San Francisco Giants at Pittsburgh Pirates (+104,
The San Francisco Giants got a chance to line up their starting
pitching in anticipation of a one-game wild card, and Madison
Bumgarner is ready to go. The Pittsburgh Pirates, who host the
Giants in the wild-card game on Wednesday, fought until the
final day of the regular season for the National League Central
crown and did not get a chance to line up their top starter.
The Pirates went 51-30 at home in the regular season and won
the 2013 NL wild card game.
San Francisco won the World Series in the last two
even-numbered seasons but is taking its first crack at
advancing via the one-game playoff and finished with three wins
in their last four games after falling out of the NL West race.
Pittsburgh elected to start Gerrit Cole on Sunday in an effort
to chase down the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central and got
12 strikeouts in seven innings from the right-hander, but ended
up losing the game and finishing two games shy of the Cardinals
in the Division. The winner of the wild-card game gets to head
to Washington to face the NL-best Nationals on Friday.
TV: 8:07 p.m. ET, ESPN
LINE HISTORY: The Pirates opened -104 but odds have
moved to +104. The total opened at 6 and has risen a half-run
INJURY REPORT: Giants – LF Michael Morse
(Questionable, oblique). Pirates – C Russell
Martin (Questionable, hamstring), 1B Ike Davis (Questionable,
flu), C Chris Stewart (Questionable, hand).
WEATHER: Temperatures in the mid-60s with wind
blowing in from center-right field at 3 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Giants (-184), Pirates
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “The Pirates exhibited an
extreme home/road dichotomy this season (28 net game
difference) as they were 51-30 in Pittsburgh, but just 37-44 on
the road. The Giants are sending lefty Madison Bumgarner to the
mound and one of the few weaknesses that Pittsburgh had at home
this season came against left-handed pitchers as the Pirates
averaged just 3.5 runs per nine-innings with a .254 team
batting average versus southpaws, compared to 4.7 runs and a
.274 team batting average at home versus right-handers.”
Expert Steve Merril.
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “Back-to-back playoff appearances for
Andrew McCutchen and the Pittsburgh Pirates. They play host to
the battle-tested Giants squad, with the Pirates taking four of
six from the Giants this season they have to feel good going
into this game Wednesday night. So far it is all Giants action
as a road favorite getting 71 percent and 74 percent
respectively on the money line and run line.”
Michael Stewart, CarbonSports.ag.
WAG WAR: Hunter Pence’s girlfriend Shannon James and
Gerrit Cole’s girlfriend Amy Crawford.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants LH Madison Bumgarner (18-10,
2.98 ERA) vs. Pirates RH Edinson Volquez (13-7, 3.04)
Bumgarner is unquestionably to ace of the San Francisco staff
with Matt Cain injured and Tim Lincecum taking a step back from
his Cy Young heights of past seasons. Bumgarner had a string of
nine straight starts allowing three or fewer earned runs come
to an end in his final start of the regular season, when he
yielded three home runs and was charged with four runs in 7 1/3
innings at the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 25-year-old matched his
shortest start of 2014 at home against Pittsburgh on July 28,
when he was reached for five runs in four innings.
Volquez is coming into the start hot after back-to-back
scoreless outings against Milwaukee and Atlanta. The Dominican
Republic native struggles with his control from time to time
but struck out 10 while issuing only one walk over seven
innings at the Braves on Thursday. Volquez is facing the Giants
for the first time this season and is 2-2 with a 5.72 ERA in 11
career starts against San Francisco.
* Giants are 1-4 in the last five meetings.
* Under is 4-0 in Bumgarner’s last four starts vs. Pirates.
* Giants are 1-5 in their last six road games.
* Pirates are 4-0 in their last four games following an off
COVERS CONSENSUS: According to Covers
Consensus, 53 percent of wagers are backing the Pirates.