Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants conclude their MLB odds road trip back east in position to sweep the New York Mets on Thursday night at Citi Field.
Giants vs. Mets Game 3
By: Willie Bee
Curtis Granderson made certain the New York Mets would not be no-hit again with a single leading off the bottom of the first Wednesday evening. By then, Nori Aoki and Joe Panik had already fired up the San Francisco attack to lead the Giants to an 8-5 victory over New York.
San Francisco is now in position to sweep the Mets when they conclude their 3-game series on Thursday. MLB Network will carry the first pitch at 7:10 PM (ET), Tim Lincecum tossing for the Giants opposite Mets lefty Jonathon Niese. The game is a pick 'em at many shops on SBR's live MLB odds, though a few like BetOnline have New York slight favorites (-112). A 7½ run total is priced to the 'under' at the same sports book.
Mets Just 3-8 When Niese Pitches In 2015
Lincecum has started to come back down to earth after a blazing beginning to the year, allowing four runs in each of his last three assignments though the Giants did manage to win two of them to stand 6-5 when he pitches (+1.1 units vs. the MLB odds). San Francisco dropped his first three road starts, but have since won his last two following a 5-4 triumph last Friday in Philadelphia.
The little righthander has been something of a Mets killer recently, going 6-0 in his last eight starts vs. New York (SF 7-1) with a 1.86 ERA in those contests. Michael Cuddyer has been a tough out for Lincecum, batting .389 against the Giants hurler with four doubles and a homer.
Niese has been in a tailspin since early May, the Mets falling in each of his last five outings while the lefty has pitched to an ERA approaching 8.00. They haven't won a home start with Niese on the hill since April 21, and have beaten the Giants just once the last five times he has faced them. Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford have been particularly tough on the Ohio native, combining to hit neatly .400 (11-28) with five extra base knocks.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Just a little more than a year into his major league umpiring career, Chris Segal is serving as a fill-in for various crews, in this case DJ Reyburn who is currently away from Joe West's usual foursome. It has been almost two weeks since Segal called balls and strikes in a game, that one staying 'under' in Texas to leave baseball bettors 3-4 O/U on the season. He was 18-7 O/U last year, and has been a boon for home teams in 2015, 6-1 overall and 5-1 when chalked as the Mets are currently at BetOnline.
Warm and muggy with the potential for an afternoon or early-evening shower is the forecast for the Flushing area. A busy evening is my forecast for the scoreboard operator at Citi Field, at least busy enough to send this game 'over' the total for my free MLB pick.
MLB Pick: Giants-Mets 'Over' 7½ at BetOnline
Giants vs. Mets Game 2
By: Willie Bee
Thanks to San Francisco rookie pitcher Chris Heston, tonight's hurlers in the second game of the series between the Giants and New York Mets have a tough act to follow. Heston tossed a no-hitter in just his 13th major league start on Tuesday, helping the Giants to a 5-0 win in the opener of the 3-game MLB odds set.
It will be up to Tim Hudson and Matt Harvey to show what they have in Wednesday night's clash (7:10 PM ET). Harvey and the Mets went out as mid-150s chalk at shops such as The Greek, the moneyline not moving much at all in overnight action. Another 7 run total is showing up with most sports books charted by SBR's live baseball odds juicing the 'under' a little extra.
Giants 5-0 When Hudson Faces The Mets
Hudson is searching for his first road win since late last August, a span of 10 starts including a pair of postseason outings. San Francisco is 4-6 in those efforts, 2-2 this season despite Hudson pitching to a 5.64 ERA away from AT&T Park, nearly two runs higher than when he's at home (3.83).
The former Auburn standout has plenty of experience against the Mets going back to his time with Atlanta, and this will be his sixth assignment against them since moving to San Francisco to begin 2013. The Giants are a perfect 5-0 in Hudson's previous efforts, 2-0 in New York, with the veteran owning a 3.09 ERA.
Harvey gets the ball from manager Terry Collins for the 12th time this season, the Mets 7-4 and on the plus side of the MLB odds by about 2½ units. The UNC product has whiffed 20 batters over the course of his 15 most recent innings, and 80 on the season, good enough for 8th-most in the NL. Harvey has faced the Giants twice before, both games in San Francisco, the Mets splitting the games while he fashioned a 3.46 ERA.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Joe West started his MLB umpiring career about a year after Hudson was born, and the roly-poly veteran is now closing in on 1,200 regular season games behind the plate. The 38-year veteran hasn't made many friends with the home fans this year with visitors winning nine of his 13 games under the mask, seven of 10 when underdogs on the baseball odds. Totals have run 8-5 O/U when West has the dish.
We're supposed to have clear skies and temps in the mid-70s for the start of Game 2, and the Mets are supposed to activate catcher Travis d'Arnaud as well before the game. Whether or not his bat will be able to help New York much remains to be seen, and I'm going to get behind Hudson and San Francisco with a nice underdog price at The Greek for my free MLB pick.
MLB pick: Giants +145 at The Greek
Giants vs. Mets Series Opener
By: Willie Bee
It's an odd-numbered year, so the San Francisco Giants weren't supposed to win. The New York Mets, meanwhile, were supposed to play bridesmaid to Washington in the NL East according to the MLB futures odds at 2015's outset. But here they both are, the Giants challenging for the NL West lead and the Mets atop the East as the two clubs prepare for a 3-game set in Flushing beginning Tuesday.
A pair of inexperienced righties meet in the baseball betting matchup that gets underway at 7:10 PM (ET), Chris Heston toiling for San Francisco opposite New York's Noah Syndergaard. A quick glance of the MLB odds shows the Mets slight -121 favorites at 5Dimes where the numbers are always competitive. Tack-back on the Giants is +116 thanks to that nickel line, and the original 7½ run total has been throttled back to 7 (O -110).
San Francisco ruled the rivalry last year by taking six of the seven contests to improve to 317-268 vs. the Mets since 1962. The Giants won three of the four played at Citi Field, two of those staying 'under' the totals with another pushing a 7 run tally. Games played on this diamond since it opened in 2009 have gone 13-8 to the G-Men, 8-3 in SF's favor the past three seasons.
Giants Pitchers Have Fallen Off Earlier Pace
San Francisco (32-26, +3.2 units) started a 6-game journey to the East Coast with a pair of victories in Philadelphia before falling in the series finale. The two wins initially halted a 5-game losing streak before the Sunday setback, and the Giants begin this set a game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.
Monday's off day was their second in five days after enduring a stretch of 17 games over 16 days to close May and open June. The pitching staff has fallen off its pace by allowing 46 runs in the last eight games, well above the 3.74 RPG Giants hurlers were surrendering before the slide. Bruce Bochy is hopeful he'll have veterans Jake Peavy (back) and Matt Cain (elbow) back in the fold soon, with Peavy's return possible within the next 7-10 days while Cain could be available in early-July.
Heston has at times pitched like a Cy Young contender, and at other times looked as if he had no business being in the majors. The 27-year-old has failed to get through four innings in two of his last four assignments, but the bottom line is the Giants have still managed to win seven of his 11 assignments, including four of five on the road despite Heston's 5.79 ERA away from San Francisco.
Mets Move Back Into 1st Despite Losing 4 of Last 6
Thanks to a 2-8 run by Washington, New York (31-27, +3.6 units) has regained the lead in the NL East by a half-game over the Nationals despite playing sub.500 in the same span. The Mets are returning home from a weeklong trip out west where they dropped four of seven to the Padres and Diamondbacks, and will be looking for their first series win since sweeping the Phillies near the end of May.
Syndergaard struck out a career-high 10 last Tuesday in San Diego, accomplishing that feat in only four innings. The bad news is the Padres plated seven runs off the young righthander in that span to send him to a third defeat in his first five big league starts. All three losses took place away from New York, and the Mets have emerged victorious in both of his City Field appearances, the Texas native surrendering just one run in more than 13 innings at home.
A thunderstorm or two could pop up in the area during the afternoon, but it's supposed to clear out by early evening and just leave a few clouds. Muggy temps in the upper-70s are forecast for the start of the contest, along with an 8-12 mph west blow (3B out to RF corner).
Pitchers generally have the upper hand when facing opponents for the first time, but I'm going with the bats for my free MLB pick. in Game 1 and playing the 'over' 7 (-110 at 5Dimes).
MLB Pick: Over 7, -110 at 5Dimes