Last night’s bet on the Rangers to cover the runline over the Tigers looked dicey for a while, but Texas eventually came around. All that matters is that they did, right? Friday’s MLB slate is a jam-packed one. We’ve got 16 games on the board, including a doubleheader in Washington between the Phillies and Nationals.
San Francisco comes into this one in third place in the National League West at 35-27. They’re certainly not on pace to match last year’s insane 107-win total, but Gabe Kapler’s squad is still very much in the thick of the NL playoff races. The Pirates, meanwhile, are just 25-37 and 2.5 games clear of the Reds and Cubs for dead-last in the NL Central.
Given each team’s place in the standings, it’s no surprise to see MLB betting sites favoring the Giants to take Friday’s series opener. San Francisco is a -200 moneyline favorite on the road.
San Francsico Giants
The Giants are playing good baseball of late, with a 7-3 record over their last 10 games. That includes a three-game sweep last weekend over the Dodgers, while they took two of three from the Royals at home earlier this week.
They’ll hit the road tonight following a nine-game homestand. Kapler will turn to lefty Carlos Rodon to start this one. The team’s big free-agent signing is off to a nice start in his first year in the Bay Area, with a record of 5-4 and a 3.18 ERA through his first 12 games.
Rodon’s numbers have tailed off a bit since a particularly impressive start, but he did bounce back nicely in his most recent outing. The left-hander struck out eight Dodgers over the course of six shutout innings in the team’s eventual 2-0 win on Sunday afternoon.
This is also one of the most impatient offenses in the NL, with a team walk rate of just 7.4 percent against left-handed pitching. That ranks 29th out of 30, with only the Tigers (6.7 percent) behind them.
The Pirates have one of baseball’s most decorated farm systems, but their fans will have to wait a bit longer in order for most of them to arrive. There are some promising pieces already in the fold, but this is still a team that won’t be challenging for postseason play at any point in the near future.
The Pirates’ run differential of minus-101 is the second-worst mark in the NL. The Nationals (minus-111) are the only team worse in that department.
Pittsburgh will have right-hander Zach Thompson on the mound for this one. The former Marlin is 3-4 through 12 games on the year with a 4.50 ERA, and he has been in better form of late. Over his last three starts against the Braves, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers, Thompson has allowed a total of just four earned runs in 15.2 innings.
A .268 wOBA allowed is a bit on the lucky side, especially for a pitcher without a history of missing bats. Thompson owns a career strikeout rate of just 19.6 percent in the major leagues, including a mark of 17.7 percent so far in ’22.
As mentioned, the Giants are getting healthier. Both Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria returned to the lineup earlier this week against the Royals, which adds a lot more depth to Gabe Kapler’s offense overall.
San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates MLB Game Pick
The Giants will likely continue to improve now that they’ve got some of their guys back off the injured list, while we can’t say the same of the Pirates.
Given the massive discrepancy in quality between the two starting pitchers in this game, you can probably argue the Giants are a little undervalued at -200 on the moneyline. I still don’t think that’s a particularly profitable bet to place, but there is value to be found in San Francisco’s runline odds.
You can get Rodon and the Giants at -120 to win this one by at least two runs. The Pirates are going to struggle to put runs on the board here, while I do not expect that to be the case for the Giants against Thompson.
Take the Giants to cover that runline at -120.
San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Betting Recap
- Moneyline: Giants -200, Pirates +175
- Runline: Giants -1.5 (-120), Pirates +1.5 (+100)
- Over/Under: Over 8 runs (-110), Under 8 runs (-110)
- Pick: Giants -1.5 (-120)