Pittsburgh Pirates vs La Dodgers Dodgers Picks and Predictions June 5th 2024

Pittsburgh Pirates vs LA Dodgers Dodgers MLB Wed, Jun 5, 18:40 pm.
Pittsburgh Pirates
ML: -120
LA Dodgers Dodgers
ML: 100

The Pittsburgh Pirates leveraged a powerful swing by Jack Suwinski to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 on Tuesday, handing the Dodgers their fourth shutout loss of the season. As the two teams prepare for the second game of their three-game series in Pittsburgh, all eyes are on the pitching duel between the Pirates’ rookie phenom Paul Skenes and the Dodgers’ seasoned left-hander James Paxton.

The Pitching Matchup: Skenes vs. Paxton

Paul Skenes: The Rising Star

The Pirates will turn to their hard-throwing right-hander Paul Skenes, who boasts a 2-0 record and a 2.45 ERA. Skenes, the top overall pick in the 2023 draft, has shown remarkable poise and skill in his initial outings. In his last start, he celebrated his 22nd birthday by allowing just two runs on three hits over six innings, striking out nine and walking one, leading the Pirates to a commanding 10-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

Skenes’ repertoire includes a high-velocity fastball and a devastating “splinker”—a split-finger fastball with sinking action. This unique pitch has proven to be a game-changer, as Pirates manager Derek Shelton noted, “It was the pitch he used the most… He did a really good job. He got some at-bats that were extended. The most impressive thing was he still finished hitters.”

Over his past 18 innings, Skenes has yielded just three runs on nine hits, striking out 23. His ability to consistently flirt with triple digits on the radar gun makes him a formidable opponent for any lineup.

James Paxton: The Veteran

On the other side, the Dodgers will send James Paxton to the mound. Paxton, with a 5-0 record and a 3.29 ERA, brings a wealth of experience to the matchup. Despite his extensive career, Paxton has faced the Pirates only once, back in 2016, where he took the loss after giving up three runs on six hits in five innings.

Paxton started the season strong, recording wins in five of his first seven outings. However, he has settled for no-decisions in his last three starts. His most recent performance saw him pitch three shutout innings against the New York Mets before being pulled after 50 pitches.

Key Players to Watch

Jack Suwinski: The Slugger

Jack Suwinski, who was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday, made an immediate impact with a solo home run that proved to be the game’s only run. Suwinski’s power and timing will be crucial as the Pirates look to secure another win against the Dodgers.

Freddie Freeman: The Veteran Insight

Veteran Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman provided insight into facing Skenes, acknowledging the hype surrounding the rookie. “First overall pick and all that—he deserves all the hype,” Freeman said. “He’s got a great arm, great stuff. It’s always fun facing guys like that. I don’t put anything into the hype… Just let him go out and be Paul Skenes. Just let him have a great career.”

Game Strategy and Dynamics

Both teams struggled offensively in their previous game, combining for just nine hits and leaving 15 runners on base. They went a collective 0-for-17 with runners in scoring position, indicating another potential low-scoring affair. Pitching will be key, and both Skenes and Paxton will need to be at their best.


As the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Los Angeles Dodgers gear up for their second game, the spotlight is firmly on the mound. Paul Skenes, with his electric arm and standout “splinker,” faces off against the experienced James Paxton in what promises to be a captivating duel. With key players like Jack Suwinski and Freddie Freeman adding to the narrative, this game is set to be a pivotal contest in the series.

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
Tue, Jun 4, 21:37 pm.
Pittsburgh Pirates
O 8
LA Dodgers Dodgers
U 8
Marco D'Angelo | Handicapper

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Marco D’Angelo has been a professional sports handicapper and bettor since 1980.

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