The Pittsburgh Pirates once again project as one of the worst teams in MLB this year, but at least we’ll get to see some young talents like Oneil Cruz and Roansy Contreras.
The team’s priority is to continue to develop their young players while flipping veterans for future assets.
The lineup has Cruz joined by Ke’Bryan Hayes, who has failed to live up to expectations so far. They also have Bryan Reynolds, but there’s a good chance that he’s traded in the near future.
The starting rotation consists of young pitchers like Contreras and Mitch Keller, along with veteran innings-eaters like Rich Hill, JT Brubaker, and Vince Velasquez.
The bullpen is anchored by David Bednar, who looks like an elite closer when healthy, although we could see them ship him to a contending team at the trade deadline.
There’s a legitimate chance that we’re dealing with the worst team in MLB here, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find value on the betting market. With that in mind, let’s dive into the Pirates’ top betting odds for 2023.
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Pirates Top Betting Odds 2023
Pirates MLB betting odds are current as of Jan. 10 at 3 p.m. EST from Caesars Sportsbook.
- World Series Winners: (+15000)
- Win National League pennant: (+8000)
- Win NL Central title: (+8000)
- Win Total: Over 62.5 (-110) | Under 62.5 (-110)
The Pirates are considered as longshots to even finish with a .500 record, so it’s no shock to see them have such long odds to win the NL Central, NL Pennant, or World Series.
While these are juicy prices with high payouts, there’s no point targeting this market. Pittsburgh simply does not have the talent nor the intentions to contend this year.
This is a team with ownership seemingly unwilling to open up the check book to improve their roster or keep their stars.
The best way to attack the Pirates odds is by focusing on their win total, which sits at 62.5, priced at -110 on both sides.
While this is a low bar to clear, we have to acknowledge that this is a team that could get worse as the season goes along, especially if they trade Reynolds and Bednar.
2023 MLB Futures Odds
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Pirates Futures Bets 2023
Below you’ll find the top Pirates futures bets for the 2023 season.
Under 62.5 Wins (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
The Pirates went 62-100 with a -226 run differential in 2022. This was the second-lowest run differential in MLB, ahead of only the Washington Nationals (-252), who won 55 games.
In other words, the Pirates deserved to be even worse last year.
The offense posted a 84 wRC+ (T-28th) with a .141 ISO (T-20th) and 25.3 K% (29th). This is a team that struggled to generate runs while also striking out at a high rate. Getting a full year out of Cruz will help, but the potential Reynolds trade negates that benefit.
The rotation will benefit from a full year of Contreras (3.79 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 95 IP) along with an improving Keller (3.09 ERA in the second half).
However, the remaining five consists of Hill (43 years old) along with Brubaker and Velasquez, two pitchers who haven’t been able to put it together throughout their career.
Even with Bednar throwing 51.2 innings, the bullpen was weak last year, posting a 4.44 xFIP (29th). It’s hard to project much improvement here, especially with a Bednar trade likely in the works at some point in the year.
The fact is, the Pirates went Under this number last year, in a season where they didn’t deserve to win 60 games based on their performance.
This team is more likely to get worse before it gets better, so don’t worry about the low bar. Roll with the Under 62.5 wins for the Pirates this year.
Pirates Player Prop Bets 2023
Oneil Cruz to lead in Home Runs (+15000) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 0.25 Unit
Cruz hit 17 home runs in 361 plate appearances during his rookie season. If we extrapolate that pace over 600 plate appearances, that works out to approximately 30 home runs.
However, when you look deeper at Cruz’s Statcast page, you see a batted ball profile that indicates that more power is yet to come.
Cruz ranked in the 91st percentile in average exit velocity and 96th percentile in barrel rate. What’s even more impressive is that Cruz posted a 122.4 MPH maximum exit velocity, 2.6 MPH more than second-place Aaron Judge.
In fact, this was the hardest-hit ball in Statcast history. While it was only a single, this type of exit velocity means that Cruz has immense power upside.
Of course, this is a major longshot to hit in Cruz’s second MLB season. However, +15000 odds give this a 0.7% implied probability.
I believe there’s a much more significant than 0.7% chance that Cruz leads MLB in homers, so I’m willing to sprinkle on this wager.
How to Bet Pirates Moneylines
Moneyline bets are a simple way of wagering on MLB games. All you need to do is pick the winner of the game, and you’ll win your bet.
The odds are quite easy to understand, too. For example, if the Pirates are a (-200) favorite, you would have to bet $20 to win $10. If they’re a (+200) underdog, you can win $20 off a $10 bet.
These odds will change every day depending upon the Pirates’ matchup, so there’s always an opportunity for value every step of the way.
How to Bet Pirates Run Line
Run Line betting is another common way to bet on MLB games, and you’re probably already familiar with it. You may know it as how much a team is “picked by" to win.
If the Pirates are 1.5 run favorites over the Reds, the Run Line would look something like this: Pirates -1.5 (+150) vs Reds +1.5 (-200).
In this scenario, the Pirates would have to win by more than one run to cash your bet.
How to Bet Pirates Over/Unders
If you’re unsure about the Pirates’ moneyline or run line on a given day, you can still place a bet on the Over/Under — or total — in the matchup.
Sportsbooks will set a line for how many combined runs they project will be scored. From there, you can bet on the Over or Under.
For example, if you believe in the Pirates’ offense and think it’ll be a high-scoring game, then you’ll want to take the Over. However, if it’s supposed to be more of a pitcher’s duel, you should go with the Under.