MLB Picks: Giants-Reds 4-Game Series at Great American Ball Park

Darin Zank

Thursday, May 14, 2015 1:16 PM GMT

Cincy took the opener of this series Thursday night behind Johnny Cueto. Now it's San Francisco's turn to throw its ace. How are we betting Game 3?

 

 

 

16th MAY
Saturday's Game 3

By: Ron Patrick

 

 

Game 3 Betting Odds
As of early Saturday morning most MLB betting odds were listing Cincinnati and Mike Leake at around -140 over San Francisco and Ryan Vogelsong, with a total of eight runs.

 

Game 2 Recap
Brandon Belt belted a three-run homer in the top of the first inning Friday night, sending San Francisco on its way to a 10-2 victory. The Giants won as -130 favorites on Friday's MLB dime line, and to our delight covered against the run line.

Frisco starter Madison Bumgarner threw seven innings Friday night, allowing just two runs (on a pair of solo homers) and eight hits, walking none.

Cincy starter Jason Marquis, on the other hand, got tagged for six runs in three innings of work. The Reds bullpen, the worst in baseball, then gave up four runs over the last six innings.

In personnel notes Cincinnati IF Brandon Phillips returned to the lineup Friday, after missing a couple of games with a sore toe. Meanwhile, the Giants may get OF Hunter Pence back Saturday, after he's missed the start of this season recovering from a broken forearm.

 

Saturday's Starters
Leake is five-for-seven on quality starts this season, running on a string of five in a row. Monday he held Atlanta to one run through six innings; just before that he threw eight scoreless innings against Pittsburgh; and just before that he threw eight scoreless against the Braves. For the season Leake has allowed 13 runs and 48 base-runners through 49 2/3 innings; Cincy is only 3-4 in Leake's starts, but that's not his fault, considering two of those losses came by a score of 2-1. Also, the totals are 3-4 in Leake's starts.

Leake started twice against San Francisco last season; in one outing he gave up five runs in five innings, but in the other he gave up just one run through eight. The Reds split those two games.

Vogelsong is three-for-five on quality starts this season, and two for his last two. Last Sunday he allowed just one run through seven innings against Miami, and just before that he threw seven scoreless innings against San Diego. On the season Vogey has given up 21 ER and 48 base-runners through 33 1/3 innings; the Giants are 3-2 in his starts, with the totals going 3-2.

Last year Vogelsong started twice against Cincinnati, allowing three runs and 12 hits through 12 1/3 innings, with one walk and 16 strikeouts. Frisco split those two games, and both games played UNDER.

 

Saturday's Batting Splits
San Francisco owns a .327 team OBP and a .386 team slugging percentage against right-handed pitching this season.

Cincy owns a .312 OBP and a .379 slugging percentage against righties.

 

Game 3 Free Picks
Leake has been tough as of late, but Vogelsong is coming off a couple of good outings of his own. The value on today's betting line resides with the Giants. Also, we give both guys good chances at coming up with quality starts tonight, which should help this game stay UNDER for our MLB pick.

 

Free MLB Picks: San Francisco +127 at 5Dimes and UNDER eight runs at GT Bets

 

 

 

15th MAY
Friday's Game 2

By: Ron Patrick

 

 

Game 2 Betting Odds
As of early Friday morning most books were listing San Francisco and Madison Bumgarner at around -150 on the MLB betting odds over Cincy with Jason Marquis, with a total of 7.5 runs.

 

Game 1 Recap
Marlon Byrd broke a 3-3 tie with a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth, sending Cincy to a series-opening 4-3 victory. The Reds won as -165 betting favorites Thursday, but couldn't cover on the run line. Also, Thursday's game pushed its total of seven runs.

Cincinnati ace Johnny Cueto turned in another nice performance, going seven innings, allowing two runs and five hits, striking out nine. He left the game with a one-run lead, but it only took the Cincy bullpen, the worst in the Majors at the moment, three batters to blow that lead.

San Francisco starter Tim Lincecum was charged with three runs and five hits, while walking five, through just 4 2/3 innings.

Reds IF Brandon Phillips missed Thursday's game with a sore toe, and his status for Friday night remains uncertain.

 

Friday's Starters
Marquis, by our tough standards, is just one-for-six on quality starts this season. Three starts ago he held Milwaukee to two runs through eight innings, but since then he's allowed eight runs through 12 innings against the Braves and White Sox. For the season Marquis has permitted 22 earned runs and 53 base-runners (43 hits + 10 walks) through 35 innings; Cincy is somehow 4-2 in his starts, with the totals skewing toward the OVERS by a 5-1 margin.

Marquis last started against San Francisco two seasons ago, when as a Padre he gave up four runs in 12 innings in two outings against the Giants.

Bumgarner is four-for-seven on quality starts this season, and three for his last four. Last Saturday he gave up three runs in five innings against Miami, with 10 strikeouts, and over his previous three starts he held opponents to just three runs total. On the season Bumsie has allowed 48 base-runners (40 hits + eight walks) through 43 2/3 innings; San Francisco is 4-3 in Bumgarner's starts, with the totals going 4-3.

Last year Bumgarner started twice against Cincinnati; in one outing he held the Reds to one run through eight innings, but in the other he gave up five in six. The Giants split the two games.

 

Friday's Batting Splits
San Francisco owns a .324 team OBP and a .378 team slugging percentage against right-handed pitching this season.

Cincinnati owns a .318 OBP and a .426 slugging percentage against lefties this season.

 

Game 2 Free Picks
Bumgarner gets the check-mark in the pitching match-up, so we like San Francisco to even this series with a victory Friday night. And in searching for a better price we'll take the Giants on the run line as our MLB pick. Also, with a little help from the Reds bullpen tonight's game should go OVER.

Free MLB Picks: San Francisco +130 on the run line at Heritage and OVER 7.5 at WagerWeb.

 

14th MAY
Thursday's Series Opener

By: Ron Patrick

 

 

Game 1 Betting Odds
As of early Thursday morning MLB betting odds were chalking Cincy and Johnny Cueto at around -160 over San Francisco and Tim Lincecum, with a total of seven runs. Also, Bookmaker was listing the Reds at -135 to win this series, based on the first three games, with the Giants getting +115.

 

Series Set-Up
San Francisco just split two games in Houston, winning Tuesday 8-1 but losing Wednesday 4-3. The Giants led 3-1 through 4 ½ innings Wednesday, but allowed the Astros to rally with single runs in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings.

Last weekend Frisco split four games with Miami; just before that the Giants took two of three from San Diego; just before that they swept three games from the Angels. So San Francisco is 8-4 over its last 12 games.

Cincy, meanwhile, just took two of three games at home from Atlanta, losing Monday 2-1 but winning Tuesday 4-3 and Wednesday 5-1. The Reds got a nice boost Wednesday with a quality outing from young Raisel Iglesias, who allowed just two hits in eight innings of work.

Last weekend Cincinnati dropped two of three games to the White Sox; just before that the Reds took two of three from Pittsburgh; just before that they split four games with Atlanta; and just before that they took two of three from Milwaukee. So Cincy is 9-7 over its last 16 games.

The Reds have also played four UNDERS in a row, scoring just 13 runs during that span but allowing only 10.

Big-picture, at 17-17 both Cincy and San Francisco sit 1.5 games behind Washington and the Cubs in the battle for the second National League wild-card spot.

This is the first meeting between these former division rivals this season; last season Cincy took five of seven games from Frisco, with the totals splitting 3-3-1.

 

Thursday’s Starters
Cueto is four-for-seven on quality starts this season, but 0 for his last two. However, last time out, last Saturday, Cueto allowed just one run through the first eight innings of an easy win over the Cubs, then gave up three meaningless runs in the bottom of the ninth. For the season Johnny has allowed 17 earned runs and just 37 hits through 51 1/3 innings, with a super K/BB ratio of 47/8; Cincy is 4-3 in Cueto's starts, with the totals leaning UNDER by a 4-2-1 margin.

But Johnny has also been tagged for two home runs in each of his last three starts.

Cueto started once against San Francisco last year, giving up just two runs and four hits through 8 1/3 innings of a 6-2 Reds win.

After posting a 4.74 ERA last season Lincecum is off to a very nice start to this season, with four quality starts out of his first six outings. Last Thursday he threw six scoreless innings against Miami, and just before that he threw eight scoreless innings against the Angels. On the season Lincecum has allowed just eight earned runs and 29 hits through 36 innings, with 28 strikeouts and 14 walks; San Francisco is 3-3 in Lincecum's starts, with the totals leaning UNDER 4-2.

Over his career Lincecum has been terrible against Cincinnati; in fact, the last two times he's faced the Reds, most recently back in June of last season, he's been tagged for 16 runs in just eight innings of work. The Giants are 1-5 in Lincecum's six career starts against Cincy.

 

The Pens
If this series comes down to the bullpen San Francisco owns an edge. The Giants pen ranks 10th in the Majors this season with a 3.23 ERA, with nine saves in 11 chances, while the Reds bullpen ranks dead last with a 5.21 ERA, with six saves in 10 chances.

 

Thursday's Batting Splits
San Francisco owns a .325 team OBP and a .383 team slugging percentage against right-handed pitching this season.

Cincinnati owns a .308 OBP and a .379 slugging percentage against righties this year.

 

Injury Update
Cincinnati IF Brandon Phillips missed Wednesday's game with a sore toe, and he's uncertain for Thursday.

 

Giants-Reds Game 1 Free Pick
We love betting on Johnny Cueto; meanwhile, when it comes to Lincecum, it's almost as if everybody is waiting for him to blow up. He's definitely a risky proposition. So we like Cincinnati as our MLB pick to take Thursday's series opener. And since we also like to gamble we'll go with the home team on the run line. Also, in thinking runs might be a bit hard to come by tonight we like the UNDER.

Free MLB Picks: Cincinnati +145 on the run line at Heritage, and UNDER seven runs at WagerWeb.