MLB Picks: Cardinals vs. Giants Series Coverage

Darin Zank

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 2:10 PM GMT

San Francisco broke a four-game losing streak with a 5-0 victory in the opener of this series Tuesday night, giving us a winner with our free MLB pick on the 'under.' The Giants shoot for two in a row when the teams meet for the middle game of this three-game set Wednesday night (10:15 pm ET).

 

3rd July
Cardinals vs. Giants Game 3

By: Ron Patrick

 

Thursday's Betting Odds
As of early Thursday morning the best line we could find on Frisco and Madison Bumgarner was the -144 offered at Bet365, while St. Louis and Carlos Martinez could be gotten at +136 at BetOnline. Also, most shops were listing the total on Thursday's game at seven runs.

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Wednesday Re-Hash
The Cardinals pushed across two runs in the fourth inning, and starter Adam Wainwright and two relievers made that stand in a 2-0 St. Louis victory. The Cards won as -145 post-time chalk, and the game, to our great satisfaction, stayed 'under' its total of 6.5 runs.

While the victory was nice, St. Louis has now scored three or fewer runs in six straight games.

The Giants' bats ain't been much better, as they've been held to three or fewer runs in seven of their last nine games.


Thursday's Starters
Bumgarner (9-5, 2.90) is 9/17 on quality starts this year. Last Friday he got nicked for five runs in six innings against Cincinnati, but just before that he held Arizona to one unearned run through eight innings.

On the season Bumsie has allowed 101 hits in 109 innings, while posting an excellent K/BB ratio of 114/26. Frisco is 10-7 in games Bumgarner has started, with the totals going 9-7.

In his only start last year against St. Louis Bumgarner gave up five runs in six innings of a 7-1 Giants loss. But in his one start this season against the Cardinals he threw seven scoreless innings, striking out 10, in a 9-4 Frisco win.

Martinez (1-3, 4.13) will be making his fourth start of this season, to go along with 30 appearances in relief. Last time out he held the Dodgers to one run through 4 1/3 innings, although he danced with danger, allowing six hits and walking three. Just before that he gave up three runs in five innings against Philly.

For the season Martinez has allowed 42 hits in 48 innings, walked 22 and struck out 40. The Cardinals are 3-0 in games Martinez has started.

This will be Martinez' first-ever start against San Francisco, although he gave up four runs in 3 1/3 innings of two relief appearances against the Giants a month ago.


Free Pick for Thursday
We're 2-0 on our free picks in this series, playing the 'under' twice, then watching with delight as the teams have combined to score just seven runs. So why would we change today? We'll take the 'under' seven runs, at the -120 offered at 5Dimes, for Thursday's free MLB pick.  

 

2nd July
Cardinals vs. Giants Game 2

By: Ron Patrick

 

Wednesday's Betting Odds
In early line surfing the best price we could find on St. Louis with Adam Wainwright was the -134 offered at Bet365, while San Francisco and Ryan Vogelsong could be gotten at +128 at 5Dimes. Also, most books were listing the total on Wednesday's game at 6.5 runs.


Tuesday Re-Hash
Tim Lincecum followed up his no-hit performance with eight shutout innings while Frisco's bats put up a couple crooked numbers for a 5-0 Giants victory. San Francisco won as a -110 favorite on Tuesday's MLB betting line, and to our delight the game stayed 'under' its total of 7.5 runs.

St. Louis has lost three games in a row, scoring a total of one run.

The Giants are now 4-1 against the Cardinals this season.


Wednesday's Starters
Vogelsong (5-4, 3.96) is 8/16 on quality starts this season, although only one for his last four. Last Thursday he held the Reds to one run through six innings, but over his three starts previous to that he gave up 13 runs in 16 innings.

For the season Vogey has allowed 91 hits in 91 innings, walked 29 and struck out 78. San Francisco is 10-6 in games Vogelsong has started, with the totals tilting toward the 'unders' by a 10-6 margin.

Since the beginning of last season Vogelsong has started twice against the Cardinals, giving up nine runs and 16 hits in 11 2/3 innings; the Giants split those two games, and both games played 'over.'

Wainwright (10-4, 2.01) is a solid 13/16 on quality starts, and four for his last four. Last time out he held the Dodgers to one run through eight innings, albeit in a losing effort, and over his last four starts he's allowed just four runs through 31 innings.

On the season Wainwright has allowed just 83 hits in 116 innings, walked 22 and whiffed 105. St. Louis is 12-4 in games Wainwright has started, with the totals leaning 'under' 8-5.

Wainwright started twice against the Giants last year, holding them to three runs through 16 innings; the Cardinals won both those games. But in his first start against Frisco this year he got clipped for seven runs in four-plus innings of a 9-4 St. Louis defeat.


Free Pick for Wednesday
We won with the 'under' on the first game of this series, and see no reason to deviate for Game 2. So we'll take the 'under' 6.5 runs, at the -105 offered at Will Hill, for our free MLB pick on Wednesday's contest.

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1st July
Cardinals vs. Giants Game 1

By: Ron Patrick

 

Cards-Giants Betting Odds  
In early betting action, the best price we could find for Tuesday's game on San Francisco with Tim Lincecum was the -108 offered at Pinnacle, while St. Louis and rookie lefty Marco Gonzalez could be found at +106 at BetOnline. Also, most shops were listing the total on Tuesday's game at 7.5 runs, with the grease leaning toward the 'under' to varying degrees. And Bovada was chalking the Giants at -125 to win this series, with the Cardinals “getting” -105.  


Series Set-Up  
San Francisco just got swept four games at home over the weekend by Cincinnati, scoring a total of six runs in the process. The Giants have lost five of their last six series and 15 of their last 19 games.  
At 46-36 the Giants now trail the Dodgers by a half-game in the NL West. St. Louis, meanwhile, just dropped three of four games to the Dodgers in LA over the weekend, scoring a total of four runs in the process. The Cardinals are 1-1-1 in their last three series, losing seven of their last 12 games.  
At 44-39 St. Louis trails Milwaukee by 6.5 games in the NL Central. This is the second meeting this season between these two teams; one month ago the Giants went into St. Louis and took three of four games. Three of those games played 'over' the totals.  


Twirling Tuesday
Lincecum (6-5, 4.42), by our tough standards, is only 5/16 on quality starts this season, but he's coming off that no-hitter he threw against San Diego last Wednesday, in which he walked just one batter. But then again, that did come against the Padres, the most offensively challenged team in baseball. 

In his three starts previous to that, Lincecum had allowed nine ER through 18 innings. For the season the 2-time Cy Young winner has allowed 87 hits in 92 innings, walked 36 and struck out 83. Frisco is 10-6 in Lincecum's starts, with the totals splitting 7-7. This will be Lincecum's first start against St. Louis since he gave up four runs in four-plus innings in a Game 4 loss in the 2012 NLCS. 

Gonzalez (0-0, 9.00), the Cards' first-round pick in last year's draft, will be making his second ML start. In his debut last Wednesday against Colorado he gave up five runs in five innings of a game the Cardinals eventually won 9-6. In a season-plus in the Minors, nothing above AA ball, Gonzalez went 5-4 with an impressive 2.08 ERA, allowing 85 hits in 100 innings, walking 26 while whiffing 101. 

In the bullpen comparison for this series, the Giants rank sixth in ERA at 2.98, going 25/37 on save opportunities, but just removed Sergio Romo (and his 5.17 ERA) from the closer spot. Meanwhile the Cardinals rank 13th in ERA at 3.40 while going 27/37 on save opps.  


At the Bat  
St. Louis ranks 17th in team OBP at .316, just 29th in homers with 48 and 28th in scoring at 3.7 runs per game. San Francisco ranks 24th in OBP at .306, 10th in homers with 77 and 17th in scoring at 4.1 RPG. 


Cards-Giants Betting Trends  
St. Louis has tilted toward the 'unders' this season by a 44-32 margin. The Cardinals have also played 18 'unders' in their last 26 games. Games played at AT&T Park this season have leaned toward the 'overs' 24-21.  


Injury Update  
San Francisco has been playing without both OF Angel Pagan and Brandon Belt, but both could return to the lineup this week.  


Free Pick for Tuesday   
Lincecum can go Jekyll-and-Hyde, but he'll face a rather pedestrian St. Louis offense. Meanwhile, the Giants will go against a kid they've never seen. So in expecting a low-scoring affair we'll go with the 'under' 7.5 runs at the -118 offered at 5Dimes for our free MLB pick on this series opener.

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