Pirates Pitching Phenom Paul Skenes dominates visiting Giants

Tony Reyes
By , Updated on: May 22, 2024 08:00 PM
Pirates Pitching Phenom Paul Skenes dominates visiting Giants
  • When: Thursday, May 23rd at 12:35 PM ET
  • Who: San Francisco Giants at Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Starting Pitchers: Mason Black and Paul Skenes
  • Where: PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA

The San Francisco Giants will wrap up their three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday at PNC Park.

The Giants and Pirates are in similar positions as they conclude this series. Entering Wednesday, both teams had identical records of 23-26. 

Before continuing, please check out our MLB Betting Guide, which will help you prepare for any MLB props you may be interested in.

Game Preview

Here's a look at the MLB odds and a Giants-Pirates prediction.

MoneylineBetOnlineBetUSBovada
San Francisco Giants+134+135+130
Pittsburgh Pirates-158-160-165

Each team aims to clinch the series before heading in different directions—the Giants will travel to Queens to face the New York Mets, while the Pirates will stay home to welcome the Atlanta Braves. 

Every game is crucial as these teams strive to gain ground.

Mason Black is set to start for the Giants. He has struggled this season, posting a 0-1 record with a 7.71 ERA. 

In his last start, he went only three innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits in a no-decision against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Paul Skenes will pitch for the Pirates. He has been impressive, with a 1-0 record and a 2.70 ERA. 

He tossed six hitless innings in his last outing and struck out 11. After a shaky debut, he dominated in his second start.

The Giants' offense has been inconsistent. They rank ninth in batting average and 10th in on-base percentage but are 25th in runs, 20th in home runs, and 17th in slugging percentage.

Key players like Lamonte Wade Jr., who is batting .321 with two home runs, 15 RBIs, and 18 runs, have been solid, while others like Wilmer Flores and Matt Chapman have underperformed.

San Francisco's pitching has also been weak, ranking 23rd in team ERA and 26th in bullpen ERA. 

This was evident on Tuesday when they blew a four-run lead in the ninth inning, resulting in an extra-innings loss.

San Francisco Giants To win game
+135
BetUS

For the Giants to cover the spread, their hitters need to make Skenes work hard for every out, and their bullpen must maintain any lead they secure.

The Pirates' offense has also struggled, ranking 26th in batting average, 25th in on-base percentage, and 26th in slugging percentage. They also rank 20th in home runs. 

Oneil Cruz has been a bright spot, batting .260 with seven home runs, 19 RBIs, and 18 runs.

Bryan Reynolds and Andrew McCutchen have had their struggles, while Connor Joe has been a consistent performer.

Pittsburgh's pitching staff is average, ranked 12th in team ERA, but their bullpen ranks 22nd in ERA.

The Pirates will cover the spread if their lineup can generate runs early, giving Skenes a comfortable lead.

Skenes needs to locate his pitches well and replicate his strong performance from his second start.

The Giants are sending out a pitcher who has had difficulty in the majors, while the Pirates are relying on their top pick, who has shown the potential to dominate. 

Expect the Pirates to hit well, with Skenes finding a way to stifle the Giants' lineup. 

While Skenes' third start may not be perfect, we anticipate that the Pirates will play well enough to win the game, with Skenes going at least five innings.

Pittsburgh Pirates To win game
-160
BetUS

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Total Runs

Many neutral fans will tune into this game to watch Skenes, whose electric stuff has garnered attention. 

Total RunsBetOnlineBetUSBovada
Over 8.5-105-105-105
Under 8.5-115-115-115

The young right-hander boasts an average fastball speed of nearly 100 mph and has already recorded 18 strikeouts over 10 innings, all against the Cubs. 

Given San Francisco's injury woes, the Giants face an uphill battle in scoring against Skenes, although he may be on a limited pitch count.

The Pirates have struggled significantly against right-handed pitching over the past month, with a 71 wRC+ and a 26.1% strikeout rate.

While they have five hitters with an xwOBA over .320, the rest of the lineup falls off sharply. 

Their performance against left-handed pitching has been slightly better, yet still below average with a 98 wRC+. This suggests they may not fare well against the Giants' relievers.

Pittsburgh's pitching has had issues late in games. Over the past month, four relievers have an xFIP under 4.00. 

Therefore, it will be crucial for Skenes to pitch at least five innings to give the Pirates a better chance of securing a win.

Skenes should effectively manage the San Francisco lineup, especially considering the Giants' numerous injuries. 

Although Black isn't having his best season, he and the Giants' pitching staff should be able to contain a struggling Pittsburgh lineup.

Betting on the under in this game is a solid choice.

Under 8.5 Runs San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
-115
BetUS

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Meet the author

Tony Reyes

With years of experience as an analyst, Tony brings an expert voice to picks and predictions. His love of sports betting comes through in coverage that informs and entertains in equal measure. You can find Tony shooting hoops or cycling the local trails when not watchin...

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