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$FML's MLB Saturday Play of the Day - 4/22

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Cincinnati Reds @ Pittsburgh Pirates

Running it back on the Pirates but with a slightly different angle. They’re averaging 3.62 First 5 Innings Runs (2nd most) and coming off a game where they left 8 men on base and still scored 4.

Tonight’s pitching matchup projects better vs. Luis Cessa. He’s getting absolutely clocked in headline metrics (13.50 ERA for example) and advanced stats validate the concern. For example his 12.03 expected ERA and 0.389 expected batting average allowed — which factor in quality of opponent contact — both rank bottom 1% of qualifying pitchers so far.

Only thing I don’t love is the weather forecast. It shows a slight chance of rain in Pittsburgh tonight. That’s a risk I’m willing to accept though given the A+ matchup plus team trend. I also like how the game total is tugging up towards 9.5 (from 9) and PIT ML price moved to -160 (from -145 at the open). All good signs supporting this pick!

For what it’s worth, BallparkPal.com simulates each game thousands of times, and they have PIT scoring 3.084 runs in the first 5 innings tonight.

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