MLB Baseball Vegas Online Sports Betting & Free Picks Saturday May 12th, 2018
Giants Look to Break Slump Against Streaking Pirates
The state of Pennsylvania has not been kind to the San Francisco Giants this week. They came into this week winners of four straight and seven of eight which had raised their record to a solid 19-15. They enter play on Saturday losers of five straight after getting swept by Philadelphia in a four-game series and dropping their opener with Pittsburgh on Friday.
They’ve allowed 11 runs three times this week as part of being outscored 43-7 in the last five games. That is about as bad as it gets and has got to be playing on the minds of those Giants.
The surprising thing about it is that they had just scored 33 runs in their previous four games heading into Philadelphia.
All that winning and scoring might have gotten into the collective consciousness of a team that struggled so mightily in both departments last year. The Giants are now 19-20 and six games out of first in the NL West.
The Pittsburgh Pirates in the meanwhile are one of the pleasant surprises in the early going of the season. They have won four in a row and five of six entering Saturday’s game. That includes taking two out of three last weekend against a Milwaukee team they are fighting with for the lead in the NL Central.
The offense is very much alive this week as they’ve scored 36 runs in their last four games and their record sits at 22-16.
That puts them in a tie with the Brewers for second, a half game behind St Louis and a half game up on Chicago.
The Giants are ninth in the National League averaging 3.87 RPG and thirteenth with a 4.38 ERA
The Pirates are second in the league averaging 5.13 RPG and ninth with a 4.14 ERA
Jeff Samardzija (1-2, 6.62 ERA) has made just four starts this year with none lasting more than five innings. In the two that reached that pinnacle he allowed a total of two runs in ten innings in wins over the Padres and Dodgers. In the other two he’s allowed 11 runs in 7.2 innings of work. That includes last time out when he gave up five runs in four innings of an 11-0 loss to the Phillies.
Chad Kuhl (4-2, 4.12 ERA) has also been up and down this season through seven starts. He was way up last time, throwing seven innings of one-hit ball in a 9-0 win over Milwaukee. In the four wins he’s accumulated Pittsburgh has scored at least eight runs in each of them. They allowed 26 in the three games they’ve lost in which he’s started.
Pittsburgh is -129 favorites and the Giants +119 underdogs. The Pirates are 11-5 at home, the Giants 9-13 on the road. The tide can turn anytime, but against a struggling starter like Samardzija the edge here definitely goes to Pittsburgh. The Pick: Pirates 6-3.