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The Pirates started the season as a reputable franchise, but they’ve since fallen off the map. Once Pittsburgh faced some reputable teams, their lack of payroll was clear. Pittsburgh is entering their series in San Francisco as cold as possible and the Giants couldn’t be hotter. San Francisco is coming off a sweep of a very good Brewers team, and we believe they’ll carry this momentum into the opener on Monday.
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The Pirates and Giants have similar records, but they’ve had completely different identities this season. Both teams are right around .500, but Pittsburgh was expected to be a quality team after they started the season on a heater. Their weak division helped with their early wins, but they’ve since been exposed.
A .500 team in the NL West means more than the NL Central, so we have a little more respect for the Giants in this series. Anthony DeSclafani has been solid limiting base runners, and this is where San Francisco has the edge. Take the Giants on the moneyline for a very fair price.
PICK: Giants ML (-132)
The Pirates will throw Rich Hill, who seems like he has pitched for every club in MLB. Hill is an MLB journeyman, who is still pitching at a high level considering his age. Hill is in his mid-forties, and still posting a 4.27 ERA. Although, he has the ability to get hit at will and the Giants have one of the best home run-hitting teams in the league.
For Pittsburgh to be effective, Hill must keep the ball down in the zone. The Pirates can’t compete with San Francisco’s power and we’ll see this early if Hill isn’t hitting his spots. Anthony DeSclafani will throw for the Giants, and he has posted a 3.43 with a 1.04 WHIP. DeSclafani will occasionally give up the big hit, but he limits his walks. This helps those big hits not result in too much damage for his team. Over 60.1 innings, he has walked just nine batters, and we believe he’ll have a strong location on Monday.
Hill will likely miss some spots, and the Giants will take advantage of these mistakes. If DeSclafani delivers and hands the ball to the bullpen with a lead, the Giants will get the win on Monday.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are a very good business, but they’re not a great baseball team. Pittsburgh has a tremendous stadium and they find ways to profit as a business, but they don’t go for it with their payroll. Their low payroll isn’t helping their cause because outside of their limited stars like Bryan Reynolds, they have struggled to produce.
Reynolds is the best part of the Pirates. He is batting .290 with a .343 OBP and a .513 SLUG. He leads the team in RBI with 33 and he’s been driven in a lot of the time by Jack Suwinski. Captain Jack has nine homers, which is solid for a 24-year-old. His average needs to improve but the power has been consistent in 2023.
The San Francisco Giants don’t have many offensive players that slap the ball over the yard. When the Giants are playing their best baseball, they’re hitting the long ball. San Francisco is one of the best power teams in MLB behind Michael Conforto who has blasted 11 bombs. J.D. Davis has also been strong with 9 homers and a team-leading 29 RBI.
Look for these batters to feast off of Hill. If Hill is on, he is still a quality pitcher, but we don’t expect the Giants to be outmatched in this spot.
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Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.More info on Tanner Kern
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