The 11th week on the 2015 baseball betting slate concludes with a pair of rivals clashing in Los Angeles where the Dodgers hope to avoid San Francisco's brooms.
Giants vs. Dodgers Game 3
By: Willie Bee
Stuck for a last-minute gift idea for Fathers Day? Pick up a pizza plus a couple of bombers of your favorite craft beer and head over to dear old dad's house to watch tonight's series finale between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. Adding to the usual tension this rivalry produces, first place in the NL West is on the line. There should be extra stress in the home dugout since San Francisco is shooting for its third sweep of LA in four tries.
Speaking of a fourth try, tonight's initial mound duel is the fourth time on the 2015 MLB betting calendar that Tim Lincecum and Brett Anderson have faced off. The Dodgers are solid chalk to avoid San Fran's brooms, LA opening around -160 at most shops monitored by SBR's live MLB odds before being bet up to -175 at BetOnline.
The Freak Hopes To Turn Around Road Woes
Lincecum has struggled a bit since blanking the Dodgers for the first seven innings of a 4-0 Giants win on May 20 in San Francisco. He has won three of five starts since then, but has struggled to get through five innings in several of the assignments and posted a 5.60 ERA along the way with 14 walks in a little more than 25 innings. The former Washington Huskies standout has also found life on the road difficult in 2015, his 4.88 ERA away from AT&T Park nearly three runs higher than at home.
Some of the bloated road ERA came from his only start in LA this season, an 8-3 Dodgers win on April 27 when Lincecum only managed to record four outs while allowing four runs.
Though the Dodgers won that April 27 clash against Lincecum and the G-Men, Anderson also struggled and missed his best shot at taking down San Francisco this year. The lefty couldn't get through the fifth that evening having surrendered three runs, and his three assignments vs. the Giants this year combine to total 15 innings with the SF lineup crossing the plate 10 times on 21 hits (0 HR).
Umpire Notes, Finals Thoughts & A Free Pick
Clint Fagan should have the plate for the umpire crew in the series finale, and he has been running the opposite directions on the MLB odds this year as Saturday's man under the mask, Chris Guccione. Fagan is fairly flat on the scoreboard, seven of his 13 times to call balls and strikes going 'over' the totals. Home teams have flourished, in direct contrast to Guccione's trends entering Game 2. Ten of Fagan's 13 games have ended with a win for squads playing on their own diamond, 8-2 as the favorites.
We have our third consecutive 7½ run total on the morning line for this series, and despite the issue with shadows at Dodger Stadium and it not being quite as warm as Saturday's tilt, I'm playing the 'over' for my free MLB pick.
MLB Pick: Giants-Dodgers Over 7½ (-110) at BetOnLine
Giants vs. Dodgers Game 2
By: Willie Bee
Buster Posey's slam got things going Friday for San Francisco, and the resulting 9-5 triumph over the Dodgers left the Giants just 1½ games behind Los Angeles in the NL West.
The middle game of the set is a late-afternoon start on the West Coast, 7:15 PM (ET) for the folks back east, and features a rematch on the mound from a game about a month ago as Tim Hudson and Carlos Frias are slated to start for their respective clubs. MLB odds at The Greek remained steady with the Dodgers listed -141. Another 7½ run total is also on the board, and split evenly below and above the mark.
Hudson, Frias Lock Horns For 2nd Time In 2015
When Hudson and Frias met in San Francisco on May 19, it was the opener of that series and the start of three consecutive shutouts by the Giants. Hudson initiated the proceedings by posting zeroes into the seventh before four San Fran relievers completed the 2-0 triumph. Frias put on a pretty good show himself with six innings of 1-run baseball, but still took the loss to even his record at 1-1 this season against the Giants, his dubya coming out of the bullpen in late-April.
It has been a night-&-day ride for Hudson this year as far as his home/road splits are concerned. The former Auburn star has an ERA under 4.00 in San Francisco, that number swelling to almost 6.00 away from AT&T Park. Despite that, the Giants are 3-5 in Hudson's home starts, costing baseball bettors 3.2 units, and 3-2 when he hurls on the road (+1.7 units).
Frias' latest trip to the bump was earlier this week in Texas to open a 4-game series against the Rangers. The scrawny Dominican worked into the sixth, allowing all four Rangers runs in a 4-1 setback to leave Los Angeles backers 4-5 and down nearly two units against the baseball odds in his nine assignments.
Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
Next up to call balls and strikes in Jeff Nelson's crew is Chris Guccione. Now in his 16th season, Guccione's totals have not trended either way overall at 6-7 O/U, though they have run more favorable to the 'over' recently (4 of last 5). The Colorado native hasn't been making a lot of friends with the home fans, baseball betting moneylines in his cashing at a 9-4 rate for visiting teams, 7-4 as the underdogs. The Dodgers have split his last 10 plate assignments at Chavez Ravine.
The five runs scored by the Dodgers were the most they've plated in 10 days, and the Giants' nine their highest since a pair of double-digit explosions at Coors Field a month ago. It's still going to be warm (low-to-mid 80s) when this game gets underway, and the ball always travels at Dodger Stadium the hotter it gets. Let's run with the 'over' for our free MLB pick.
MLB Pick: Giants-Dodgers Over 7½ (-110) at The Greek
Friday's Series Opener
By: Willie Bee
Many of the big names in the rotations for the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers will be missing from this weekend's NL West showdown. That might actually serve to make the series even more crucial to both teams who have been struggling to put up dubyas the past week or so.
The set cranks up with a 10:10 PM (ET) matchup of No. 5 starters for both teams, Chris Heston of the Giants and LA's Mike Bolsinger. The Dodgers and Bolsinger officially opened at -155 on the MLB odds, but that moneyline is down a bit at most shops such as Wagerweb where backing Los Angeles will cost you $1.50. Playing the scoreboard means making a decision on a 7½ run total at the same shop where the 'over' is trending with baseball bettors.
Friday begins the fourth series of the season between the old rivals, and the last time the Giants and Dodgers will go head-to-head until the final five weeks of the baseball betting schedule. Both series played in San Francisco have ended in sweeps by the Giants, including the mid-May matchup in which the Dodgers were blanked in all three contests.
The Giants also took two of three in LA at the end of April, both San Fran wins going 'over' the totals. High side bettors have cashed five of the last eight get-togethers at Dodger Stadium, another game pushing a 7 run total.
Giants Earn 4-Game Split With Mariners
San Francisco (36-32, +0.6 units) recorded its MLB-leading 11th shutout on Thursday, a 7-0 win at Seattle to split the 4-game, home-&-home series with the Mariners. Since reaching a season-high 10 games above .500 on May 29, the Giants have managed to only play .333 ball (6-12) to miss an opportunity to catch or even pass the Dodgers in the National League West. Bruce Bochy's squad has itself been blanked three times in the last week to enter the weekend averaging just 3.6 runs per game in June.
Heston has had a couple of rough starts sandwiching his no-hitter against the Mets on June 9. The righthander out of East Carolina wasn't even able to work a full nine innings combined in the two starts before and after the no-no, surrendering eight runs (7 earned) and walking seven total while allowing 14 hits. Those were home games in the normally pitcher-friendly AT&T Park, the Giants losing both games to the Pirates and Diamondbacks. He missed the Dodgers the first three times the clubs got together this year, but saw them twice as a reliever in 2014 (1.1 IP, 0 ER). The Giants have won Heston's last four road starts, two of those complete games wins at Houston and New York.
Dodgers Narrowly Avoid Sweep By Rangers
The scoreboard will show Los Angeles (38-29, -3.3 units) foiled Texas' brooms on Thursday thanks to Zack Greinke and a pair of relievers dealing shutout baseball and limiting the Rangers to just four hits. What the 1-0 score doesn't really tell you is how dangerously close the Dodgers were to being swept by Texas in the 4-game series, needing a walk-off balk to get the victory as -250 chalk on the baseball betting board.
Having run through their top 4 starters in the rotation, the Dodgers will once again trot Bolsinger out to the mound. The former Arkansas standout has struggled to work deep into games, only two efforts last past the sixth inning among his eight assignments. Still, LA has managed to win Bolsinger's past two outings, and five of seven since he made his season debut in San Francisco on April 23. The Texas native made it two outs into the sixth that time, allowing just one run in an eventual 3-2 Giants win. That leaves the Dodgers 0-3 in his three career starts against them, Bolsinger posting a 3.43 ERA (18.1 IP).
There shouldn't be any weather concerns for the series, and if anything changes we'll make sure to mention it. In the meantime, I'm going to get behind both pitchers with a play on the 'under' for my free MLB pick tonight.
MLB Pick: Giants-Dodgers Under 7½ (+100) @ Wagerweb
Willie Bee's Season: 54-41-2 (+13.75)