The Padres are playing out the string. The Giants are holding out faint hopes that they can make a run in the National League West, but time and opportunity are both running out for them.
These two California rivals meet on Saturday evening as they look up at the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West standings.
Neither team can say that it has much of any momentum right now. The Padres are coming off a Thursday afternoon loss at home to the Colorado Rockies. They split four games at home with Colorado, which is a bad result for any team. Before that, the Padres lost three out of four games against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Padres are losing games in various ways, with all different kinds of scores. Nothing is working for this team, which seems to be headed for years of struggle while the Dodgers and Giants rule over the division, taking turns each season in terms of being a prime playoff threat.
The Giants have won three of the past five World Series, but they have alternated years, and this year appears to be no exception to the pattern. San Francisco has to get really, really hot over the final three weeks of the season to have any remote chance at overtaking the Dodgers for a playoff spot. San Francisco split a four-game series against the Rockies last weekend, and this week, the Giants lost two out of three to the Arizona Diamondbacks. They’re in huge trouble, buried because of the injuries and general inconsistencies suffered by the back end of their starting rotation.
With Ian Kennedy on the mound, the Padres have a pitcher who is the definition of okay – nothing awful, but nothing great. Kennedy takes a 3.99 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP into this game. Kennedy was very solid in a stretch of three starts from Aug. 22 through Sept. 2 in which he did not allow more than two runs per outing. However, in his most recent game, Kennedy got mashed for six runs in five innings by the Rockies. Kennedy will pitch a number of games with a six-inning, two-run scoreline, but then he’ll toss in a game in which he gives up four to six runs, which fattens the ERA.
The Giants counter with Madison Bumgarner, who dominated the World Series and swings and very threatening bat, having hit several home runs this season, but Bumgarner has not been a dominant starting pitcher this season. He can dominate at times, but the pattern with him is that he does throw in a clunker every now and then, such as his recent six-inning, four-run, nine-hit performance at Colorado over the past weekend. Bumgarner did allow just one run in two straight complete games on Aug. 11 and 16, but in the four starts which followed, he’s given up 10 runs in 25 1/3 innings, which is solid… but not Cy Young stuff. Bumgarner’s ERA is 3.05, higher than many expected this year. His WHIP is 1.05.
What’s The Pick?
The Kennedy-Bumgarner matchup has to go to the Giants. Any San Francisco game with Bumgarner on the hill should lead to a Giants bet, unless the opposing pitcher is named Arrieta, Kershaw, Greinke, or a few select others. Since the moneyline is a tad high on the MLB odds board, though, we’ll lay the run line to knock down the juice with one of our MLB picks.
MLB Pick: Giants -1.5 (+120) at The Greek