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Game Thread: Pirates look to plunder the Northland

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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at San Francisco Giants Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Jameson Taillon (9-8, 3.63) leads the Pirates into the opener of a two game series against the Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis. He’ll be opposed by 28 year old right-hander Jake Odorizzi (4-7, 4.50)

Since allowing six run to the Reds on May 22, Taillon has not allowed more than three runs in any of his thirteen subsequent starts, posting a 3.05 ERA in 82 23 innings over that stretch. He’s allowed more than two runs only once in his last five starts.

Odorizzi, in his first season in Minnesota after five with Tampa Bay, gave up three runs in 4 13 innings in Pittsburgh in his second start of the year. He’s been on the opposite track than Taillon, allowing four or more runs in five of his last thirteen starts, contributing to a 5.90 ERA in only 58 innings during that period. Odorizzi’s fastball average 91.0 mph this year, and he makes heavy use of a splitter and slider which has led to 3.7 walks and 9.0 strikeouts per every 9 innings so far this year.

With the option to use the Designated Hitter in an American League ballpark, Colin Moran will fill that role while David Freese mans third base and hits cleanup.

Twins manager Paul Molitor has five batters who’ll swing from the left side against Taillon, although his platoon splits aren’t pronounced - allowing a 741 OPS (266/343/298) to left handed batters and 635 (236/260/375) by right handers, then main difference being a walk rate that’s four times higher with a left hander batting.

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PIRATES

1 L Corey Dickerson LF

2 R Starling Marte CF

3 L Gregory Polanco RF

4 R David Freese 3B

5 S Josh Bell 1B

6 R Francisco Cervelli C

7 L Colin Moran DH

8 R Josh Harrison 2B

9 R Jordy Mercer SS

SP Jameson Taillon RHP

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TWINS

1 L Joe Maurer 1B

2 L Eddie Rosario RF

3 S Jorge Polanco SS

4 R Miguel Sano 3B

5 L Gabe Kepler CF

6 R Logan Forsythe 2B

7 L Jake Cave LF

8 R Mitch Garver C

9 R Tyler Austin DH

SP Jake Odorizzi RHP