As the playoffs and pennant races start to heat up I like the value today on the San Francisco Giants versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. This a really good pitching matchup between Mike Leake and Gerrit Cole and it makes sense that the Pirates would be favored with Cole on the mound and his low ERA. Still, when we look at the number and the value behind it the play here is on the Giants who could just as well win this game, great underdog spot for them.
MLB Odds makers came out with the line at around +160 and it has since then dropped. Most places now you can get the line on the Giants from +140 to around +150. The best odds right now on the Giants is at +153 at BetOnline sports book. For me any type of plus money is good value in what I think is a game the Giants can easily come out on top.
San Francisco Giants
Mike Leake gets the start for the Giants with a 3.52 ERA, 1.17 whip, 95 strikeout, and in 9-6 record combined with the Reds and the Giants. On the road this year he has been solid with a 2.33 ERA and 0.92 whip, and with the Giants so far he pitched well allowing just two earned runs in his only start against the Rangers. Also, Leake just pitched in Pittsburgh back in late June and pitched well allowing just two earned runs off of eight hits in seven innings. He is familiar with the Pirates coming from the same division so he should have a steady day on the mound.
The Giants rank 10th in runs scored per game at 4.31, eight OPS at .735, and second in hitting at .269. I've written this before but it still needs to be stated, the Giants are one of the best road hitting teams in baseball. They lead the league and team batting average away from San Francisco and all their important offensive stats go up on the road. After putting up 14 hits yesterday I look for them to continue that momentum at the plate.
Gerrit Cole gets the start for Pittsburgh and comes in with a 2.61 ERA, 1.14 whip, 154 strikeouts, and a 14-7 record. Surprisingly his ERA jumps to 2.99 at home but for the most part he has been the Pirates ace this season. After starting out the season absolutely on fire in his last 10 starts Cole has been consistent in giving up runs. In only one of those ten outings did he give up less than two runs in which he gave up one earned run just once. In his last three starts he has given up 10 earned runs in just 17 innings and I don't look for him to shut out the Giants today. He deserves to be favored at home as does Pittsburgh but the line on him is just a little too high in my opinion.
Pittsburgh ranks 13th in runs scored per game at 4.28, 13th in OPS at .718, and seventh in team batting average hitting .261. Both their OPS and their team batting average goes up in Pittsburgh but their run total per game stays the same. They have a good hitting lineup that can produce runs in bunches at times, but I think they might struggle just a bit today against a good veteran pitcher in Leake.
Again this MLB pick all comes down to value, and this is good plus money on the defending world champs. Cole has not been as sharp as he was in the first half of the season so the Giants have a good opportunity to put some runs on the board against him. On the other side I think Pittsburgh will only have a few good at bats against Leake but at the end of the day this game to go either way. Grab the value and back the underdog Giants on what should be one of the best games of the day.
MLB Pick: Giants at +153