The Giants are hot, the Braves, not so much, heading into the opener of a 3-game series at Turner Field tonight. To this handicapper, this game looks like a good spot for an alternative pick.
Giants-Braves Monday Odds
As of this writing the best line available on San Francisco with Matt Cain was the -144 offered at Pinnacle, while Atlanta with Mike Foltynewicz were getting +139 at GTBets. The Giants could also be gotten at +120 giving the run and a half on the run line at Pinnacle.
San Francisco just dropped two of three games at Texas over the weekend, losing Sunday's rubber match 2-1. Still, the defending World Series champs have won five of their last six series, and 14 of their last 18 games.
At 57-47 Frisco trails first-place Los Angeles by 2.5 games in the NL West, but sits tied with the Chicago Cubs for the second National League wild-card spot.
Atlanta, meanwhile, dropped three of four games at Philadelphia over the weekend, avoiding the sweep and snapping a six-game losing streak with a 6-2 victory Sunday. The Braves have lost five of their last six series, and 16 of their last 21 games.
At 47-58 Atlanta sits eight games off the lead in the NL East, and trails the Giants and Cubbies by 10.5 games in that wild-card race.
This is the second series between these teams this season; back in May they split a four-game set out at AT&T.
Monday's Pitching Match-Up
Foltynewicz (3-3, 5.04), Folty, from here on out, to spare us the carpal tunnel, is four-for-10 on quality starts this season, but coming off one of his best outings so far; last Wednesday he held Baltimore to a pair of solo home runs through six innings, with two walks and eight strikeouts, although he got no help from the offense in a 2-0 Atlanta loss. That was his first start in six weeks, after earning a demotion to Triple-A, then coming back in a relief role. On the season Folty has given up 76 hits, including 10 homers, in 61 innings, but his strikeouts/walks ratio ain't too bad, at 60/20.
Atlanta is 4-6 in Folty's starts, with the totals going 5-4.
In his one career start against San Francisco, back in May, Folty gave up just a Buster Posey two-run homer through 6 2/3 innings, walking one while whiffing eight, although the Braves lost that game 4-2.
Cain (2-2, 4.50) is just two-for-five on quality starts since rejoining the team a month ago, alternating good and bad. Last Tuesday he gave up four runs through six innings against Milwaukee, but just before that he held San Diego to one run through six frames. On the whole Cain has allowed 30 hits in 28 innings, walked seven and struck out 23.
The Giants are 3-2 in Cain's starts, with the totals going 3-1.
Cain last faced Atlanta back in May of 2013, when he allowed just two runs and three hits through eight innings of an 8-2 San Francisco victory.
Monday's Batting Splits
San Francisco ranks second in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .276 team batting average, and first with a .331 team on-base percentage.
Atlanta ranks 11th against righties with a .256 team average and 14th with a .314 team OBP.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Turner Field this season are leaning OVER by a 23-19 margin, averaging 7.9 runs per.
Giants-Braves Monday Free Picks
Cain doesn't do a whole lot for our betting confidence, but Frisco owns edges with the sticks and in the bullpen comparison. We like the Giants for tonight, and we'll play the road team on the run line. Also, we could see this game getting to 6-3, so we're thinking OVER.
MLB Picks: San Francisco on the run line and OVER eight runs (-102) at 5Dimes