The San Francisco Giants were knocked back a bit in a recent series loss at home to the Pirates but they are still favored on the MLB betting lines on Friday against the Phillies in Philadelphia.
The San Francisco Giants Can Win Because...
They are in position to feast on an inferior pitcher who is not performing well at all. Jerome Williams carries a 5.49 ERA into this game, and unlike some pitchers who pitch horribly in one game to hijack their ERA -- think of a game with two innings pitched and nine runs allowed, something like that -- Williams is simply a guy who does not pitch well any night of the week. Williams hasn't given up fewer than three runs in any of his last 10 starts. That's hard to do in the National League. Williams' best start in that 10-game sequence was a 6 2/3-inning effort against Atlanta on April 26, giving up three runs. That's his very best start.
In Williams' last six starts, he has pitched a total of 30 1/3 innings and given up 24 runs -- that's four runs every five innings, more or less. You can't survive in the majors that way. Williams occasionally finds better control, but he will typically give up around seven hits and a couple walks in five innings, every time he takes the mound. You can bluff your way through that kind of scoreline once in a while, but it can't be the default setting. That's what should concern the Phillies and make it easier for San Francisco to score in this game.
The Philadelphia Phillies Can Win Because...
They are facing a pitcher who is going through a really rough patch right now this season. Tim Lincecum, the starter for the Giants, might have a reasonably good ERA of exactly three runs, but he has been poor in his last two starts and three of his last four. The thing to notice with Lincecum right now is that he's a feast or famine pitcher. You commonly hear about a feast or famine hitter, but Lincecum is an example of a pitcher who either has it all going or has nothing going on a given day. He's hard to trust for a bettor or for a team in search of greater consistency in the National League West.
Lincecum, in three of his last four starts, has given up at least three runs and failed to get a single out in the sixth inning -- he has not gone beyond the fifth inning in those bad starts. Lincecum has walked a total of 10 hitters in those three starts, for an average of five walks every seven innings. That's way too high. It's true that Lincecum did pitch a seven-inning shutout on May 20 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but that shutout -- like other shutouts on Lincecum's stat sheet this season -- have been surrounded by a lot of below-average performances overall. There is too much of an up and down quality to Lincecum's work in 2015. He'll pitch one or two shutouts, then fail to get out of the fifth inning, and then the pattern repeats itself again. Which version of Lincecum will show up here? Your guess is as good as anyone else's, and that's not something which should fill the Giants with confidence as they embark on a long Eastern road trip.
Baseball Betting Outlook
The Giants can't be completely confident about Lincecum, but Philadelphia should be far more worried about Williams. The Giants have an inconsistent pitcher who can show flashes of greatness. The Phillies just have a bad starting pitcher, period. Give the nod to the Giants in that case.
The MLB odds line opened at BetOnline at -135 and that’s a price that’s better than most other books, so I’ll take a flier with the Giants as my MLB pick today. The Phillies have lost 6 of Williams’ last seven starts.
MLB Pick: San Francisco -130 at YouWager