Giants vs Pirates Prediction, Picks, and Odds for Today’s MLB Game

It's the Paul Skenes show in Pittsburgh on getaway day vs. the San Francisco Giants. Can the Pirates pick up a much-needed win? Our MLB betting picks believe both teams will have trouble plating runs.

Eric Rosales - Betting Analyst at
Eric Rosales • Betting Analyst
May 23, 2024 • 09:15 ET • 4 min read
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This article contains predictions for an old game!

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They’re a pair of sub-.500 teams that could definitely use the W, and a series win, as the San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates battle in the rubber match of their three-game set on Thursday.

The Giants, currently fourth in the NL Central, have ripped off five wins in their last six, but are still pegged as +134 moneyline underdogs in the MLB odds. That probably has something to do with Pirates’ stud rookie Paul Skenes taking the mound for his third career start.

Is his presence enough to have you taking the Under? Read on for my free Giants vs Pirates predictions and MLB picks for Thursday, May 23.

Giants vs Pirates prediction

My best bet
Under 8.5 (-115 at FanDuel)

My analysis

To say Paul Skenes’ last start captured the imagination would be an understatement. It’s not often the books create odds for a 21-year-old righty to throw a no-hitter (+15,000) or a perfect game (+30,000) in just his third career start, but that’s where we’re at.

Skenes is coming off a scintillating second start, throwing six innings of no-hit ball while striking out 11, including the first seven Cubs he faced. He's the first pitcher in MLB history to throw at least six innings while punching out more than 10 and allowing no hits within his first two career major league starts. Skenes is just the second pitcher to throw at least six scoreless innings within a calendar year of being drafted No. 1 overall. Again, pretty heady stuff for a kid.

As Skenes has only faced Chicago in two starts, the San Francisco Giants should present a good test.

San Francisco ranks inside the Top 10 in both batting average and on-base percentage while inside the top half of slugging and OPS, though it is just 17th in runs on the year. But they’ve upped that output during this recent fun run. The Giants have averaged 7.83 runs over the last six games, a big jump from their 4.14 season average.

Skenes isn’t the only young stud to take the mound, as Mason Black will pitch opposite him Thursday at PNC Park. It’s been a less-heralded start for the Giants’ rookie, who has a hefty 7.71 ERA over his first three appearances, but entered the bigs on a similar trajectory to Skenes. The Pittsburgh Pirates might be a lineup he can finally showcase his wares, as the Pirates rank Bottom 7 in every hitting category, and 23rd in runs scored.

This has the potential for a young guns pitchers duel, with runs coming at a premium.

Giants vs Pirates same-game parlay (SGP)

Under 8.5

Paul Skenes Over 7.5 strikeouts

You can’t put together a SGP without including the pitcher that everyone is tuning in to watch.

Skenes’ average fastball regularly flirts around 100 mph and he’s posted 18 punchouts in 10 innings of work — though it’s a small sample, and it’s all against the Chicago Cubs.

San Francisco does rank inside the top half of the league in fewest strikeouts, but this will be the first time they get a look up close at the most highly-touted young pitcher since Stephen Strasburg.

Like in the last outing, Pittsburgh brass might keep its prized possession on a pitch count, which would be the concern if you’re targeting the Over.

Skenes was pulled last start in total domination, once he touched 100 pitches. With just one other game starting at 12:35pm ET, most eyes are going to be on the phenom, and I think he puts on a show.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

Giants vs Pirates odds

Giants vs Pirates live odds

Giants vs Pirates opening odds

  • Run line: San Francisco +1.5 | Pittsburgh -1.5
  • Moneyline: San Francisco +135 | Pittsburgh -160
  • Over/Under: Over 8.5 | Under 8.5

Giants vs Pirates spread and Over/Under analysis

  • Pittsburgh opened at -160 at BetMGM and were quickly bet down to -165, where the line sits as of Thursday morning
  • The total opened at 8.5 at BetMGM and was hit down to 8 in short order. 
  • The Giants are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games overall.
  • The Over has cashed in five of the last seven Pittsburgh games.

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Giants vs Pirates trend

San Francisco is just 9-16-on the road this season. Find more MLB betting trends for Giants vs. Pirates

Giants vs Pirates game info

Location: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
Date: Thursday, 5-23-2024
First pitch: 12:35 p.m. ET
Giants starting pitcher: Mason Black
(0-1, 7.71 ERA)
Pirates starting pitcher: Paul Skenes
(1-0, 2.70 ERA)

Giants vs Pirates latest injuries

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