It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the San Francisco Giants in the first half of the season, but they will come out of the All-Star break at 49-41 after winning a series over the Rockies before the hiatus.
The Giants are third in the NL West and start with three games against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. The Pirates are 41-49 and fourth in the NL Central.
Today it will be Ross Stripling on the mound for the Giants against Rich Hill. Stripling is 0-2 with a 6.37 ERA in seven starts with five bullpen appearances. He’ll mostly be a few inning opener for San Francisco while Hill is an innings eater for Pittsburgh. Hill is 7-9 in 18 starts with a 4.78 ERA.
The Giants are road favorites in this Apple TV showcase game. Let’s look at the odds.
Giants vs. Pirates odds, run line and total
Giants vs. Pirates prediction and pick
One of the biggest strengths of the Giants is their ability to run out a completely different lineup each day depending on the opposing starter.
However, some of their ability to punish lefties with right-handed hitters is fading away with injuries. Mitch Haniger is on the 60-day IL and Thairo Estrada is on the 10-day.
They are two of the team’s better hitters against lefties, but Wilmer Flores is available and will start with his .879 OPS against left-handers. As a team the Giants are 22nd in OPS against lefties and that’s with Estrada.
While Stripling doesn’t have good numbers for the season he has been better since returning as a short starter, or long opener, whichever sounds better. He has made three such starts and allowed just three total runs in 8.2 innings with eight strikeouts to one walk.
It’ll be important to see if the Pirates can get Andrew McCutchen and Ke’Bryan Hayes back in the lineup soon, but they’ll likely both be out Friday. The Pirates are struggling for offensive options as is and without McCutchen, who is having a really good offensive year, they’re in an even more dire situation.
Rich Hill and Ross Stripling aren’t a great pitching matchup, but they both will do enough to keep this game from going over because of the offensive stars that are out on both sides.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change