MLB Predictions: San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

The San Francisco Giants (20-11) and Pittsburgh Pirates (12-19) will open up a National League series at PNC Park Monday night, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET

San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates 

The Pittsburgh Pirates are 7-3 in series openers this season
The Pittsburgh Pirates are 7-3 in series openers this season

San Francisco has won five games in a row, including a 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves as +120 road underdogs Sunday, while going UNDER the betting total for a fifth consecutive contest.  The Giants are 15-1 in games in which they score first, with a lot of that success attributed to leadoff man Angel Pagan, who has batted .333 in day games this season.  San Francisco is 4-2 on the road with a money line of -100 to -125, with no clear edge in the betting total (3-3 Over/Under).

Giants starting pitcher Yusmeiro Petit (2-1, 2.61 ERA) will fill in for the injured Matt Cain for a second consecutive outing, as he picked up a 6-0 home win over the San Diego Padres last time out.  The right-hander hasn’t earned a decision in three road appearances, with opposing hitters batting .323 against him.  In four career games (two starts) versus the Pirates, Petit has compiled a 1-1 record and 3.77 ERA.

Pittsburgh had its two-game winning streak snapped last time out, as it suffered a 7-2 defeat to the Toronto Blue Jays as -122 home favorites, while going OVER the betting total for a fourth consecutive affair.  The Pirates are 7-3 in series openers this season, including a perfect 5-0 mark when playing at this ballpark.  It’s important to point out that the club has dropped 13 straight when scoring three or fewer runs.  Pittsburgh is 4-9 when playing against a team with a winning record this season.

Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Locke will be making his first appearance in the big leagues this season, as he compiled a 10-7 record and 3.52 ERA in his first go around in 2013.  The left-hander has gone 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA in four appearances in the minors—allowing 24 hits in 19 combined frames.  Locke didn’t earn a decision in a 10-5 road win over the Giants on Aug. 22 of last season, as he surrendered three runs and five hits over four innings of work.

Sports bettors will likely back the Giants due to their 7-1 record in Petit’s last eight starts on the mound.

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