MLB Picks: Low Scoring Affair Expected in Tonight's Pirates vs. Giants Clash at AT&T Park

Ross Benjamin

Monday, June 1, 2015 1:12 PM UTC

Monday, Jun. 1, 2015 1:12 PM UTC

We’re going to examine the opening game of the series between Pittsburgh and San Francisco on Monday. Which one of these teams will be able to bounce back from a loss on Sunday for our MLB picks? Will this be a low or high scoring game? 

Pirates and Giants open Three Game Series at AT&T Park
San Francisco will host Pittsburgh on Monday at AT&T Park with the first pitch scheduled for 10:15 PM ET. According to the MLB betting odds at Bookmaker, Pittsburgh is a -134 money line favorite, and the posted total is 6.5. This will be the first meeting of the season between these clubs.


Starting Pitchers
Pittsburgh will send red-hot Gerrit Cole to the mound tonight. Cole has gone 7-3 in his team starts with an outstanding 2.25 ERA, and a 5:1 strikeout to walk ratio. The Pirates right-handed hurler has displayed superb form during his previous three starts, compiling a 1.69 ERA, and a 12.5:1 strikeout to walk ratio. He’s made two career starts versus San Francisco, both have come since 2013, and Cole had a very good 3.14 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in those outings.

The Giants turn to veteran right-hander Ryan Vogelsong on Monday. Vogelsong has displayed sparkling form in his last three starts, compiling a 1.53 ERA, and the Giants went 3-0. He’s been especially good at AT&T Park this season, going 3-0 in his team starts with a 1.35 ERA, an excellent 0.65 WHIP, and just short of a 5:1 strikeout to walk ratio. All three of those home starts went under the total. Vogelsong has gone 24-8 under the total in his career when installed as a home money line underdog of +100 or more like he’ll be this evening.


Team Reports
The Pirates are coming off a split of a four game series at Petco Park in San Diego. They sustained a 7-1 loss in the series finale on Sunday, and it was just their second setback in ten games. Pittsburgh has gone 13-9-4 under the total in away games this season.

The Giants were cooled off over the weekend after suffering a pair of losses at home to Atlanta. Despite those defeats, San Francisco is 13-4 in their last 17 games, and finished the month of May with a stellar 21-9 record. They’ve gone 10-5 under the total this season when facing opponents with a winning record, and 11-1 under the number at home against teams with a +0.5 or better run per game differential. The Pirates qualify in that regard with a +0.8 run per game differential, and a season to date record of 26-24.


Final Analysis
Although both teams body of work during the past couple of weeks indicates they’re each hitting with relative regularity, the books aren’t swayed in the least, and it’s evidenced by a low posted total. I like the way both of these starting pitchers have performed not only recently, but since the beginning of the season. My lean is toward a low scoring affair for one of my MLB picks on Monday.

MLB Pick: Pittsburgh and San Francisco to go under the total of 6.5 at Bookmaker.

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