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Bucs Host Giants In NL Wild Card

Madison Bumgarner will look to lead the Giants to victory over the Pirates on Wednesday.

Madison Bumgarner will look to lead the Giants to victory over the Pirates on Wednesday.

The Pittsburgh Pirates host the San Francisco Giants in the 2014 National League Wild Card Game on Wednesday, with both sides looking to advance to the Division Series.

First pitch at PNC Park in Pittsburgh is scheduled for just after 8:00 p.m. ET.

After a slow start to the year, Pittsburgh (88-74, 51-30 home) surged down the stretch, picking up 17 wins in September to earn a second straight postseason berth.

Clint Hurdle’s side managed to leapfrog longtime NL Central frontrunners the Milwaukee Brewers in the process, before finishing just two games shy of the St. Louis Cardinals in first place.

The Pirates earned the right to host the Wild Card Game for the second year running thanks to a superior head-to-head record over the Giants, and will look to follow the example set by last year’s Wild Card win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Playing at home could prove to be a massive advantage for the Pirates, who tallied a 51-30 record at PNC Park this season. Only the Los Angeles Angels had a better home record.

After topping the NL West for a healthy portion of the season, San Francisco (88-74, 43-38 road) would ultimately fall short in its bid to win a division title, leaving the club with the added pressure of a ‘play in’ game.

Bruce Bochy’s side – which begins its quest for a third World Series championship in five years on Wednesday – has faced plenty of adversity in recent years, and in 2012 won six elimination games on the way to a championship. Don’t expect Wednesday’s game to prove daunting for the Giants then.

Pitching matchup

At first glance, San Francisco appears to have the advantage in the pitching matchup, although closer inspection suggests this will be a tight contest.

The Giants will send Madison Bumgarner (18-10, 2.98 ERA) to the mound.

The 25-year-old left-hander has postseason experience, including a pair of World Series games under his belt. In his last six starts he has gone 4-1 with a 2.18 ERA. The Giants have won five of those starts. Bumgarner has been outstanding on the road this season, a trend he’ll be looking to continue in his first (and only) trip of the year to Pittsburgh.

  • Bumgarner is 37-27 with a 3.01 ERA in 82 career games (79 starts) on the road
  • Bumgarner is 11-4 with a 2.22 ERA in 18 games (18 starts) on the road this season
  • Bumgarner is 1-3 with a 3.24 ERA in 4 career games (4 starts) vs. Pittsburgh
  • Bumgarner is 0-1 with an 11.25 ERA in 1 game (1 start) vs. Pittsburgh this season
  • Bumgarner is 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA in 1 career game (1 start) at PNC Park
  • Bumgarner has not appeared at PNC Park this season
  • Bumgarner is 3-2 with a 3.79 ERA in 7 career games (6 starts) in the postseason

Pittsburgh will counter with Edinson Volquez (13-7, 3.04 ERA).

Volquez has turned things around this season and turned into a solid performer on the mound for the Pirates. His lack of postseason experience – in his only postseason appearance he pitched 1 2/3 innings in the 2010 NLDS for the Cincinnati Reds, yielding four runs, four hits and two walks. He’ll be looking to improve on that on Wednesday.

Volquez has been solid of late though and represents a threat. The 31-year-old right-hander hasn’t lost since July 21, posting a 5-0 record and 1.78 ERA in the process. Pittsburgh is 8-4 during that time.

  • Volquez is 34-31 with a 4.17 ERA in 98 career games (94 starts) at home
  • Volquez is 8-5 with a 3.06 ERA in 18 games (17 starts) at home this season
  • Volquez is 2-2 with a 5.72 ERA in 11 career games (11 starts) vs. San Francisco
  • Volquez has not pitched against San Francisco this season
  • Volquez is 9-5 with a 3.29 ERA in 22 career games (21 starts) at PNC Park
  • Volquez is 8-5 with a 3.06 ERA in 18 games (17 starts) at PNC Park this season
  • Volquez is 0-1 with a 21.60 ERA in 1 career game (1 start) in the postseason
Will Edinson Volquez's recent run of good form carry over to the postseason?

Will Edinson Volquez’s recent run of good form carry over to the postseason?

Injury report

San Francisco has no fresh injury worries to contend with. Outfielder Michael Morse (oblique) is out indefinitely.

Pittsburgh first baseman Ike Davis (illness) is day-to-day, while third baseman Pedro Alvarez is out indefinitely with a foot injury.

Betting report

Below you’ll find significant trends and observations relating to this matchup.

San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates odds for 01/10/2014

San Francisco (-105) and Pittsburgh (-105) opened even on the moneyline. The Giants have subsequently emerged as the favorite. At the time of writing, the Giants sit at -115 with Bovada.

The Pirates finished the regular season with a 4-2 advantage over the Giants in the head-to-head series, including a 2-1 record when the teams played at PNC Park.

In the only previous postseason meeting between the sides, the Pirates eliminated the Giants from the 1971 NLCS, winning the series 3-1.

Some other trends to consider:

  • San Francisco is 50-50 in night games
  • Pittsburgh is 66-43 in night games
  • San Francisco is 16-16  vs. NL Central opponents
  • Pittsburgh is 20-12 vs. NL West opponents
  • San Francisco is 58-44 vs. right-handed pitching
  • Pittsburgh is 20-13 vs. left-handed pitching
  • San Francisco is 35-31 since the All-Star break
  • Pittsburgh is 39-28 since the All-Star break
  • San Francisco is 13-12 since September 1
  • Pittsburgh is 17-9 since September 1

The total opened at 6 and has subsequently climbed to 6.5.

The total has gone over in five of the last seven games between the sides at PNC Park.


The winner of Wednesday’s Wild Card Game will meet the Washington Nationals in the NLDS, starting Friday.


For a full list of today’s Major League Baseball odds, click here.

For MLB Futures odds, courtesy of Bovada, click here.

For team prop bets, click here.

For player prop bets, click here.

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