MLB Pick: Back Mad Bum and the Giants in Opener vs. Yankees

Jay Pryce

Friday, July 22, 2016 1:31 PM UTC

Friday, Jul. 22, 2016 1:31 PM UTC

The Giants and Yankees open a rare interleague series in the Bronx on Friday night. Need a play? Check out our MLB pick with expert analysis on the game. 

San Francisco Giants vs New York Yankees

San Francisco Giants (57-38) – Madison Bumgarner (10-5, 2.12 ERA)
Entering the All-Star break with the best record in MLB (57-33), the Giants have lost five straight since returning. Outscored 31-17 over this stretch, manager Bruce Bochy’s men have lost all but one by two runs or more. The losing streak matches their longest of the season, which occurred during the tail end of a 3-9 start to 2016.

Bochy calls on his ace Madison Bumgarner to rally the troops tonight. The Padres tapped the southpaw for four earned runs on seven hits in six innings of work last time out, slightly lifting his paltry ERA to 2.12 on the season. This is Mad Bum’s first career start against the Yankees and only his second road outing against an AL East ball club. The 2014 MVP shut down the Rays 4-1 in Tampa three years ago.

Overall, San Francisco has not faired well far away from home against the AL East. Since 2004, they are 9-16 overall versus the division, returning 15 percent profit to backers of the home team.

The Giants are 37-19 as road chalk behind Bumgarner in his career. Opening at -129 odds at SportsInteraction, the line has shifted in New York's favor in early trading, down to -120 as of publication. As a short-priced favorite at the adjusted price or less, San Francisco is 7-8 overall at -113 average odds behind the ace.

Following a day off, including their All-Star break respite, the Giants are 4-6 this season at -103 average MLB odds.  The bats have failed to spark in this situation. Scoring 3.2 runs per game, the lineup has pushed across four or more just four times.


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New York Yankees (48-47) – Masahiro Tanaka (7-2, 3.15 ERA)
The Yankees snapped a four-game winning streak yesterday afternoon, losing to the Orioles 4-1 in the Bronx. They hope to ignite another run against an unfamiliar foe in equally unusual conditions with the Giants visiting for a three-game series. Friday’s game is only the third time in over the last 10 years New York has gone off an underdog at Yankee Stadium in interleague play, and the first against an NL West opponent. For what it's worth, the storied club lost the previous two.

Masahiro Tanaka commands the hill for skipper Joe Girardi. The Pinstripers are 14-5 behind Tanaka this season, winning his last six starts in a row. He is vulnerable in the Bronx this year, accruing a 4.71 ERA and .249 batting average against in 10 starts.

Tanaka typically steps up against stronger opposition in his career. Sporting a 3.16 lifetime ERA, when squaring off versus a foe with a lower number on the year, the Yankees are 13-4 with him and the pen yielding 2.8 runs per game.

New York is only 13-23 as a dog this season at +119 average odds. Crossing the plate a lowly 4.18 times per game (21st in MLB), they average 3.6 when projected to lose in the betting market.

Since the break, all seven Yankees’ games have gone UNDER the total.


Final Analysis
Despite supporting Tanaka with 4.8 runs per game this season, the Yankees struggle to aid the Japanese national against quality left-handed starters in his career. In six games at odds of -120 or greater against southpaws, Girardi’s lineups score 3.0 runs per game, going 2-4 overall at even money odds on average. Three of these low-scoring outings occurred this year. A few of the Yankees’ current roster has hit Bumgarner pretty well in the past, including former Cubs Starlin Castro (11-for-26), Chris Denforia (15-for-50), and one-time Padres Chase Headley (10-for-33). Nonetheless, the elite southpaw may be too much to handle for the light-hitting lineup. Back the Giants for your free MLB pick


Free MLB Pick: Giants -105
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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