Bet Pirates +145 vs. Giants for Monday's Value Play

Joe Gavazzi

Monday, July 28, 2014 8:35 PM GMT

Monday, Jul. 28, 2014 8:35 PM GMT

Making money in MLB is all about value. Finding quality underdogs at big dog prices is a great way to build your bankroll. Such is the case today with my MLB Dog of the Day. It finds us backing a far hotter team against a home team who has notably struggled. This free pick can go right to the top of your ticket.

Pittsburgh Pirates (Worley) at San Francisco Giants (Bumgarner) (-155) 10:15 ET

5* Pittsburgh (+145)

The first game of this 3-game set finds us squarely on the underdog Pirates at a value price. Pittsburgh salvaged the final game of the weekend series in Colorado to break what could have well have been negative momentum at the beginning of a lengthy road trip. That victory has boosted the Pirates’ recent record to 37-23, following an 18-26 start. Now, they have clawed their way to within 3 games of Milwaukee for the division lead, while trailing St. Louis by a single game for the runner-up spot. With no team in the National League playing better than .559 baseball, it appears the Pirates’ chances for post-season inclusion are for real.

San Francisco is battling LAD for the division lead in the National League West. But, a weekend sweep at the hands of the Dodgers has them trailing their rivals by 1 ½ games. This downturn for the Giants is all part of a 15-27 slide following a 42-21 start. In the current 4-game losing streak, San Fran has produced just 5 runs with a .180 batting average. The Giants have also seen a strong home field disintegrate with a recent slide of 6-19, after starting the year 22-9 on their home turf. Following 3 solid seasons from this mound, the home numbers for Bumgarner are a microcosm of his teams’ struggles in the role of host. In 10 outings from this mound, Bumgarner has worked 58 2/3 IP with a 5.22 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and .305 BAA. He has allowed 4 or more runs in 7 of those 10 starts. Bumgarner has pitched in solid form in his recent 2 outings. In those games, spanning 14 IP, Bumgarner has allowed only 1 run on 9 hits with a 13/2 KBB. It is noteworthy, however, that each of those starts was on the road.

A strong history vs. the Pirates finds that Bumgarner, in 3 starts, has spun a 1.71 ERA. That, however, was against Pittsburgh teams who are not nearly as much of an offensive threat as is the current Pittsburgh roster. Six starts for Worley have shown solid peripherals of a 2.79 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and an outstanding 27/7 KBB. Yet, there will still be ample motivation from a pitcher with plenty to prove. After busting out at Philly and Minnesota in recent seasons, Worley is looking at this opportunity as a chance to establish himself in a rotation that can lead a resurgent Pirate team in future pennant chases. Expect full focus from Worley, who continues to pitch to remain in his spot in the Pittsburgh rotation. The Pirates’ recent form is far superior to that of the Giants. With Worley at his best, Pittsburgh presents a value opportunity against a San Francisco team who has struggled on this field of late with a starter who has mysteriously faltered from this mound. 

Read another pick in favor of the Pirates tonight.

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