Dbacks vs. Giants MLB Picks: Go 'Under' 6.5 In Greinke/Bumgarner Pitching Duel

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 9:04 PM GMT

Two potential NL Cy Young contenders face off with Arizona visiting SF Wednesday night. The Giants are -130 on JustBet MLB odds with a total of just 6.5 runs.

What You Need To Know
Both Arizona and San Francisco spent hundreds of millions of dollars this offseason, largely on starting pitching, in an attempt to end the three-year stranglehold that the Los Angeles Dodgers have had on the National League West. It appears the Dodgers are going nowhere despite losing co-ace Zack Greinke to the Diamondbacks in free agency. L.A. might have found a more than capable replacement in Japanese rookie Kenta Maeda for about $200 million less. And at least in the early going, the Diamondbacks and Giants also have to worry about the Colorado Rockies. The only pushover in that division is San Diego.

With so much focus on adding starting pitching this offseason -- Greinke and Shelby Miller for Arizona and Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija for San Francisco -- it was expected these would be two of the top pitching staffs in the majors. But that hasn't been the case; the Diamondbacks and Giants are near the bottom of the majors in team ERA. Both are among the league leaders in runs scored, however. For Arizona that's mildly surprising after losing All-Star outfielder A.J. Pollock on the eve of the season to a broken elbow.

Probable Pitchers
It's Greinke (0-2, 6.75) on the mound for Arizona and he has been a disappointment thus far, no question. That said, he does seem to be improving by start. Greinke allowed seven runs and three homers in just four innings in his first start of the season against Colorado and then gave up four runs and walked three over six innings against the Cubs in losing both. Last time out, at a really bad San Diego team, Greinke was a -140 favorite on MLB odds and allowed two runs and six hits over 7.1 innings. Still, he has allowed 13 runs this month. Last year in finishing 19-3 with an MLB-best 1.66 ERA and coming in second in the NL Cy Young voting, Greinke never allowed more than 10 runs in any month.

In 2015 with the Dodgers, Greinke was 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA in three starts against the Giants. He allowed 16 hits in 20.1 innings, striking out 18 and walking six. He gave up just one homer. Greinke made one start at AT&T Park, getting a no-decision in allowing two runs in seven innings. New Giants outfielder Denard Span hits him well, going 10-for-33 with two doubles, a triple and four RBIs compared to one strikeout. Buster Posey is 8-for-26 with two RBIs and six strikeouts. Brandon Crawford is 5-for-19 with a double, homer and two RBIs. Hunter Pence has only four hits in 24 at-bats off Greinke but does have two home runs.

You almost have to feel sorry for Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner (1-1, 4.50). His past two starts were both against the Dodgers and the best pitcher on the planet, three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. Now he has to face Greinke, who was even better than Kershaw in 2015. Bumgarner was a bit off on Friday in Los Angeles, allowing seven runs (four earned) and eight hits over five innings. He also allowed two homers in a game for the second time already. Bumgarner won't be an underdog on MLB picks against many pitchers in baseball but was in both against Kershaw.

Last season, Bumgarner was 2-2 with a 2.06 ERA in five starts against Arizona. He allowed 30 hits in 35 innings, striking out 24 and walking nine. The Diamondbacks hit .236 off him with two homers. Arizona star Paul Goldschmidt has had success off Bumgarner in his career with a .316 average, four doubles, two homers and six RBIs in 38 at-bats. Yasmany Tomas is 3-for-9 with four strikeouts off him. Chris Owings is just 2-for-19 with six punchouts. Go 'under' the total and take the Giants at home. They are 7-3 in Bumgarner's past 10 at home. Arizona is 1-5 in its past six against left-handers. The 'under' is 5-2 in Bumgarner's past seven at home vs. the Diamondbacks.

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Free MLB Pick: Under 6.5
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