It’s been an exciting first two games of the series between the Giants and Pirates. After an extra innings victory on Monday, San Francisco threw the game away Tuesday after an errant Hunter Pence throw allowed Starling Marte to score on his own triple to win it with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Pence’s error ruined another fantastic start from Tim Hudson, who continues to pitch extremely well deep into his 30’s. Tim Lincecum only appears to be declining into his late 20’s. The 29-year-old goes in game 3 Wednesday trying to generate some momentum after his best outing of the year in his last time out. But “The Freak’s” ERA sits at over 5 six starts into 2014. And he’ll be an underdog tomorrow pitching on the road against Gerrit Cole. The posted total is 7.5.
I’ve picked on Lincecum quite a bit early on already this year, which hasn’t been too shabby of a strategy. The former back-to-back Cy Young winner has the same name without the dominant stuff as he logs innings in his small frame. A pretty severe dip in velocity has Lincecum more hittable than ever, but I don’t necessarily think the Pirates knock him around in PNC tomorrow. Not only has the Pittsburgh offense sputtered all year thus far, but Lincecum is off his best outing of 2014 when he gave up just one run over six innings in Atlanta. But he’s also failed to take a start into the 7th inning yet this season. And the Bucs won’t need many with their young ace on the hill.
Gerrit Cole’s numbers don’t reflect the way he’s been throwing the ball early on in his sophomore season. Cole is just 2-2 with a solid ERA of 3.69. But he’s allowed just 32 hits in 34 innings. The key for Cole is limiting his walks. He has tremendous command of his fastball, which he’s throwing a little less than he did last year, but even so, he shouldn’t walk more than a batter or two a game. And even 11 in 34 innings is too many. And I think he’ll make a point to locate against a really tough Giants side on Wednesday.
San Francisco is the better team of the two, but Pittsburgh has the better arm in their home ballpark. Usually that equates to a price a little steeper than just -127. Small value with Pittsburgh, so play this one for half.
Free Pick: Pittsburgh (-127)
2014 YTD: 11-5 +5.40
pittsburgh pirates • San Francisco Giants