MLB Pick: Pitching Mismatch Gives Giants Huge Advantage vs Braves

Doug Upstone

Thursday, June 2, 2016 11:00 AM UTC

Thursday, Jun. 2, 2016 11:00 AM UTC

It is the final game of the four-game set between San Francisco and Atlanta and for those betting baseball, the money line on MLB Odds is setup as a complete mismatch.

Besides the disparity in the record and talent of the two teams, the starting pitching differential is on par with Golden State facing Philadelphia in the NBA.

However, stranger things have happened and while it would appear the Giants should stomp on the Braves, sometimes events occur that make no sense.

Your friendly MLB handicapper has hit five in a row here for MLB picks, taking record to 14-9 and just picked up my third -Top Handicapper of the Month award in 2016 - this time at Best Sports Picks Here are your all facets for breakdown.


Pitching Matchup - Bumgarner vs. Blair
Fans of teams and a lot of sports talk radio types love to hit the panic button at the first sign of trouble. Case is point Madison Bumgarner (6-2, 2.12 ERA and 1.12 WHIP). After the Giants lost three of his first four starts and he had 3.91 ERA, there was talk of fatigue to the Zika virus (OK, that might not be entirely true). However, when calendar turned to May, Mad Bum went into the zone. In May, the lefty was 4-0 (San Fran 6-0) with a 1.05 ERA, allowing only 29 hits over 42 2/3 innings. Bumgarner hopes to continue winning ways and is 6-3 in 11 starts versus Atlanta with a 2.93 ERA.

Aaron Blair is suffering big league growing pains and it has not been pretty with 6.67 ERA, 1.74 WHIP and no wins in six starts (0-3). Though his mid-90's fastball has a great deal of movement, he's not getting many swings and misses, with only 13 strikeouts in 27 innings and opposing hitters are knocking him around with .317 batting average. This seems to have made Blair more cautious and he has more walks (14) than punch-outs.


Offensive Overlook
As of yesterday, the San Francisco offense was a big part of why they have won 16 of their last 19, scoring 5.6 runs per game in their last seven outings, compared to season average of 4.4. Hunter Pence continues to be a stud on manager Bruce Boche's lineup card, hitting over .300 with a slugging percentage approaching .500, and first baseman Brandon Belt is just a little behind for batting average with similar numbers for slugging. Otherwise, it is your typical Giants batting order, filled with clutch hitters and who are seldom out of any game if they receive adequate starting pitching.

If the intent is to always find something positive about a person or in this case a team, we would move to next paragraph talking about Atlanta offense. Averaging 3.2 RPG is bad enough, but all their other numbers are scarier than a Rob Zombie movie. The most damning is their inability to hit the ball over the fence, with only 21 homers on the season, with the NL average presently at 54. Ouch.


Betting Odds, History and Bullpen Numbers
The MLB odds at Sports Betting started with San Francisco at -200 on the money line and by Wednesday evening had ballooned to -220, with total of 7. The Giants have taken six of eight at Turner Field recently (as of 6/1), with the UNDER 4-2-2. The San Fran bullpen has not been at usual standards just yet, however, they have been better on the road.

Not the case for the Braves, who have a 3-10 record at home from their bullpen, with ERA over 5 and have blown four of five save attempts.


Game Outcome
Frankly, there no great wager to make on this contest, nevertheless, the best value of the group is the 1.5 run line with San Francisco and when Bumgarner is pitching in road games versus a National League team with an on-base percentage of .315 or lower since 2014, the Giants win by 2.8 RPG.

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Free MLB Pick:  Giants -1½ -140
Best Line Offered:  at Intertops

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