Giants at Orioles MLB Pick for May 31

The San Francisco Giants just dropped two of three in Miami against the NL-worst Marlins, and they’ll now head north to begin a weekend series against the worst the American League has to offer. The Orioles, who enter Friday with baseball’s worst record at 17-39, will host San Francisco for three games at Camden Yards starting Friday night.

Friday brings a matchup between a pair of starters that appear to be past their primes. Drew Pomeranz was an All-Star just a couple of seasons ago as a member of the Padres, but he has really struggled so far this season in his first campaign with the Giants.

On the other side of this game, we have Andrew Cashner, who also formerly called San Diego home. Cashner has gotten decent results so far this season, but the numbers show that there’s nothing special about what he’s been doing.

Betting Data Giants Orioles
2019 Straight-Up 22-33 17-39 2019 Home 10-18 7-21 2019 Away 12-15 10-18 2019 ATR 23-32-0 22-34-0 2019 ATR Home 9-19-0 10-18-0 2019 ATR Away 14-13-0 12-16-0 2019 O/U 28-25-2 28-25-3 2019 O/U Home 15-11-2 16-11-1 2019 O/U Away 13-14-0 12-14-2

Giants on the Road

The Giants’ home ballpark, Oracle Park, is notoriously tough on bats. The spacious outfield combined with typically windy and cool conditions have a way of keeping balls from flying too far. As a result, the Giants are typically lagging behind most other teams in most power categories offensively.

2019 is no exception thus far. San Francisco ranks 28th in the majors in home runs (50), 29th in slugging percentage (.363), 29th in wOBA (.280), and 29th in isolated slugging percentage (.143).

Plenty of their struggles can be attributed to the pitcher-friendly home ballpark and a general lack of talent on the roster, but the Giants’ lineup is actually a bit more formidable when they hit the road. The Giants have hit 32 of their home runs away from Oracle Park, and they’re up to a more respectable 17th in isolated slugging (.166) on the road this season.

Brandon Belt, for example, is an exceptional hitter, but his numbers are always deflated because of where he plays his home games. So far this season, the 31-year-old first baseman is slashing .205/.330/.372 with two home runs at home compared to a .258/.353/.551 with six home runs on the road. Moving from Oracle Park to Camden Yards tonight is one of the most favorable possible shifts a hitter can get.

That obviously doesn’t help Pomeranz, who has struggled regardless of where he’s pitched this season. The left-hander owns a 6.45 ERA, though his 4.67 SIERA shows that he has been a little unlucky to this point. He has been victimized by an unusually high .352 BABIP allowed, and he has walked nearly 11% of all hitters he has faced.

Is Cashner for Real?

Andrew Cashner has always had talent, but he has struggled to consistently harness said talent over the years. The right-hander has a career ERA of 4.05, but he’s been around 5.00 in that category since joining the Orioles last season. He used to consistently touch 100 with his fastball, but these days Cashner relies instead on generating ground balls.

His 18.9 percent K-rate is below league average at this point. He has improved his walk numbers overall this season, but he’s still allowing hard contact at a 40.3 percent clip, and he’s been taken deep 10 times through 11 starts.

We know the Giants aren’t a great offense, but they aren’t as much of a cakewalk when they’re taking their hacks on the road. San Francisco has a Vegas implied run total of 4.65 tonight, which is high for them, but I don’t think it’s high enough. I think Cashner’s smoke and mirrors season is bound to come crashing down at some point.

The Pick

I like the Giants tonight. I still think Pomeranz is the better pitcher than Cashner at this point in their respective careers, even if Pomeranz’s results this season haven’t been great so far. He’ll get to face a largely punchless Baltimore lineup here, which presents a decent bounce-back spot for him.

The Giants won’t be winning many games this season, but I do think they’re in a decent spot overall on Friday night. Vegas has the Giants as -115 favorites on the moneyline, and they’re at +145 to cover the runline. The runline offers more upside, but it’s also obviously the riskier bet.

I think there is enough value on the moneyline, so that’s where my money is going. I also don’t hate hitting the over on 9 runs (-115).

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, but he’s willing to take one for the team on that front every now and then.

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