Pittsburgh Pirates vs Tampa Bay Rays Picks and Predictions June 23rd 2024

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Tampa Bay Rays MLB Sun, Jun 23, 13:35 pm.
Pittsburgh Pirates
ML: -165
Tampa Bay Rays
ML: 140

Rays Get First Look at Pirates Phenom Paul Skenes

The Pittsburgh Pirates are ready to show off their rising star, Paul Skenes, in Sunday’s rubber match against the Tampa Bay Rays. Skenes’ early career has been nothing short of spectacular, and fans are buzzing to see how he handles the challenge of facing the formidable Rays lineup.

Paul Skenes’ Early Career Success

Paul Skenes has hit the ground running in his rookie season, racking up a 4-0 record with a stellar 2.29 ERA over seven starts. His knack for striking out batters is particularly eye-catching, with 53 strikeouts in just 39 1/3 innings. Skenes has allowed only 10 runs this season, and just four in his last three outings, showing off his consistency and control on the mound.

Key Contributions from Rookies

Skenes isn’t the only rookie making waves for the Pirates. Jared Jones has also been crucial in keeping the team in the playoff hunt. Despite a rocky start on Saturday, Jones played a big part in the Pirates’ 4-3 win against the Rays. These young pitchers are giving the team a solid foundation and a lot to look forward to.

Managing Workloads for Longevity

With both Skenes and Jones on track to surpass their previous season’s innings, the Pirates are being smart about managing their workloads to keep them effective all season long. General manager Ben Cherington emphasized this strategy, saying, “The goal was to put them in a position to be active pitchers for a full season, to contribute for a full season.”

Pirates’ Efficient Offense

The Pirates have been making the most of their opportunities on offense, scoring four runs on just five hits in their latest game. Key players like Bryan Reynolds, who’s on a career-best 19-game hitting streak, and Oneil Cruz, who smashed a 445-foot homer to break out of a slump, have been instrumental. This kind of efficiency and timely hitting has helped the Pirates win four of their last six games.

Rays’ Challenges and Injury Updates

The Rays have had a tough time with injuries recently. Brandon Lowe and Amed Rosario both got hit by pitches in the last game, with Lowe suffering a fractured pinky toe and Rosario taking a fastball to the face. Their availability for Sunday’s game is still up in the air, but their return could be a big boost. Meanwhile, Yandy Diaz has been a steady force, extending his hitting streak to 15 games and driving in five runs over his last four games.

Upcoming Pitching Matchup

The Rays are counting on Aaron Civale to counter Skenes’ impressive performance. Civale has struggled recently, with a 2-5 record and a 5.42 ERA, and hasn’t been able to last six innings in his latest starts. His performance will be crucial, especially given the state of the Rays’ bullpen. Civale stepping up could be the key to the game for Tampa Bay.


Sunday’s game between the Pirates and the Rays is set to be a thrilling clash, featuring the promising rookie Paul Skenes against the experienced Aaron Civale. The Pirates’ young guns have been crucial to their success, while the Rays look to overcome injury challenges and bounce back. This game could have significant implications for both teams as they navigate the rest of the season.

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
Sun, Jun 23, 00:55 am.
Pittsburgh Pirates
O 7.5
Tampa Bay Rays
U 7.5
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