Pittsburgh Pirates (-106) at San Francisco Giants (-104, 7 o/u)
Tonight (10:15 PM Eastern at AT&T Park), the second of a three game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates (27-24, 12-15 Away) and the San Francisco Giants (30-23, 16-12 Home) will have veteran Bucs pitcher A.J. Burnett going against second-year Giant Chris Heston. Burnett got off to a bit of a slow start to the season, but has been lights out of late and has the Pirates positioned as slight favorites on the road against the defending World Series champs.
The Pirates won game one on Monday (4-3) after Gerrit Cole went seven innings, allowing five hits while striking out nine. Andrew McCutchen hit a pair of sacrifice flies, and Neil Walker added a two-run double to provide the offense.
“We were able to play through a lack of execution and got a big swing of the bat from Walker,” said manager Clint Hurdle to the Associated Press. “Then we pitched the innings we needed to pitch and made the rest of the plays.”
Pittsburgh, which has had its struggles on the road this year, will look to win their second in a row over the Giants behind Burnett. The 38-year-old righty is 5-1 with a 1.81 ERA on the year. Burnett’s five wins have come in his last five outings. He has largely been dominant in that stretch, but needed significant run support in his last start, giving up eight hits and five runs over 5.2 innings in an 11-5 win over the Padres.
The Giants will counter with Heston, who is 5-3 this season with a 3.82 ERA, winning three of his last four starts. Like Burnett in his last start, Heston has received significant run support of late, with the Giants averaging 9.38 runs over his last four.
Looking at the trends, San Francisco is just 3-6 SU in its last nine at home against Pittsburgh. With Burnett tearing it up, take the Bucs.
Pick: Pirates (-106).
(Photo credit: SD Dirk (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode].)