Rob Senior previews the All-Star Game Giants vs. Pirates on July 14 and provides his expert prediction and best bets.
Date & Time: Friday, July 14, 7:05 P.M. Eastern
Moneyline: San Francisco Giants (-150) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (+130)
Runline: Giants -1.5 (+115)/Rays +1.5 (-135)
Total: Over 8 (-115)/Under 8 (-105)
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
Weather: 82 degrees, 5% chance of rain
Giants vs. Pirates: Preview and Picks
The surprising group from San Francisco enters at a record of 49-41, finding themselves 2.5 games back of first place and firmly in the wild card race while competing in one of baseball’s toughest divisions.
Meanwhile, the Pirates’ record is the mirror image of San Francisco’s at 41-49. They’re eight games back in both the NL Central and the wild card race and need a hot start to the second half to have any hopes of the postseason.
San Francisco Giants Preview
The Giants’ offense is just a tick above league average with 4.62 runs scored per game.
1B LaMonte Wade and OFs Mike Yastrzemski and Michael Conforto lead the attack for San Francisco, a team that won’t wow you with their power but will attempt to “keep the line moving” by getting contributions up and down the lineup.
The Giants won’t win many games with their speed, ranking only 29th in stolen bases.
Taking the mound will be 33-year-old Ross Stripling, who enters with an 0-2 record and a 6.37 ERA. After a bounce back season in Toronto last year, Stripling has missed significant time with the Giants this year and has yet to go more than five innings in a start.
Pittsburgh Pirates Preview
As teams return from the All-Star break, there is still some uncertainty regarding Pittsburgh’s starter for Friday. Signs are however pointing to left-hander Rich Hill.
Hill is MLB’s oldest active player at the age of 43. The University of Michigan product is already at 98 innings for the season, sporting an ERA of 4.78 and averaging just under a strikeout per inning.
He faced the Giants on Memorial Day, going six innings and allowing six earned runs.
Center fielder Jack Suwinski is fast becoming a centerpiece of the Pirates’ offense, slugging 19 home runs and driving in 48 runs with an .874 OPS in the first half.
San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Prediction
Stripling hasn’t pitched enough innings to gauge much from his splits. However, Hill is roughly the same pitcher at home he is on the road. (4.83 ERA vs. 4.70 ERA).
Both pitchers threw last Friday so they’ll have an extra day or two of rest, but if both perform to their typical standards, we see an advantage on the total in this game.
Due to the return from the All-Star break, this game is a perfect opportunity to select “Listed Pitchers” for your wager. This means if either Stripling or Hill does NOT start the game, the book will void your bet.
See whether your book offers this option. The total isn’t outrageous no matter who starts the game. However, the Stripling vs. Hill matchup is a big reason for this pick.
Prediction: San Francisco Giants/Pittsburgh Pirates Over 8 runs (-115)