Back Diamondbacks +120 vs. Giants for MLB Picks

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, April 10, 2014 1:58 PM GMT

Arizona will be glad to play teams outside the NL West as the Snakes have been an early disappointment against their division rivals heading into their series finale Thursday night in San Francisco.

These two teams won't play again for more than two months. The Giants opened as -130 favorites on MLB odds with a total of 7.5 runs for sports bettors.

[gameodds]3/261546/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Opposite Ends Of NL West
Can anything be determined through the first 10 days of so of a baseball season? If you would argue yes, then the Giants are going to be a legitimate contender to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, while the Diamondbacks are going to be looking for a new general manager and manager for next season.

Entering Wednesday's action, the Giants were 6-2. That's a great sign because it hasn't really been the pitching staff that has carried the team so far, which is supposed to be San Francisco's strength, but the offense. Angel Pagan is one of the MLB leaders in hitting at .441 and has eight RBIs already.  He was limited to only 71 games in 2013 due to injury. Michael Morse was a low-risk offseason signing and is batting .391 with seven RBIs. Your NL MVP so far is first baseman Brandon Belt (.343, five HRs, nine RBIs). Buster Posey looks back to MVP form, hitting .310 with two homers. Just think what could happen when struggling Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval get going. Sandoval's contract negotiations with the team could have been distracting him so the sides recently tabled talks. San Francisco hasn't played a team outside the NL West yet and won't until April 25.

The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, also have been a solid offensive teams thus far, but the pitching staff has been an abject disaster in a 2-8 start entering Wednesday (all in the division). Arizona's 6.31 team ERA entering Wednesday is second-to-last in the majors. Does this club miss Patrick Corbin or what? He was lost this spring to season-ending Tommy John surgery. GM Kevin Towers may have to look into acquiring a big-time arm like the Cubs' Jeff Samardzija -- Towers tried this spring and is still scouting him -- to save this season and keep himself and Manager Kirk Gibson employed.

San Francisco is +300 to win the division at sportsbooks and Arizona down to +2000.

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Probable Pitchers
Arizona starts right-hander Randall Delgado (0-1, 11.57). The former Braves top prospect came over in the 2012 Justin Upton trade. Delgado was OK last season with Arizona, going 5-7 with a 4.26 ERA in 20 appearances (19 starts). He did give up a whopping 24 home runs in only 116.1 innings. Delgado was targeted to open this year in the bullpen but that all changed when the Diamondbacks lost Corbin. Delgado was chosen over Arizona's top pitching prospect Archie Bradley, who could be up soon. Delgado pitched 2/3 innings in relief in Australia against the Dodgers and then started April 4 at Colorado and was rocked for six runs and 10 hits over four innings.

Delgado made two starts against the Giants in 2013, going 1-1 with a 0.71 ERA in 12.2 innings. The Giants hit only .150 off him. No current San Francisco hitter has homered off him. Pence is 2-for-10 with an RBI. Posey is 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Belt 1-for-6.

Outside of the departed Barry Zito, the Giants' biggest rotation problem a season ago was right-hander Ryan Vogelsong. The former minor-league journeyman and Japanese League pitcher was a great story in 2011 as an All-Star. In the Giants' 2012 World Series season, Vogelsong won 14 games and had the second-best ERA among the starters (3.37). He also was 3-0 in the playoffs. However, Vogelsong was 4-6 with a 5.73 ERA in 19 starts during an injury-plagued 2013 season. He will be 37 in July and might be pitching for his big-league career on a one-year deal in 2014. So far, not good. He allowed four runs and seven hits -- two homers (by lefties Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier) -- over four innings at the Dodgers in his season debut.

Vogelsong was 0-1 with a 5.60 ERA in three starts (17.2 innings) against Arizona last year. Diamondbacks hitters batted .338 of him with two homers. Snakes second baseman Aaron Hill is 9-for-16 with a home run in his career off Vogelsong. Paul Goldschmidt is 4-for-17 with two doubles and three RBIs.

MLB Picks: Thursday Picks of the Day

MLB free picks: Diamondbacks +120 on MLB odds and the over 7.5 runs. San Francisco is 1-4 in Vogelsong's past four starts against Arizona. The over is 6-0-1 in Delgado's past seven road starts and 5-1 in Vogelsong's past six starts against teams with a losing record.