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Matt Zylbert is back, giving us his Giants vs. Cardinals pick for Friday's game

MLB Picks: Giants vs. Cardinals Prediction

San Francisco Giants at St. Lous Cardinals

Over/Under: 7.5

First pitch: 8:15 p.m. ET

Probable pitchers: Kevin Gausman (9-3, 1.73 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (7-5, 3.58 ERA)

Giants vs. Cardinals

Gausman continues his potential Cy Young journey with a road assignment at Busch Stadium to commence his post-All Star break dealings. Though his involvement should always be noted and counted on for any bet, it may be his opponent that plays the more pivotal role.

While his best days are clearly behind him, that hasn’t stopped Wainwright from crafting a renaissance season. The 39-year-old current holds a 3.58 ERA that is the lowest he’s logged in any campaign featuring more than 10 starts since 2014. Considering his solid shortened 60-game campaign as well, this isn’t a coincidence.

The success of Wainwright need not be underestimated. And there’s a fine opportunity for him to keep it going in his first post-Midsummer Classic start. Though it can be tricky handicapping a veteran taking the mound for the first time after the midseason intermission, Wainwright actually thrives in these spots.

Looking at Wainwright’s entire 17-year (!) body of work, he’s always seemed to pick up where he left off out of the break. In fact, out of all of these such second half-opening starts, Wainwright has never allowed more than four runs — and he has a pretty 2.08 ERA in these outings (not counting seasons in which he was injured at the break and didn’t return for awhile).

Furthermore, Wainwright also pitched into the sixth inning or deeper in all but one of them. We certainly have him in his comfort zone to once again provide that type of length, being in St. Louis. During his career, Waino has always boasted far better numbers at home (2.85 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) than away (4.01 ERA, 1.30 WHIP).

So we have what should be a reliable showing matched up against Gausman and his remarkable consistency this year. Only once in 18 outings did the hard-throwing righty yield more than three runs.

Honing career-best marks across the board and arguably second behind Jacob deGrom for title of the league’s best, let’s entrust him once more here while Wainwright follows his proven pedigree.

MLB Picks: Giants vs. Cardinals

Pick: UNDER 7.5 (-115)

MLB Leans

Rangers-Blue Jays Over 9.5

Mariners-Angels Under 9

Cubs-Diamondbacks Under 9

2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “51-41-6,” +4.67 units

Last Result: Braves-Marlins Under 7

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit


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