The Red Sox face the Pirates in Pittsburgh! Our MLB odds series has our Red Sox Pirates prediction, odds, and pick for Friday.

The Red Sox have been solid to start the year at 10-9 and are in one of the toughest divisions in the MLB. Statistically, the Red Sox offense needs to get going more and has started slow. Tyler O'Neill, Triston Casas, Jarren Duran, and Masataka Yoshida are players to watch for the Red Sox behind the plate. In comparison, their pitching has been red-hot up to this point. Tanner Houck, Kutter Crawford, Brayan Bello, Nick Pivetta, and Garrett Whitlock have made up a very good pitching staff and all five have been solid up to this point to a varying degree. The Red Sox have a lot of potential this season and have shown flashes up to this point of what they can be and this will be a massive game to continue that trajectory.

The Pirates have also started the season playing well at 11-8, making this an interesting matchup. They have been middle of the pack with their bats and on the mound with their pitching. Bryan Reynolds, Ke'Bryan Hayes, and Edward Olivares have been solid behind the plate despite the offense as a whole not being as good as it could be. Martin Perez, Mitch Keller, and Jared Jones have been solid for the pitching staff, despite it being in the middle of the pack overall. The Pirates have been solid up to this point and this game will be an interesting early test for them.

Here are the MLB Odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

MLB Odds: Red Sox-Pirates Odds

Boston Red Sox: -1.5 (+160)

Moneyline: -104

Pittsburgh Pirates: +1.5 (-194)

Moneyline: -112

Over: 8.5 (-105)

Under: 8.5 (-115)

How to Watch Red Sox vs. Pirates

Time: 6:40 pm ET

TV: SportsNet Pittsburgh / NESN

Stream: fuboTV (Click for free trial)

Why The Red Sox Will Cover The Spread/Win

The Red Sox are going with Brayan Bello to start on the mound. He's started out the year with a 2-1 record, a 3.92 ERA, and a 1.21 WHIP. Through 20.2 innings, he has 19 strikeouts to five walks, but he has also given up 20 hits and four home runs. The Red Sox won his last start against the Angels, where he threw 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on six hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. Last season, Bello was okay at best with a 12-11 record, a 4.24 ERA, and a 1.21 WHIP. Bello has been inconsistent to start the year, allowing at least four hits in all four of his appearances up to this point in the season. Bello gets a decent matchup to recover against an average at best Pirates offense.

The Red Sox's offense has been slow to start the season. They are 23rd in team batting average at .227 after finishing last season with a .258 batting average. The offense is led by Tyler O'Neill, Triston Casas, and Jarren Duran in most of the offensive categories behind the plate. O'Neill leads the team in batting average at .313, in home runs at seven, and in OBP at .459. Casas leads the team in RBI at nine, while Duran leads in total hits at 24. The Red Sox offense has a chance to get going a bit in this game against the Pirates on the mound.

Why The Pirates Will Cover The Spread/Win

The Pirates are undecided who they are starting at pitcher for this game, but based on the lineup schedule it looks like it will be Mitch Keller. Through 24 innings, Keller has allowed 28 hits, 14 runs, and seven walks. He also has 21 strikeouts on the year. He has a 2-1 record, a 4.50 ERA, and a 1.46 WHIP this season. The Pirates are 3-1 in the four games games that he's appeared in this season. In his last start, he threw seven innings, allowing two runs on eight hits with zero walks and four strikeouts  Last season, Keller was decent and had a 13-9 record, a 4.21 ERA, and 1.25 WHIP. Keller needs to show up for the Pirates in this spot with the Red Sox being slow out of the gate on offense.

The offense for the Pirates has been average this season. They are tied for 15th in the MLB in team batting average at .244 after having a team batting average of .239 last season where they finished 24th in the MLB. Ke'Bryan Hayes, Edward Olivares, and Bryan Reynolds are the leaders in every offensive category. Hayes leads the way in batting average at .277 and in OBP at .392. Reynolds then leads in RBI at 13 and in total hits at 20. Finally, Olivares leads in home runs at three. This will be a very difficult matchup against a hot Red Sox pitching staff.

Final Red Sox-Pirates Prediction & Pick

This game will be close because these two teams are similar on paper. The Red Sox are the more talented team and have come out swinging with how hot their pitching has been. The Pirates don't have the bats to challenge the Red Sox specifically Bello because he has been the inconsistent piece for the Red Sox. Expect this to be a close game, but the Red Sox should pull away and win and cover because the Pirates don't have much to scare anyone on offense.

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Final Red Sox-Pirates Prediction & Pick: Red Sox -1.5 (+160)