San Francisco Giants at Pittsburgh Pirates - 10/1/14 2014 NL Wild Card Pick, Odds, Prediction
San Francisco Giants (88-74) at Pittsburgh Pirates (88-74)
MLB Baseball: Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 8:07 pm (PNC Park)
Madison Bumgarner (L) (18-10) (2.982) vs. Edinson Volquez (R) (13-7) (3.068)
The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -105 / San Francisco Giants -105 --- Over/Under: 6 See the Latest Odds
The San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates will play a wild card game Wednesday night, and the winner will play the Washington Nationals.
The San Francisco Giants have lost nine of their last 15 games and continue to find it hard to put runs on the board, as they’ve scored three or less runs in seven of their last 10 games. Despite ranking 12th in the league in runs scored, the Giants can really stink it up offensively and have lost 11 of their last 13 games when scoring three or less runs. Although despite the concerns many may have with the Giants, this is a team that has won the world series the last two times they’ve made the playoffs, and much of the roster is filled with veteran players who have hardware. The San Francisco Giants are a dangerous team given their experience in these type of games. Taking the hill will be Madison Bumgarner, who is 18-10 with a 2.98 ERA and has 219 strikeouts in 217.1 innings. In the postseason, Bumgarner is 3-2 with a 3.79 ERA and has 32 strikeouts in 35.2 innings.
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The Pittsburgh Pirates have been one of the hotter teams in baseball, winning 10 of their last 14 games and nearly winning their division. The Pirates pitching staff has been on fire during this stretch, allowing three or less runs in 14 of their last 18 games and improving their overall ERA to a solid 3.47. This is the Pirates second straight playoff appearance and the fan base is hungry for a deep run considering their last world series title was in 1979. However, like the Giants, the weakness for the Pirates would be their inconsistent offense, as there isn’t one player with 100 or more RBIs on this roster, and PIT has been held to three or less runs in eight of their last 11 games. The Pirates have won 13 of their last 20 games when Andrew McCutchen has drove in a run. Taking the mound for Pittsburgh is Edinson Volquez, who is 13-7 with a 3.04 ERA and has 140 strikeouts in 192.2 innings. In the postseason, Volquez is 0-1 with a 21.60 ERA and has zero strikeouts in 1.2 innings.
The Giants are 15-5 in Bumgarners last 20 road starts, 6-1 in Bumgarners last 7 starts and 8-2 in their last 10 playoff road games overall. The Pirates are 4-0 in their last 4 games following an off day, 4-1 in Volquezs last 5 home starts and 12-5 in Volquezs last 17 starts overall. The Giants are 2-6 in the last 8 meetings in Pittsburgh.
I can see the Pittsburgh Pirates making a deep run in the playoffs, as they're playing terrific baseall in the second half of the season and getting amazing production out of their pitching rotation. When you add a rabid Pittsburgh fan base, I expect the Pirates to advance in this pressure packed matchup.