s also difficult to make a case that the Pirates will out-pitch Philadelphia, as the inconsistent Keller figures to be chased early, ceding things to one of the worst relief corps in baseball.

The trends don’t favor the Bucs either, as they’re 1-6 in their last seven games with the Phils, and 2-8 in their last 10 home games against left-handed starters. 

Though money has come in on the Pirates, bettors shouldn’t be swayed. The Phillies are available at square odds and would be worth a bet even at -170 here. Consider sprinkling something on the run line or the Under on the Pittsburgh team total in addition to a moneyline play.

PickPhillies moneyline (-149 at WynnBET)

MLB parlays

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Use our MLB parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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