Mets Look to Get on Track in Pittsburgh

Mets Baseball

deGrom Faces Improving Pirates Offense

The Pirates’ offense looks to keep improving in the opener of a three-game series on Friday at PNC Park. Pittsburgh has a tough one in New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom.

The Pirates are 13th in the National League with a .233 batting average. A below-average offense has hindered Pittsburgh all season. That may be changing as Pittsburgh, who is averaging 4.23 runs a game, broke out with 12-5 and 9-4 wins over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday and Thursday.

Oddsmakers have the -150-moneyline favorite. The total is sitting at 8.

The offensive surge was driven by a couple of factors.They started hitting the long ball again. They hit six creatures in the 4-game series in Atlanta. They also got players back from injury. Adam Frazier and David Freese both came off the disabled list on May 12. They wer both recovering from hamstring strains. Frazier is hitting .442 with 10 RBIs in the leadoff spot since his return. They will get Gregory Polanco back tonight against the Bucs as well.

Mets Hurler, deGrom, is 3-1 with a 3.56 ERA. The fireballer is averaging 12.29 strikeouts per nine innings. That is the best mark in the NL and the third best in baseball. Through four starts in May, he is averaging eight strikeouts. He has three wins and two no-decisions in his last five starts.

Pirates Offense Puts the Ball in Play

The Pirates have been fanned only 19 percent of the time this year. That is third-lowest in the majors. DeGrom has made four career starts against the Pirates. He is 0-2 with a 2.49 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings.

Chad Kuhl will start for the Pirates. He is 1-4, 5.85 ERA. The sinker specialist is coming off his best outing of the season. He allowed one hit in five innings against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. Kuhl has never faced the Mets.

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