The San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates will continue their weekend series on Friday night. This will be the second game of the four game series, and the Giants will be looking to bounce back. The Pirates defeated the Giants in the series opener, 10-5.
Both the Pirates and Giants still remain in the playoff race, but each team is going to have to get extremely hot if they want to reach the 2018 playoffs. The Giants trail the Arizona Diamondbacks by 6.5 in the National League West entering this series. The Pirates are in fourth place in the National League Central, 7.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs. The Giants are -132 against the Pirates in game two of the series.
Holland Hopes To End Long Winless Streak
Giants starter Derek Holland has pitched well for the Giants in 2018, but is suffering through a very long winless streak. The veteran lefty hasn’t won a start since June 20th when he defeated the Miami Marlins. Overall Holland is 5.8 with a 3.88 earned run average through 21 starts this season. The Giants hope that Holland’s losing streak ends with a win on Friday night.
San Francisco has a roster full of veteran talent, but things haven’t clicked for them offensively this season. The Giants don’t hit many home runs, and Brandon Belt leads the team with just 14 long balls. Buster Posey leads the team with a .292 batting average, but the lack of power has limited the Giants ability to score runs this season.
Polanco Having Break Out Season
The Pirates have been waiting for Gregory Polanco to become an offensive star, and Polanco is having a breakout season in 2018. The Pirates outfielder has blasted 19 homers to go along with 64 runs batted in for the Pittsburgh team. Pittsburgh let Andrew McCutchen go last offseason in large part due to their faith in Polanco and fellow outfielder Starling Marte.
The Pirates played terrific baseball in the month of July that propelled them back into the National League playoff race. Pittsburgh acquired Chris Archer before the trade deadline in a move that improved their chances in 2018 and beyond. A rough patch has knocked the Pirates back a bit, but Pittsburgh has the talent necessary to secure a Wild Card spot in the NL.
Giants Hold Serve At Home
The outcome of this series could determine the playoff fate of either team. Pittsburgh will face a tough challenge against the Giants, but the Pirates feature a red hot offense. Pittsburgh will send Trevor Williams (9-8, 3.88 ERA) to the mound for game two of the series.
The Giants thought they would challenge the Dodgers for control of the NL West Division this season. Things have not gone that way for San Francisco, but a late surge could vault them into the 2018 playoffs. Look for Derek Holland to snap his long winless streak in leading the Giants to a victory. Bet San Francisco -132 in this game.
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