MLB Picks: Back Underdog Giants +118 to Upset Cubs

Charles Stark

Thursday, August 6, 2015 12:46 AM GMT

Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015 12:46 AM GMT

All games are important at this time of the year and no game is more important than this matchup between the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs. This a really good pitching matchup and at worst is a coin flip between these two surging teams, but for me the value definitely lies with the Giants.

Odds
With the Cubs being at home it makes sense for them to be favored in this pretty even pitching matchup. Oddsmakers have come out making them about -120 favorite which puts the Giants on the plus money line of about +110. The best MLB odds right now are at that number of +110 at Pinnacle.

 

Pitching Matchup
Quick, which starter leads the Giants in ERA? Most likely you didn't say today's starter Chris Heston, who has been very solid this year with a 3.24 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 101 strikeouts, and an 11-5 record. On the road his ERA does balloon up to just a bit over 4.00, but in his last 10 games he has been arguably the Giants' best pitcher. In those 10 games he allowed just three runs at most and that was on three different occasions, and that's it. In his last five starts he has only allowed six total earned runs in over 30 innings pitched.

One guy that has been crucial to the Cubs so far this season is today's starter Jason Hamel, who comes in with a 3.13 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 116 strikeouts, and a 6-5 record. He is pitching well below his career numbers of 4.47 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. In his last start at home though he got knocked around a little bit by the Phillies, allowing six earned runs in just three innings. Although he is having a good season I simply don't see him holding the Giants down that much.

 

Offenses
San Francisco ranks seventh in the league in runs scored per game at 4.40, seventh in the league in OPS at .741, and third in batting average hitting .272. Probably the best statistic that I like about San Francisco is that they don't strikeout a lot and rank sixth in the league in the least amount of strikeouts per game, simply put they battle every at-bat. Also, recently they are finding ways to get guys in, ranking sixth in the league in the least amount of runners left on base in the last three games.

Offensively, the Cubs rank lower than the Giants in just about every major offensive category, ranking 22nd in runs scored per game at 3.86, 24th in OPS at .688, and batting just .238 as a team, good for 29th ranked in the major leagues. The very strange part about all of the statistics is that at home the Cubs are worse than they are on the road.

I really like Joe Maddon and I want to believe that the Cubs can make a real push for the pennant. But today the value sides with the Giants and there is a reason why they are the defending World Series champs. I will gladly grab them as the underdog with a little bit of plus money on their side. This should be the best game of the day.

MLB Pick: Giants +118 at The Greek

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