Pirates vs. Giants MLB Pick – July 24th

It was a nice weekend for me personally, capping off a 3-0 weekend with another winner yesterday on the UNDER in the Nationals vs. Diamondbacks finale. But it was a BAD day for Major League Baseball as two of the best pitchers in the league left early with injury concerns.

It’s been widely agreed over the last few months that very little could derail the Dodgers aside from a catastrophic injury. Seeing Clayton Kershaw ushered off the field would certainly qualify as “catastrophic.” The best pitcher in the world has been placed on the ten-day disabled list with “tightness in his back” but the ominous line of “no timetable for his return” has to make Dodger fans’ heart skip a beat…

Meanwhile, it is a sadly recurring story in Washington with injury concerns once again surrounding Stephen Strasburg. He left in the second inning with forearm stiffness, and it being called simply a “precautionary mesure.” But Nationals fans know well what “precautionary measures” have led to more often than not woth Stras over the last five seasons…

The obvious benefactor of the day’s misery are the Chicago Cubs who moved to a season-high five games over .500 with a 5-3 Sunday Night winner over the Cardinals. They are 8-1 since the break and finally LOOK like the defending champs. The Cubs now stay home for a set with their city-rivals, the worst team in the AL and who just traded away Todd Frazier and Jose Quintana (the latter going TO the Cubs) while slumping Milwaukee gets a day off before trying to desperately steady the ship with a tough road trip to Washington.

Let’s start the new week the way we ushered out the old, with a winning pick.

Today’s MLB Pick:

Pittsburgh Pirates -146 at San Francisco Giants +137 (Total: 8)
Gerrit Cole (7-7, 4.18 ERA) vs. Matt Cain (3-8, 5.49 ERA)

It’s been a miserable season in San Fran and equally miserable personally for one-time perennial Cy Young candidate, Matt Cain. Cain enters with a dreadful 3-8 record and has allowed five or more runs in four of his last seven starts. He has, however, been better at home than on the road, with a 3.18 ERA at home over 51.1 innings and four of his last five home starts have been quality ones.

Opposing him, Gerrit Cole has some similarly tough to interpret numbers. His overall season is below average, but six of his last seven starts have been solid, allowing one or two runs in each of them, sandwiched perfectly around a seven-run, ten hit, four inning disaster. His road splits are not great, but in his last three road starts, he has allowed just four runs. Tonight, he is in pitcher-friendly AT&T Park facing a lineup that ranks near the bottom in every major statistical offensive category.

The numbers for each starter might scream “offense” but I think the pitcher’s will rule the night. Pittsburgh is 12-5 over their last 17 games, and has the starting pitching advantage, so if you want to go Giants -146, it’s a pretty good value. I’m going to be a little more daring tonight and take the counter-intuitive UNDER 8.


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