The Padres and Giants take their series to a matinee rubber game on Thursday in San Francisco where the MLB odds slightly favor the home team.
Padres vs. Giants Game 3
By: Willie Bee
One swing of Buster Posey's bat provided all the offense San Francisco needed, Ryan Vogelson and a trio of relievers handling the mound chores along the way to give the Giants a 6-0 win Wednesday vs. the San Diego Padres.
San Francisco's triumph left the series knotted heading into this afternoon's rubber match (3:45 PM ET) that pits a pair of 7-game winners on the mound at AT&T Park. James Shields gets the call for San Diego opposite San Fran rookie Chris Heston, and it's the Giants who are chalked up on the morning lines with Wagerweb listing them -130 presently on SBR's live baseball odds. A 7 run total leans to the 'under' at most sports books.
Shields Seeking 2nd Win Vs. Giants This Season
After helping the Padres to seven consecutive victories, San Diego has dropped each of Shields' last three starts. Big Game James has watched his ERA rise about 2/10ths in that span, two of the three defeats coming on the road in Atlanta and Phoenix. One number that has declined is his home run rate, Shields serving up 15 long flies in his initial 10 assignments, and only one since.
He got his first taste of this rivalry back in April at home, and will now get his first opportunity to pitch at AT&T Park during the regular season. April's victory over the Giants (7 IP, 1 ER) was Shields' first since losing to them twice in last year's World Series, leaving him 2-2 in his career with a 2.88 ERA.
Heston has made two career appearances against the Padres, and both have been poor efforts at home. He suffered through a rough third inning in early May, part of a 5-IP, 5-ER performance in which San Diego's lineup raked out 11 hits. The Floridian got the win last Friday at LA in the series opener against the Dodgers, thanks to an offense that plated nine runs to help cover for the three Heston allowed before getting yanked in the sixth inning.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Manny Gonzalez closes out the series behind the dish, his 15th such assignment this season with totals running 6-6-2 O/U/P. The Venezuelan field arbiter has been leaning a bit more to the 'under' recently, however, with three of his last four appearances under the mask failing to reach the MLB odds. He worked an 'under' at AT&T Park earlier this season, ending a string of five consecutive 'over' winners Gonzalez had worked on this field.
Cloudy skies in the morning should give way to bright sunshine by the time the game gets underway a little before one o'clock local time. The thermometer should climb into the low-to-mid 70s during the contest, an 8-12 mph NW breeze possibly helping balls headed to right field. I've been wrong about Heston several times this season, so take my free baseball pick on San Diego with a grain of salt.
MLB Pick: Padres +120 at Wagerweb
Padres vs. Giants Game 2
By: Willie Bee
Madison Bumgarner had it going early, but the San Diego Padres eventually caught up to the San Francisco ace and pulled out a 3-2 win in extra innings to take the opener of their series at AT&T Park.
A pair of veterans will collide on Wednesday, Ryan Vogelsong delivering the first pitch at 10:15 PM (ET) and looking to pitch his Giants even in the set. San Francisco is light home chalk for the affair, Wagerweb making the Giants a -125 pick on the morning line. Ian Kennedy opposes Vogelsong in the matchup that features a 7 run total priced a little to the 'under' at most shops monitored by SBR's live baseball odds.
Padres 4-0 In Kennedy's June Starts
If current trends in Padres games started by Kennedy continue, they're about to dive into a 6-game losing streak in the Southern Cal alum's assignments. San Diego lost his first two trips to the hill, won the next two, dropped four in a row and followed all that by winning each of his four starts so far in June.
Kennedy is facing the Giants for a third time in 2015, and as you might suspect given those trends, the Padres have split the two assignments. The righthander has allowed just one run in 9.1 innings vs. San Francisco this year, the victory coming at AT&T Park where Kennedy is 5-3 in 12 lifetime starts with a 2.48 ERA.
Vogelsong snapped a 3-game slide his last time out in a 7-0 victory at Seattle. The 11-year veteran worked into the seventh of that contest, surrendering just three hits while striking out six, to leave San Francisco backers 7-5 against the MLB odds (+1.8 units). The Padres pounded him during a relief outing in San Diego back in early-April, but Vogelsong got even with seven shutout frames against them at home in May to help the Giants to a 6-zip triumph.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Veteran umpire Jim Reynolds had a 5-game 'over' run on the baseball betting board from late-April to early-June, but has otherwise been pretty level on the totals (8-4-1 O/U/P). A much stronger trend for the Massachusetts native has been home teams winning at a 12-1 clip, 6-0 when chalked at -140 or below. The Giants, however, have not been so fortunate when Reynolds calls balls and strikes in San Francisco, losing two of his three appearances here in 2014, including Game 3 of the World Series.
We had a little more of a westerly blow than expected last night, but it didn't help the batters. It's pretty much the same forecast on Wednesday with temps in the muggy and low-60s for the start of the game and the anemometer on West/12 mph (out to center). I don't trust Vogelsong, plain and simple, which is why San Diego is my free MLB pick.
My pick: Padres +115 at Wagerweb
Padres vs. Giants Game Opener
By: Willie Bee
So far, the NL West race is going pretty much as expected at the top according to the MLB futures odds about three months ago. Behind the 1st-place Dodgers, a choking -225 chunk of chalk to finish first is on top of the group, it's not going as expected.
San Diego was supposed to be LA's toughest competition, the Padres going off about 3/1 to win the division and wallowing 4-games below par. Defending champ San Francisco was picked third around 5/1, maybe 11/2 depending on your guy, and the Giants just missed a chance to move into the division lead this past Sunday. The two tangle tonight (10:15 PM ET) with a lopsided matchup on the mound and the baseball betting board. Odrisamer Despaigne is up next for the Padres opposite San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner, and the Giants are -195 at GT Bets, a 6½ run total tempting scoreboard punters.
One team that gave the Giants fits in 2014 on their way to a second World Series title in three years was the Padres. After San Francisco won three consecutive season series from 2011-13, San Diego had just enough to take last year's rivalry, 10 games to nine, and the Pads have a 4-3 lead so far in 2015. The Padres won three of four on the 2015 MLB betting season's first weekend, those Petco Park battles splitting the totals. The Giants came back to win two of three a month later at AT&T Park, 'under' bettors cashing in each of San Fran's victories. 'Under' was also the way to go in 2014 (4-6 O/U).
Despaigne Running Hot & Cold For Padres
San Diego (34-38, -4.2 units) is making the final stop of a 3-city tour that began in Oakland last week before continuing on to Arizona over the weekend. The Padres have hit some hard times the last week, dropping six of their last eight games since sitting a level 32-32 on June 13. The pitching staff allowed six runs or more in four of the losses, including a season-high to the A's last Wednesday. They're 11th in the National League with a 4.11 staff ERA, and surrendered 56 home runs along the way, 3rd-most among Senior Circuit staffs.
Six of the 16 runs Oakland scored in that rout were charged to Despaigne, the third time in his last eight starts he has allowed 6+ runs. Only two of his five assignments away from San Diego have made the quality start column, and the Padres have lost all three of his June appearances to leave them 4-6 (-1.0 unit) when it's his turn to pitch. The Cuban saw the Giants in a long relief role back in April, throwing nearly five no-hit innings, and made his major league debut on this mound exactly one year ago today, blanking San Francisco for seven innings to earn his first win.
Bumgarner Aims To Stop 2-Game Skid
San Francisco (38-33, +2.3 units) is coming off after a 5-game trip to Seattle and Los Angeles. The Giants had a shot at sweeping the rival Dodgers for a third time this year before getting blasted 10-2 in Sunday's series finale. Bruce Bochy's batters came to life in the three wins on the recent roadie, averaging more than seven runs in each dubya, but could only manage two plate crossings combined in the two defeats.
The lineup managed to score even less than that in Bumgarner's last two outings, San Francisco shut out each time to waste fine performances by their lefthander (16 IP, 3 ER). He was hit hard in San Diego in early-April, allowing 10 hits in three innings of a 10-2 setback, but bounced back with 7+ innings of zeroes when he faced the Padres on this diamond about three weeks later. San Francisco is 11-6 when Bumgarner takes the ball against the Pads, his ERA in those 116+ frames a decent 3.55.
The weather should be consistent for all three games, temps in the mid-50s for the start of the first two, warming to the mid-60s in Thursday's matinee and a west breeze (12-15 mph, out to center) pretty much all the time. I'm knocking off some of the chalk with a run line play on the home team for my free MLB pick.
MLB Pick: Giants -1½ (+120) at GT Bets