Saturday Afternoon baseball and we will see the San Francisco Giants take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in game 2 of their 3 game series. The game is scheduled for a 4:05 (ET) pm start time and it will be televised live on Comcast Sports (San Francisco) and ROOT Sports (Pittsburgh). Currently the odds have Pittsburgh favored at -117, while San Francisco is a dog of +110. The total for the game sits at 8 runs.
Free Analysis: Pittsburgh leads the National League Central and owns the best home record in the major leagues, but it came up just short in Friday’s series opener, a 6-5 San Francisco victory. The Giants scored five runs in the fourth inning and held off a couple of late comeback bids by the Pirates. San Francisco has stayed close to Los Angeles in the NL West and currently holds a slim lead in a crowded wild-card race. The ERAs of Ryan Vogelsong and James McDonald are among the NL's five best, but neither pitcher will be taking part in Tuesday's All-Star game. That could leave them with an extra bit of motivation in their final start before the break. An unmitigated disaster while posting a 6.94 ERA in 33 starts spanning four seasons in Pittsburgh, Vogelsong's career has been reborn with San Francisco (46-38). After posting a 2.28 first-half ERA in 2011 to earn an All-Star spot, Vogelsong (7-3, 2.26 ERA) leads the NL in that category so far this season.He didn't get the call this July despite going at least seven innings while allowing two or fewer runs in 10 of his last 12 starts. Vogelsong, who's pitching for the second time as a visitor at PNC Park, is 1-2 with a 4.76 ERA in three starts against the Pirates. McDonald (8-3, 2.45) hasn't been quite as consistent as Vogelsong, but he's won his last three starts behind an astounding 26 runs of support. Run support hasn't been there when the right-hander has faced San Francisco. McDonald is 1-3 with a 3.97 ERA in four starts against the Giants as his teams have given him a total of one run of support. James is holding opponents to a .197 average, while allowing more than three runs in a game just once. He has been mortal recently, yielding six runs, seven walks and three homers over 12 2/3 innings in his last two starts. The Pirates are enjoying their best season in 20 years thanks to an outstanding pitching staff and an MVP-caliber season from Andrew McCutchen. The center fielder leads Pittsburgh in nearly every offensive category, and he is 24-for-45 (.533) with four doubles, four home runs, 12 runs scored and 16 RBIs over his last 12 home games. Pittsburgh has won 12 of its last 14 home games against right-handed starters.
Free Pick: Last night I had the Under and it just didn't pan out the way I hoped. Well I will come right back with it here. James McDonald has been rolling for Pittsburgh, with a 2.36 ERA in his last 7 starts. James has really been solid at home with a 1.73 ERA and an 0.93 WHIP, while in 6 day starts he has a 1.96 ERA and a WHIP of 0.93. Overall Pittsburgh home games have averaged just 6.3 rpg, with James' home starts averaging just 6.6 rpg, while his 6 day starts have put up just 6 rpg. James has faced the Giants 4 times in his career and hasn't allowed more than 3 ER's in his last 3 vs them, while none of his 4 starts vs them has put up more than 7 runs. Ryan Vogelsong has been cruising for the Giants as well this year, with a 2.26 ERA overall, including a 1.99 ERA in his last 7 starts. He has allowed more than 3 ER's once all year and has allowed 2 ER's or less in 10 of his last 12 starts. He does have a 3.54 ERA on the road, but a 2.45 in 8 day starts, with those day starts averaging just 6.6 rpg. The Giants score well on the road, but James should be able to shut them down here, while Pittsburgh will have problems scoring more than the 3.54 rpg they average at home. Classic pitcher's duel here.
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MLB Free Picks: San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates Betting
What baseball bettors need to know about Giants at Pirates on Saturday (7/7/12) - with Pregame.com's Bryan Leonard and host Scott Spreitzer.