Just coming off of their 4th straight loss to the last place Houston Astros (43-88), the San Fransisco Giants (69-62) are hitting a lowpoint in their season.
The Giants trail the
National League West leading Arizona Diamondbacks by 3 games and have no hope to catch the
Atlanta Braves in the NL wild card race. The Giants host the Astros in game 2
of this 4 game series on Friday, August 26th, at 10:15 pm et in San Fransisco.
Can the Giants show the same resilience that they showed last season in winning
the World Series title? The Astros seem to have the Giants number lately and
San Fransisco needs to turn their season around quickly. At the moment, they're
having trouble beating a team that currently resides in the basement of the
National League Central Division.
There are still 31 games remaining, which is
plenty of time to come back from a 3 game deficit. At this point, the Giants
are just looking for a "W" against the "Mighty Houston
A poor start?
The Giants have lost the opening game in their last 11 series. For those of you
that have been keeping track of this MLB Betting trend, you might have made a
good amount of money.
The odds are usually favorable to the Giants opponent and
the underdog has hit several times. When the player of the caliber of
Ryan Vogelsong takes the mound for the Giants at home against the Houston
Astros, the odds on Houston are long. Keep that in mind for the next series
until the Giants break the trend.
The San Fransisco Giants are just 8-15 in the month of August. Good teams
finish the last couple of months strong. The Giants have had the led most of
the way and seem to have run out of gas. Offense has always been a major
problem for them. This has always been the story for the Giants as their
pitching is what wins games for them.
Very rarely do you see them win a game
where both teams have a combined total of 10 runs or more. For the month of
August, the Giants have won 2 games in where both teams combined for 10 runs or
more. In those two games, they barely reached the 10 run mark,
Carlos Beltran was having a fairly good season for the Mets. A fairly good
season offensively for a player is a great offensive season for a Giants
hitter. Beltran hit 15 HR, 66 RBI and batted .289 in 98 games for New York.
With San Fransisco, his numbers haven't been as good. He has 1 HR, 3 RBI and a
.259 BA in 54 at bats with the Giants. He got off to a real slow start but has
started to hit well lately. Beltran has hit safely in 9 out of his last 11
games. In those games, he's 13 for 40 with 4 runs, 1 HR, 2 RBI.
The power isn't
there but that can partially be attested to the Giants team hitting. There's
less opportunity to pickup RBI's if the bases are empty. Beltran earned a
contract with the Mets due to one of the best post season displays that you'll
ever see. Look for Carlos Beltran to pick this team up offensively. The Giants
face J.A. Happ and Beltran is a lifetime 4 for 13 with 2 HR and 4 RBI against
One shining star
The offense has been a disaster but Pablo Sandoval has been the one bright
spot. Officially Aubrey Huff is the Giants leading hitter with a .245 batting
average. Sandoval is on the boarderline of being able to qualify for having
enough at bats where statistics are concerned. He's had 334 at-bats and has hit
15 HR (leads the team), 50 RBI, and a .305 BA.
For a team that hits .240,
Sandoval has really come through for them this season. People overlook his play
due to his unathletic looking build but this is a player that hit .330 in 2009
and has a career .305 average. Sandoval has a career batting average of .379
with 3 HR and 15 RBI against Houston in 17 games. Look for Pablo Sandoval to
possibly take advantage of weak Astros starting pitching.
A Giant Opportunity?
Slated to start tonight are Madison Bumgarner (7-12, 3.68) for San Fransisco
and J.A, Happ (4-12, 6.26) for the Astros. Bumgarner got bombed in his last
outing, giving up 7 runs and 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings to these same Astros. In
the 3 games before that he pitched 22 innings and gave up 4 runs and 18 hits
while striking out 24 batters. This is a good pitcher that doesn't get run
J.A Happ has pitched poorly on a consistent basis. He won't go deep into games.
In his last 10 games, he's only pitched further than 5 2/3 innings once. In that short period of time, Happ has allowed less than 5 runs
only once as well! In his last 40 1/3 innings pitched, he's allowed 39 runs and 60 hits
while going 1-5. If there's a chance to start hitting and to defeat the Astros,
this is the Giants chance.
Note: Happ was optioned to AAA and played well. This is his first game
back (I'm not expecting anything different. This is the big leagues)
Houston's hot hitters
It's very difficult to find a positive on a team that's 43-88 and traded their
best player Hunter Pence to the Philadelphia Phillies but the Astros have some
players that are playing well lately. This is a team that lacks power. Carlos
Lee leads the team with 12 HR and 70 RBI but aside from Lee, Houston doesn't
have a player with over 36 RBI on the season.
The Astros do have a respectable .260 team batting average. Second baseman Jose
Altuve on has 131 at-bats this season but he's a lifetime 3 for 4 with 1 HR and
1 RBI against Bumgarner. Altuve has also hit safely in 8 out of his last 10
games and has a .305 average in his limited time this season.
Infielder Matt Downs has played sparingly but is 8 for 14 in his last 7 games
with 1 HR and 5 RBI. Downs has 7 HR and 30 RBI in 147 at-bats. The Astros are
going nowhere and should have Downs playing on a regular basis.
Players like Lance Berkman and Hunter Pence are no longer Astros but veteran
Carlos Lee is still with this team after 5 seasons. His first 4 years with
Houston were very productive but he's been less productive as a player this
season. This is probably due to all of the trades and lack of support that he
get's in the lineup. Regardless, Lee is still a threat everytime that he steps
up to the plate. He has a modest 6 game hitting streak and is 2 for 3 off of
Bumgarner for his career.
A bumpy ride
If Happ does have a good game after a successful time at AAA, the Astros have
reliever Mark Melancon to shut the door on the Giants. Melancon was successful
against the Giants and picked up the save on Thursday, giving up 1 hit in 1
inning. He's had a fairly successful season but in his last 10 outings Melancon
has given up at least 1 hit in each of the games. The Astros won't get a
"1-2-3" but Mark Melancon can be counted on if this game is close.
The Giants are a -235 favorite and the total for the game is 7.5 according to the Sportsbooks.
Outcome of the game
The Giants have the edge but Houston has had their number as of late and so has
the rest of the Major Leagues. These games are very important for San Fransisco
as they trail the D-Backs and are slumping. Facing J.A. Happ is a best case
scenario for them but Madison Bumgarner was less than stellar in his last outing.
The line is way too high. I look at the total and although Happ had success in
the minors, he's been atrotious this year. With the Giants not playing well
(pitching is usually their bread and butter) this game will go over the total.
My Pick: Giants/Astros Over 7.5