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Pirates vs. Giants Pick MLB – August 22nd

We got back to winning ways yesterday cashing the Dodgers on the RL. With the end of summer quickly approaching, I have amassed some big profits this summer on the diamond. And with that, it means that the official start of football season is just on the horizon. In fact, the start of the college football regular season kicks off in just two weeks time. I’m looking to keep the good times going, rolling right into the most important time of the year. Small card for Thursday with plenty of afternoon action, lets look to turn a profit from it.

Free MLB Pick:

Pittsburgh Pirates +105 at San Francisco Giants -125 (Total: 7)

Jeff Locke (9-4, 2.90 ERA) vs. Matt Cain (8-8, 4.35 ERA)

The Pittsburgh Pirates took two of three over the San Diego Padres in their last series to improve on their already stellar record. The two wins improved the Pirates to 74-51 on their year until they dropped the finale last night, 2-1. The Pirates are doing so well this season thanks to an impressive starting rotation and bullpen. If this team had a legitimate offense then I would say look out. Nevertheless, pitching is what wins World Series (hello Giants), so the Pirates have a great chance at making some people turn their heads in the postseason.

Jeff Locke is one member of the stout rotation that has helped the Pirates out immensely in 2013. No one really expected much from the third year pro, but he has busted out in a big way this season. His efforts earned him a spot on the NL All-Star roster and earned himself in the Pirates starting rotation for the foreseeable future. Locke holds a 2.90 ERA, but has gotten roughed up lately. Most notably in Locke’s previous start, where he allowed 8 runs in 2.2 innings pitched against Arizona Diamondbacks. Locke was due for a bad start this year, just like some of the all-time greats, everyone is susceptible to a down start. One thing that is quite fantastic about Locke is that he is one of the best road pitchers in all of baseball. In 74.2 innings pitched on the road Locke has a 1.81 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP. There are no starts on his resume this season on the road that yields any significant damage done.

Matt Cain, a mainstay in the Giants rotation, will give it another go on Thursday night against the surging Pirates. Cain is having a season he would rather forget compared to previous years, but has bounced back considerably the last couple of months. Since allowing 3 runs against the Mets on July 10th, Cain hasn’t allowed over 3 runs again in six starts. His ERA in his last three starts isn’t amazing or anything, 3.00, but his WHIP and OBP is amazing, 0.76 and .205 respectively.

Locke loves pitching on the road and I think he is going to love pitching in this monster of a park in San Francisco. AT&T Park doesn’t allow any cheapies to exit the outfield, so this should be another positive start for him on the road. Cain found a groove recently and should be able to keep it going against an erratic offense. I’m looking for a 3-2 final here for either team, so the under is worth a serious look tonight.

Free Pick: UNDER 7