Updated 07:33 AM EDT, Sat, Apr 10, 2021

MLB Playoffs 2014-NLDS Wildcard Preview: San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

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In terms of generating the same amount of excitement as last night's Wildcard math, this game between the San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants has a lot to live up to. There is a lot of reason to expect greatness when they face off Wednesday night.

What: NLDS Wildcard Elimination Game

When: Wednesday, Oct. 1

Start Time: 5:07 p.m. PT

Where to Watch: ESPN

The Pirates played in this game last year at home and beat the Reds to go on in the play-offs only to lose to the Cardinals in the next round. They have been productive on all fronts this season and managed to get into this game after a late season tear.

They will be looking to begin their quest to the finals against San Francisco Giants, a team that has two of the last thee World Championships, but was edged out by the Dodgers for first place in the NL West. Here is the preview of everything to expect with this game.

Pirates

Explosive offense is one of the things that the Pirates have achieved this season. Andrew McCutchin and Joshua Harrison have done great things for the franchise (with the latter being in the conversation for MVP). This is a team that knows how to score runs and force the defense to make plays constantly if they want to succeed

Giants

The Giants are not a crippled offense by any means, but there is no question that they are banged up going into the post-season. Buster Posey is always going to be a great contributor, but Angel Pagan, Michael Morse and Michael Scutaro have left big gaping holes in the offense for this team. Even if they manage to get past Pittsburgh, it really is hard to see them getting the runs needed to hang with the heavy hitters that the post season has already displayed.

Pitching

This one is a lot harder to differentiate. San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner and Pittsburgh's Edinson Volquez match up nicely with both having just over 30 starts. Bumgraner has a 2.98 ERA, but is actually much better on the road with a 2.22 ERA, a factor that will come into this game. 

Volquez has 3.04 ERA and has actually only played in one post season game so far in his career. Though he is no slouch on the mound coming in with 140 strike outs five straight wins in his last 12 starts (not to mention a 1.78 ERA on those same starts), the Giants have an edge here. Volquez will be looking to his bullpen to bail him out in some major situations and that is one thing the Giants do not have to fear.

X-Factor

As the game in Kansas City showed in the first Wild Card game, do not underestimate the value of the crowd at home. It can be serious driver in momentum and helps foster a lot of positive things for Pittsburgh. Plus, the hitters for the Pirates are just on right now. Harrison finished second in the NL in batting this season. He could very well be the one to put the team on his back when it comes down to the finale.

Prediction

The San Francisco Giants are great team that has shown a lot of resiliency this season, but it just does not look like this game is going to go their way. The Pirates just have too many things going for them right now and it really is hard to see this game not coming out in their favor.

Wildcard Game: Pittsburgh Pirates win 6-2

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