MLB Picks: Braves vs. Giants Series Coverage

Darin Zank

Monday, May 12, 2014 2:08 PM GMT

Atlanta got this series to even with a 5-0 victory Tuesday night, spoiling our attempt at going 2-0 with our free picks on this series. Who will we go with for Wednesday afternoon's (3:45 pm ET) series rubber match?

 

14th May
Braves vs. Giants Game 3

By: Ron Patrick

 

Wednesday's Line
In the early betting San Fran and Madison Bumgarner were chalked at around -125 for Wednesday's game over Atlanta and Julio Teheran, with a total of 6.5 runs.

[gameodds]3/264007/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Wednesday's Pitching Match-Up
Bumgarner (4-3, 2.83) is four-for-eight on quality starts this season, and three for his last four. Most recently he limited the Dodgers to one run through eight innings, and over his last four starts he's allowed seven ER through 27 innings.

For the season Bumgarner has given up 52 hits in 47 2/3 innings, with 15 walks and 54 strikeouts.

San Francisco is 5-3 in Bumgarner's starts, with the totals splitting 4-4.

Since the beginning of last season Bumgarner has started three times against Atlanta, allowing just one ER and nine hits in 20 innings, with 30 strikeouts. The Giants have won all three of those games.

Teheran (2-2, 1.71) is a perfect eight-for-eight on quality starts this season. He's pitched at least six innings every time out, and has yet to give up more than three ER in any outing. Last time out he held the Cubs to one run on one hit – a solo home run from someone named Mike Olt - through eight innings of a 3-2 Braves victory. And just before that Teheran gave up three runs – on three solo homers – in seven innings against these Giants.

For the season Teheran has allowed just 36 hits in 58 innings, walked 11 and whiffed 42. Atlanta is 6-2 in Teheran's starts, with the totals skewing toward the UNDERS by a 6-2 margin.

In three career starts against San Francisco Teheran has given up six ER and 18 hits in 20 innings; the Braves won two of those games, and two of those games stayed UNDER the totals.

 

Free Pick for Wednesday
This is a tough one; Bumgarner and the Giants are short favorites over an Atlanta team that's had trouble scoring runs, but Teheran has been super this season. So we're not sure who's going to win this game. However, our guess is it will be low-scoring. So we'll go with the UNDER 6.5 runs, at the +105 offered at 5Dimes, for our free pick on this series finale.

 

13th May
Braves vs. Giants Game 2

By: Ron Patrick

 

Tuesday's Line
As of Tuesday a.m., Frisco and Ryan Vogelsong were favored by around -115 over Atlanta and Mike Minor, with a total of seven runs in this second round of a 3 game series.

 
Tuesday's Starting Pitchers
Vogelsong (1-1, 3.93) is four-for-seven on quality starts this year, and three for his last three. Most recently he held the Dodgers to one run through seven innings, and over his last three starts, including a winning performance against these Braves 10 days ago, he's given up just two ER in 20 1/3 innings.

On the season Vogelsong has allowed 36 hits in 36 2/3 innings, walked 16 and struck out 25. The Giants are 5-2 in Vogelsong's starts, with the totals skewing toward the 'under' by a 5-2 margin.

Vogelsong limited Atlanta to one run through six innings of a 3-1 San Francisco victory May 3. But in his only start last year against the Braves, he got roughed up for six runs in less than five innings of a 6-3 Giants loss.

Minor (0-2, 6.97) will be making his third start of this season, after missing time with a sore shoulder. His season debut was a success, considering he held these Giants to two runs through six innings and didn't walk a batter, back on May 2. But last time out Minor got clipped for six runs and 11 hits in less than five innings of a 7-1 Braves loss to St. Louis last Wednesday.

So through two starts Minor has given up eight runs and 18 hits in 10 1/3 innings, with two walks and 10 strikeouts. The Braves have lost both his starts.

Over his last two starts against San Francisco, Minor has given up six ER and 14 hits in 12 innings; Atlanta split those two games.

 

Betting Trends Update
After Monday's game stayed 'under' its total, Atlanta has now played eight 'unders' in its last 10 games, while San Francisco has played nine 'unders' in its last 13 games.

Also, stretching back to last season, seven of the last eight meetings in this series have stayed 'under'.

Free MLB Pick for Tuesday: San Francisco owns a .336 team OBP against left-handed pitching this season, while Atlanta owns a dismal .278 OBP vs. righties. So we'll go with the Giants, at the  -104 offered at Pinnacle, for our free MLB pick for Tuesday.
[gameodds]3/263867/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds] 

 

12th May
Braves vs. Giants Game 1

By: Ron Patrick

 

The Betting Lines
As of Monday morning, most books we sampled were chalking San Francisco and Tim Lincecum at around -115 over Atlanta and Gavin Floyd, with a total of seven runs. The Greek was listing San Francisco at -130 to win this series, with the Braves getting +110.

 

Series Set-Up
San Francisco just took three of four games from the rival Dodgers over the weekend, and has won four of its last five series. At 24-14 the Giants lead the NL West by two games over second-place Colorado.

The Braves had inexplicably lost eight of nine games, but just swept three games at home from the Cubs over the weekend, allowing a total of just four runs.

At 21-15 Atlanta leads the NL East by two games over second-place Miami.

This is the second meeting between these teams this season. Two weeks ago, the Giants went into Atlanta, and swept three games from the Braves, by scores of 2-1, 3-1 and 4-1. As you might have guessed, all three of those games stayed 'under' their totals. These betting patterns are important to keep in mind when placing your MLB picks. 

 

Monday's Pitching Match-Up
Lincecum (2-2, 5.55), by our strict standards, is just one-for-seven on quality starts this year. He posted his best outing of the season 12 days ago against these Braves, giving up one run in six innings of that 2-1 Giants victory at Turner Field. Last time out, he allowed four runs in four innings against Pittsburgh, however. 

On the season, this two-time Cy Young Award winner has given up 50 hits in 35 2/3 innings, with 11 walks and 35 strikeouts. San Francisco is 5-2 in Lincecum's starts, with the totals going 3-2.

Since the beginning of last season, Lincecum has started three times against Atlanta, and has been tough, allowing just three ER and 14 hits in 19 innings. The Giants have won two of those games, and all three played 'under' the totals. 

Floyd (0-0, 1.29) will be making his second start of this season, after starting the campaign on the DL while still recovering from elbow surgery. In his season debut last Tuesday against St. Louis Floyd allowed just one run and six hits in seven innings of a 2-1 Atlanta victory. 

This will be Floyd's first start against the Giants since 2008, when he was with the White Sox.

This series matches two of the best bullpens in baseball. The Giants pen leads the Majors with a 2.10 ERA while going 14-for-21 in save opportunities, while the Braves pen ranks sixth in ERA at 2.87 and is 13-for-17 in save chances.

 
At the Bat
San Francisco ranks third in the Majors in homers with 45, 21st in team OBP at .311, and has averaged 4.2 runs per game. Giants bats have been a little cold as of late, scoring more than three runs in just three of their last 11 games. 

Atlanta ranks second-worst in all of baseball in scoring at a pedestrian 3.2 runs per game, third-worst in OBP at .293. The Braves have been held to three runs or fewer in 11 of their last 13 games.

Read more expert analysis for tonight's game.

Braves-Giants Betting Trends
With its good-pitch/no-hit combo Atlanta has tilted toward the 'unders' this season by a 22-12 margin, and has played seven 'unders' in its last nine games.

The totals have leaned toward the 'unders' in Giants home games this season by an 8-7 margin.

 
Injury Update
Atlanta OF Justin Upton (.378 OBP, nine homers) missed Sunday's game after getting beaned in the back Saturday, but it sounds like he'll be ready to go Monday night. On the other side of the lineup card, San Francisco 1B Brandon Belt (nine homers) is on the DL with a broken thumb.  

Free MLB Pick: Lincecum hasn't impressed us this season, but he's been good against Atlanta recently. The Braves are having serious trouble scoring runs. In a close call, we'll go with the home-standing Giants, at the -109 offered at Pinnacle, for our free pick on Monday's game. 

[gameodds]3/263826/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]