Parlay MLB Picks: Giant Mistake to Fade Bumgarner in Pittsburgh

Mark Lathrop

Friday, August 21, 2015 4:01 PM GMT

Our handicapper loves the recent trends backing Bumgarner and the Giants tonight, but also sees an opportunity for a bigger payoff in Pittsburgh tonight. It's a Friday night parlay!

Giants vs. Pirates Betting Odds
I have questions about this game, but the most important is, “Will the Pirates be in those awesome camouflage uniforms again?” They certainly did the trick last night as Charlie Morton and the rest of the Pirates pitching staff stifled the Giants’ offense en route to a 4-0 shutout win. The Pirates have been hot as August in August, winning seven of their last ten games. That streak has them leading the NL Wild Card, and only 4.5 games back of St. Louis (St. Louis might win 105+ games this year). The Giants are still in the thick on the NL West, and at 65-56 are 2.5 back of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Needless to say, both of these teams are motivated to win every game down the stretch run to the playoffs. Even though they are on the road, with Madison Bumgarner on the mound, the Giants are currently favored in this game at -125 at Pinnacle. The Pirates can be had at -151 at the same book getting +1.5 runs on the run line. The O/U total is currently listed at 7 at multiple books.

Bumgarner did a little bit of everything in his last time out, striking out 14, pitching a complete game shutout, and adding a home run to boot. A career trend stands out with him, in that he gets stronger as the season wears on. His career ERA’s by month include: July - 3.54, August - 2.71, and September – 2.60. Another way to look at that split is the pre and post-All Star Break ERA’s, which stand at 3.34 and 2.68, respectively. He looks for his third complete game in a row on Friday night, and looks to continue a streak in which he has double-digit strikeouts in a game. Although some might look at Bumgarner’s batting statistics and think, “how cute”, they really do make a difference in the lineup. Consider that Bumgarner’s batting average and OPS is better than all but four of the batters that the Seattle Mariners can put in a lineup on any given day.

Jeff Locke gets the start for the Pirates tonight, and honestly, this is the first time I’ve read up on him. His stats are underwhelming this year as compared to last as he is posting a 4.31 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 100/50 K/BB rate, and .266 BAA over 129.1 IP. Locke hasn’t made it out of the sixth inning in his last five games, so maybe I should really be concerned with the Pirates bullpen for this game. The one thing Locke has going for him is that he is fantastic at home where he has accumulated a 3.16 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and .242 BAA this year.

 

Baseball Betting Verdict
With the stretch that Bumgarner is on, it is hard to fade him as he has 8 winning decisions in his last 10 games. His recent performances have been against some decent offensive lineups as well. So, I’m definitely backing him in this spot at -120 as my money line MLB pick here. However, I’m also going to be taking the over in this game as Bumgarner tends to get decent run support – from himself.

MLB Picks: Parlay Giants -120 and the Over of 7 runs at +100 at 5Dimes