MLB Picks: Betting Trends Point To Giants Run Line vs. Pirates

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 3:02 PM GMT

The Pirates and the Giants continue their 4-game, early week set which saw the Pirates emerge with an unlikely (1-0) victory on Monday. Who will be our MLB Pick today?

San Francisco Giants (Cueto) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Boscan)
Note that the Pirates entered that game off a Sunday nighter in Chicago on slides of 5-17 and 1-10. Their starter was Jeff Locke who, in his previous 2 games, lasted just 8 2/3 IP allowing 18 runs on 20 hits. Yet, he shut down a San Fran attack that had been averaging nearly 6 runs per game in an 8-game winning streak. Despite the loss, San Fran remains on a 27-9 up-tick, leading the Dodgers by 5 ½ games for the NL West lead. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, continues to struggle at under .500 (34-36) and trails the Cubs by 14 games. Was last night's Pittsburgh victory a turnaround in fortunes for each of these teams? I think not, at least in this pitching mismatch!

Betting Analysis
After winning an average of more than 93 games, in the previous 3 seasons and appearing in the Wildcard Playoff Game all 3 years, Pittsburgh was projected for 86 victories this year. The offense has held its own with a .755 OPS. But, the starting pitching has been inconsistent and injured, and the relief corps has a .755 OPS (in the bottom 1/3 of MLB) after consistently ranking in the Top 10 in recent seasons. Today, they are forced to summon Boscan into a spot start. His last appearance for the “big club” came against LAA on June 3rd, when he allowed 2 runs and 4 hits in 3 1/3 IP. Simply don't see him as much of a match for Johnny Cueto and the San Fran bats!

Cueto has been a huge part of the San Fran rotation since entering the rotation this year and is a major reason why the perennial world champions will once again shoot for the 90-win mark! In 14 starts, San Fran is 12-2 with Cueto on the mound. He is 10-1 with a 2.10 ERA for the year. This is even better of late, as he has allowed 2 or less runs in his previous 8 starts. Long familiar with the Pittsburgh Pirates from his days at Cincinnati, Cueto has made 28 starts vs. the Bucs, going 18-4 with a 2.13 ERA. If you refer to today's Part 3 of TRGS Home/Road Dichotomies, you will see that Cueto makes the list with a road TRGS of 7-0, buoyed by a .611 OPS, 2.28 road ERA, 1.12 road WHIP and .220 road BAA. No problem laying the runs and taking the price, as 18 of 22 (82%) of Giants' road wins have been by 2 or more runs. I invite you to put the MLB odds in your favor and join me in my MLB pick on the San Fran Giants tonight.

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MLB Pick: Giants -1.5 +120
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle