Pittsburgh Pirates (+128) at San Francisco Giants (-138, 7.5 o/u)
The San Francisco Giants (66-51, 33-23 Home) looked like they had a series win over the Orioles in the bag last night, taking a 7-1 lead into the seventh inning. But Johnny Cueto and the bullpen got blitzed in the final three frames and the Giants were shocked, 8-7, by the hard-hitting Os. They’ll look to put that debacle in the rearview mirror tonight when they open a three-game set against the Pittsburgh Pirates (59-56, 26-31 Away) at AT&T Park (10:15 PM Eastern).
The Giants will be facing a familiar face tonight. Ryan Vogelsong (1-2, ERA 2.67), who spent seven years with the club and was part of their 2012 and 2014 World Series teams, will be on the bump for the Pirates. He took the loss in his last outing but pitched well, going six strong and giving up just three hits and no earned runs in a 4-0 setback to the Padres.
San Francisco, whose lead over the Dodgers in the NL West has been trimmed to just one game, will counter with Matt Moore (7-8, 3.99 ERA). Like Vogelsong, Moore also looked good last time out but wound up with a loss, pitching six innings of three-hit, two-run ball against the Marlins. That dropped Moore to 3-3 in his last seven starts. His has an ERA of just 2.56 in that span, though.
Neither of these teams is blazing hot at the moment, but the Pirates have been the better team of late, winning three of four and six of ten to keep themselves in the Wild Card hunt. They are currently 1.5 games back of St. Louis for the second Wild Card berth in the NL. The Giants, meanwhile, are 5-5 in their last ten and haven’t won two in a row since the end of July. San Fran has, however, taken three of four from Pittsburgh this year.
There are betting trends to support both sides in tonight’s game (as is usually the case). The Pirates have won five of their last six road games against the Giants, but have lost nine of their last 13 away from home, overall. The better option looks like the under (7.5): the Pirates have struggled to score on the road lately, staying under the total in nine of the last 13, as well. The Giants have stayed under in six of their last eight at home. With two decent pitchers on the mound tonight, the under looks like the play.
Pick: Under (7.5)
(Photo Credit: Jon Dawson (Flickr) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/])