August 17 Odds: ‘Under’ Easy Call in Matchup of Offensively-Challenged Phillies & Giants

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 6:56 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017 6:56 PM UTC

It’s playoff-caliber baseball on Thursday night from AT&T Park – just kidding! – as the Philadelphia Phillies visit the San Francisco Giants in a matchup of the NL’s two worst clubs.

MLB Season Record: 27-21

Philadelphia Phillies at San Francisco Giants (-110, 7.5)

It’s Game 1 of a four-game weekend set from AT&T Park on Thursday night (10:15 p.m. ET) as Philadelphia makes its only visit of the season to San Francisco.

I had a choice of previewing any game Thursday, and you might be wondering why I would pick the National League’s two worst teams. First off, it’s because I’m very confident in my selection below. Second, this could prove very important in a race to the bottom – i.e. landing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft.

That spot is going to come down to Philadelphia, San Francisco, Cincinnati or the Chicago White Sox. The top prospects in that class as of now are University of Florida right-handed pitcher Brady Singer and California high school shortstop Brice Turang, who has been compared to this year’s No. 1 overall pick by Minnesota, California prep shortstop Royce Lewis. Thus if one team were to get swept here, it could be a huge benefit in the long run. If two teams finish with the same record, the draft tiebreaker is the team’s record from the previous season. The Phillies would win that over the Giants and White Sox but not vs. the Reds.

What else ties the Phillies and Giants together? If the Marlins were willing to trade Giancarlo Stanton this offseason, both Philadelphia and San Francisco reportedly would be interested and have the finances to assume that big contract.

Philadelphia won two of three vs. the Giants from June 2-4. Odubel Herrera had a nice series, going 5-for-8 with four doubles, a homer and six RBIs. It’s not clear if he will play Thursday, though, after not starting Tuesday & Wednesday in San Diego with a hamstring injury. The Giants have two starters on the concussion DL: first baseman Brandon Belt and second baseman Joe Panik.


Thursday’s Probable Pitchers

While this season has been a massive disappointment for the Phillies, at least one good thing has come from it: Aaron Nola. The No. 7 overall pick in 2014 from LSU has emerged into the team’s ace at 9-7 with a 3.02 ERA. His ERA over the past 10 outings is 1.71 and Nola has gone at least six innings in each and allowed two or fewer runs in all of them.

At one point, Nola was 3-5 with a 4.76 ERA. He’s figured something out. Nola’s only career start vs. San Francisco was last year when he allowed five runs and 10 hits over 3.1 innings in a loss at AT&T Park.

The Giants’ Jeff Samardzija (7-12, 4.74) has underachieved this season but is working on a string of four straight quality starts and has won three of them. He was 4-11 with a 5.05 ERA before this run. He missed the Phillies earlier this summer and has never faced a current member of the team in a regular-season game, which seems impossible.

Not going to bother picking a side for my MLB pick here as the clear call is betting against the majors’ No. 28 (Giants) and No. 29 offenses (Phillies). Plus two pitchers who are rolling in a pitcher-friendly park.

Free MLB Pick: ‘Under’ 7.5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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