Pittsburgh Pirates (45-67) vs. San Francisco Giants (54-57)
The San Francisco Giants continue their push to try to make the playoffs as a Wild Card team when they welcome the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday. San Francisco enters this contest 7.5 games behind San Diego for the final wildcard spot in the National League. Pittsburgh would need a miracle to be able to get into the playoffs, as they are 17.0 games out in the Wild Card chase.
San Francisco enters as a clear favorite at -280, with Pittsburgh at +225. When giving up 1.5 runs, the Giants are still the favorite at -115 with the Pirates at -105. The total is set at 7.5 (over: +100, under: -120). San Francisco took two of the three games between these teams (June 17-19) in Pittsburgh and the teams have split the last 10 meetings.
Pirates Looking to Get Offense on TrackWhile Pittsburgh may be all but eliminated from playoff contention, this team still has an opportunity to build for next season. That includes trying to get this offense on track. The Pirates enter the series 28th in runs scored at 3.62, and things have not been better over the last 24 games, as the Pirates are hitting .213 with just 13 home runs and 81 runs scored, an average of 3.38 runs per contest.
Making things happen. pic.twitter.com/yvmgGWidP1— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) August 11, 2022
The team is near the bottom in all offensive categories, including 29th in team batting average (.220) and 28th and OPS (.650). However, they have shown some pop, hitting 110 home runs in 112 games, but are hitting about one hom erun every other game in recent weeks. The lack of offensive production has been a key reason why this team is struggling, as the pitching staff is allowing 5.01 runs per game, 27th overall. They are simply not able to make up for the shortcomings of a young staff.
Bryce Wilson is one with some experience, making his 47th appearance of his MLB career on Friday. Wilson is 2-6 with a 5.86 ERA in five appearances this year, 12 of which are starts. He has worked exclusively out of the starting rotation since returning to the club on June 14. The right-hander has pitched well over his last six starts, allowing 12 earned runs in 32.1 innings.
Giants Stumble Against PadresThe San Francisco Giants had a golden opportunity to make up some games early this week when they traveled to take on the San Diego Padres. However, after winning the opening contest of the series, San Francisco dropped the final two games by a combined score of 20-11. That included a 13-7 loss on Wednesday where a six-run third and seven-run sixth were too much for the Giants to overcome.
🅹ust 🅳ingers pic.twitter.com/t1awyMnPmk— SFGiants (@SFGiants) August 10, 2022
San Francisco is averaging 4.56 runs per game, 10th overall, as they are 10th in home runs at 129. The Giants have overcome an anemic team batting average (.235) by getting on base, ninth overall at .319. That has helped power this offense by setting the table for the home run hitters.
The pitching staff is 19th in runs allowed per game (4.43) and they are first in the least home runs allowed. San Francisco will start left-hander Carlos Rodon, who is 10-6 with a 2.95 ERA in 22 starts. Rodon has been rolling over his last two starts, allowing one earned run in his last 12.1 innings pitched. This comes on the heels of back-to-back starts where he allowed five earned runs, giving up three combined home runs in those two starts. However, the long ball has not been an issue for the left-hander, as he has given up just seven this season.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
San Francisco clearly has the better starter in this contest. While Wilson has pitched well in his most recent starts, Rodon would be a legitimate Cy Young candidate if he was playing for a team that was closer to making the playoffs. It has been the lack of offensive support for the left-hander that has held him to just 10 victories.
Neither team has been very impressive offensively of late, as San Francisco is hitting .229 with 26 homers over their last 25 games. However, you really have to like the pitching matchup here, as Rodon has allowed one earned run in his last 13.0 innings pitched against Pittsburgh, including blanking them for eight innings on June 17. Look for the left-hander to shut down the Pirates, giving his team a decisive victory.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Giants are 3-6 this month, but they have scored at least six runs in three of their last five games. Scoring has not been a major issue for this club, even in August when they are still getting on base (.311 OBP). The power numbers have been down, while the club is still hitting home runs, they are not hitting doubles and triples over the last month and that has them at a .373 slugging percentage, 22nd overall.
Wilson could be the guy that helps to get this power game going again. He has allowed four home runs this month in just 10.1 innings and has allowed 12 homers in his 12 starts. Offensive numbers for the Pittsburgh offense have not been great, but they have scored at least five runs in four of their 10 games in August and have scored 34 runs overall.
Take San Francisco to win, 6-3.