Fresh off a strong outing from the pitching staff that held the Cardinals to one run after a 17-run outburst on Friday, the Pirates are primed to take the series lead this afternoon at Busch Stadium. Jordan Lyles will look to keep the Cardinals offense stagnant as he squares off with Miles Mikolas.
Lyles has had trouble with the current Cardinals roster. They post a .352 batting average (.323 xBA) against him yet with an average exit velocity of just 81.7 MPH.
After a terrible outing against the Diamondbacks (8 hits, 2 HR in 5 IP) on the 24th of April, Lyles has been improving. He had some control problems against the Rangers, walking four batters and allowing three hits in four innings pitched, but also had five strikeouts and gave up only two earned runs.
Lyles’ last outing against Oakland saw some more control issues (1-1 K/BB-ratio) but it ended up being a good start. Through 6.2 innings pitched, he allowed just one run with three strikeouts and five hits.
A slow-motion, up close spin & tilt contrast on @Pirates Jordan Lyles' four-seam fastball and changeup. #Pirates— Michael Augustine (@AugustineMLB) May 5, 2019
92MPH four-seam: ~200-degree axis
85MPH changeup: ~245-degree axis pic.twitter.com/nCi9QZJ2G7
Lyles is going to need to harness his command to keep the Pirates in the game. Pittsburgh has scored six runs in this series and may need as many to win today.
Mikolas fares quite a bit better against the Buccos in his career. He’s held the current lineup to a .264 batting average with a FIP of 3.16 and a 18.3% K-rate.
The last two starts for Mikolas have been really good, especially his last outing against the Phillies. He surrendered three hits with no earned runs and struck out five hitters without a walk. If he has that kind of effectiveness today, the Pirates are going to need a stellar outing from Lyles.
Stats of Interest
-Paul DeJong and Jose Martinez both hit Lyles very well (.327 and .340, respectively). Marcel Ozuna has 11 career home runs and Paul Goldschmidt has 9 against Lyles. Matt Carpenter (.207) and Kolten Wong (.244) struggle.
-Gregory Polanco (.308), Josh Bell (9 HR, 28 RBIs), and Brian Reynolds (.348) have had success hitting against Mikolas. Adam Frazier (.258) and Starling Marte (.232), not so much
A weather delay is expected for several hours. Once the rain gives in (about 7PM EST), temperatures will be in the high 40’s with light winds out to left field.
How many runs will Jordan Lyles allow today?
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