Look to go under 7 runs at 1.85 (rather than the over at 1.95) when the San Francisco Giants take on the Pittsburg Pirates at AT&T Park on Sunday.
Surprisingly, the Giants have been a pretty strong offensive team so far this year (though it helps they played their first six games at hitter-friendly ballparks in Arizona and Colorado).
The potential difference maker in slowing the San Francisco bats is Pirates starting pitcher Kevin Correia. The 2011 All-Star was fantastic on the road last season, notching a 10-3 record with a 2.64 earned run average.
He also has additional motivation here as he was a longtime member of the opposing Giants (from 2003-2008). As a result, he knows the ballpark – he’s started there 27 times before – and should be comfortable.
Offensively, the Pirates have been woeful, hitting .199 and averaging a league low 1.83 runs through their first six games. An All-Star last season, Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong should be able to do his part to keep the scoring down.
A nice pitching mismatch will occur in Philadelphia where the favored Phillies (1.50) should do well against the New York Mets (2.60). No doubt, the Mets have gotten off to a surprisingly respectable start, but they face one of the game’s best in Cole Hamels.
The left-hander, who finished fifth in the Cy Young award voting in 2011, was a bit shaky in his first start (5 1/3 innings pitched; 3 earned runs), but expect him to rebound as he makes his first start of this campaign at home.
Last year he posted an impressive 2.64 ERA at Citizens Bank Park, a stadium that’s known not to help pitchers very much. Proof in point: the Mets starter Mike Pelfrey had a 9.49 ERA there in 2011. Overall, Pelfrey gave up 25 runs in 28 innings against the Phillies last year.