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MyWager Prediction & Pick: Diamondbacks take on the Pirates

Get ready for the clash between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks in a thrilling three-game series starting on Friday. Both teams are riding the wave of much-needed victories, but now they find themselves standing in each other's path, eager to convert those wins into something greater.

Drawing a parallel to a group overcoming a hangover, Arizona manager Torey Lovullo described his team's 5-3 matinee win over the Oakland A's on Wednesday. The victory served as a recovery from a heartbreaking loss the night before, where they relinquished a lead and fell in a grueling 12-inning battle, marking their longest game of the season.

"Now, not in the sense of being hung over from alcohol, but from the idea of losing a tough game. It was still lingering in this clubhouse," Lovullo explained.

The win secured the series against the A's, with Arizona emerging victorious in five of their last seven series. Diamondbacks' starting pitcher, Ryne Nelson, who took the mound on Wednesday, praised his team's resilience, stating, "This team is really resilient. We don't really back down from much, and we tend to always punch back." Meanwhile, Pittsburgh experienced a breakout game on Wednesday, crushing the Detroit Tigers with an 8-0 win after enduring a rough patch in May with a 2-11 record.

"That was a game we needed offensively," exclaimed Pirates manager Derek Shelton. "You've got to continue to grind. It's hard to do... but you have to stay positive because when you're going through a tough offensive stretch, it's really easy to get down."

First baseman Carlos Santana echoed Shelton's sentiment, acknowledging the ups and downs of baseball. "Mentally, keeping focus, taking it one day at a time, and playing hard because it's a long season. (Wednesday was) a great win. (Now) we go back and play Arizona."

Despite their recent struggles, the rebuilding Pirates remain optimistic about their season's trajectory. "We're playing the long game here. We're trying to be a playoff team, trying to win the (National League Central) division," emphasized Pittsburgh catcher Austin Hedges. "You don't win a division in May. You win it by accumulating great at-bats and great defense over the long haul." Prior to their offensive explosion on Wednesday, the Pirates had been struggling to score runs, failing to surpass four runs for the entire month. To add to the challenge, Friday's matchup doesn't promise any respite.

Taking the mound for Arizona is the formidable right-hander Zac Gallen (6-1, 2.35 ERA), who ranks among the top pitchers in several National League categories. Gallen is coming off a victory against the San Francisco Giants, where he allowed only two runs in 7 2/3 innings. In his two career starts against Pittsburgh, Gallen boasts an impressive 1-1 record with a stellar 1.38 ERA.

On the other side, Pittsburgh will rely on right-hander Johan Oviedo (2-3, 5.14 ERA), who is still striving for consistency. After losing two consecutive starts, Oviedo received a no-decision in his last outing against Baltimore, surrendering just one run in five innings. However, he showcased his potential earlier in April with a scoreless streak of 15 1/3 innings. In his lone career start against the Diamondbacks on May 28, 2021, while playing for St. Louis, Oviedo yielded two runs in 4 1/3 innings but did not factor into the decision.

As fans and bettors eagerly await the clash between these two teams.

Our prediction - the Diamondbacks bring a potent combination of stellar pitching, explosive offense, resilience, and skilled leadership. We like the Arizona -1.5 (-105) currently @ CAESARS Sportsbook.

- MyWager Staff


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