Giants-Dbacks Total Odds The MLB Pick As Quality Hurlers Meet In The Desert

Mark Lathrop

Thursday, May 12, 2016 11:43 AM UTC

Thursday, May. 12, 2016 11:43 AM UTC

This NL West matchup should be a great pitching duel, and our MLB betting capper thinks we should trust the veteran hurlers to turn in a few gems on Thursday night.

2016 YTD MLB: 16-9-1, +6.84 Units

San Francisco Giants vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
The San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks meet in early season action on Thursday night as they try to keep pace with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the tightly contested NL West. They bring to bear two of their best pitchers, starters Johnny Cueto for the Giants and Zack Greinke of the Diamondbacks. The MLB odds have opened up with the home team Diamondbacks favored at -108 at Heritage. The O/U total opened at 7.5, but has risen to 8 at -120 at books such as at Ladbrokes.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Zack Greinke’s first season with the Diamondbacks hasn’t gone exactly as he had hoped, although he has a winning record of 3-2. In spite of this record, Greinke has put up a 5.15 ERA, .298 batting average against, and 1.44 WHIP, which is not exactly great. On the other hand, the .360 BABIP and 3.37 fielding independent pitching stats tell us that he is also getting a bit unlucky. So what has happened with Greinke this year? He admittedly states that he is having trouble with his slider and hasn’t got as much bite on it so far this year. When diving into the stats a little deeper, he also isn’t throwing as many strikes and his 40.9% of pitches in the strike zone is well below his 47.4% career average. His strikes are being put into play though (see: high BABIP), as he only has 9 walks so far on the season over seven starts.

Despite a slight downtick in average fastball velocity to 91.4 mph from 92.5 mph, San Francisco Giants starter Johnny Cueto has been as effective as ever in compiling an initial 4-1 record over 7 starts. In that time, Cueto has posted a 3.02 ERA, 44/8 K/BB rate, 1.13 WHIP, and .257 batting average against – all that time while allowing a .324 BABIP. Cueto has had two blowup starts though, allowing 12 runs combined in two games against the Reds and Dodgers. He gave up just 5 runs total in the other five games and 1 or less runs in four of his five starts.

Even after losing A.J. Pollock for the season, the Diamondbacks offense has still made some noise. Arizona is lethal at home and good at hitting dingers, averaging 4.9 runs per game in their 17 games at Chase Field and hitting 23 home runs in that span. They have four hitters that are batting over .300 and are 3rd in the MLB in home runs. Wait until it really gets hot in the desert.


San Francisco Giants
While the Giants don’t nearly have the hitting stats that the Diamondbacks do, they have better plate discipline and take more walks. The Giants have 4 players with BB% over 10%, while the Diamondbacks just have 2 (Paul Goldschmidt and his 22.6% walk rate may count for two players though). It has been the Giants’ pitching that has kept them around .500 though, as they rank 9th in the MLB.

Both of these starters pitched well against the opposing team in a series just a few weeks ago, and given their track record over their careers it is hard to lean towards any pitcher not finding success in this game. Johnny Cueto has a career ERA of 2.70 against Arizona and Zack Greinke has a career ERA of 2.12 against San Francisco after all. Additionally, since Cueto is 7-2 versus Arizona and Greinke 10-1 against San Francisco finding value on one side is hard. I’m going to shop this line a bit and take Under 8 runs as my MLB pick in what should be a good pitching matchup on Thursday night.

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Free MLB Pick: Under 7.5
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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