MLB Picks: Giants vs. Dodgers Series Betting Blog

Willie Bee

Thursday, September 12, 2013 12:43 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 12, 2013 12:43 PM UTC

Longtime National League rivals meet for a 4-game set in Los Angeles and SBR will follow the entire series with free MLB picks and game analysis. Let's review tonights betting odds.


15th SEPT
Sunday's Game

By: Willie Bee


One day after cursing Hunter Pence, allow me to do a 180 and praise the San Francisco Giants outfielder whose bat led a 19-3 assault vs. a Los Angeles Dodgers squad that has looked very mortal on a diamond the past week or so.

San Francisco hopes to keep the bats booming in the last of this 4-game set Sunday when Ryan Vogelsong takes the mound against Edinson Volquez.  Despite Volquez's ERA sitting just a hair below 6.00, he and the Dodgers are burdened with chalk in the upper -130s at most shops monitored by SBR's live MLB odds.  An 8 run total will cost OVER bettors a few extra pennies.

Pence drove in seven and homered for a third consecutive game, while Brandon Belt had five hits and six ribbies to fuel the Game 3 San Fran attack.  The win left the Giants in a 3-way tie for last in the NL West alongside Colorado and San Diego, both losers on Saturday; the loss was LA's seventh in the last 10 games, leaving the Dodgers with a magic number of 4 to clinch the division.

Volquez Seeks 1st Win In A Dodgers Jersey

Vogelsong returned from the DL about six weeks ago and pitched pretty well in his five August starts, three of them wins for the Giants.  But September has been a different story with both the Diamondbacks and Rockies knocking him around in San Francisco's pitcher-friendly park.  His lone assignment vs. the Dodgers this year was also a disaster as Vogelsong failed to make it through the fifth having allowed seven runs.

Volquez is making his third start for LA since he was picked up following his release from the Padres in late-July.  He held his own last Tuesday in a 5-3 win over Arizona, a no-decision on Volquez's ledger with six innings of 4-hit, 3-ER baseball.  The husky Dominican saw the Giants three times this season while pitching for San Diego, the Pads losing two of those contests while Volquez surrendered 13 runs in 16 frames.

Behind The Plate, Mother Nature & A Pick 

Mark Carlson finishes the umpire rotation for this series with plate duty in Sunday's series finale.  About to finish up his 15th big league season, Carlson is 15-16-1 O/U/P on the year, one of those UNDERS in San Diego near the end of July in a start by Edinson Volquez while he was still wearing a Padres uniform.

A typically warm and sunny forecast is in the mix for Los Angeles as the Dodgers wrap up this homestand.  The thermometer is expected to climb past the mid-80s without a cloud in the sky, accompanied by a 6-10 mph SW wind (out to right).

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Pence (5-for-31, 1 HR) hasn't had a lot of success vs. Volquez, but several SF batters have.  Likewise, several LA hitters have enjoyed taking their hacks against Vogelsong.  That's why I'm going to play Sunday's contest to the OVER for my free pick.

My pick: Giants-Dodgers Over 8 (-120) at Bet365


14th SEPT

By: Willie Bee


Damn you, Hunter Pence! An 8th-inning blast by the Giants right fielder provided a little cushion for San Francisco in a 4-2 win Friday over the Los Angeles Dodgers, but it also served to push the 6 run total to keep us from a winner.

The series all level at a game apiece, the rivals meet Saturday in what is once again the final contest on the baseball betting card. Mound combatants for Game 3 are San Fran's Tim Lincecum and LA's Ricky Nolasco, and it's the Dodgers who are decided favorites in the mid-to-upper -160s.

MLB odds for the match also include a 7 run total that is generally split high and low.


I don't understand how anyone can root against Tim Lincecum, except for when he pitches against your team or you have money on the other team. Even then, it's difficult for me to root against Lincecum, and that goes back to some of his duels years ago against Roy Oswalt and my beloved Astros. 

Lincecum seems to be embracing his early transition from thrower to pitcher, which is a shame since he's only 29. But it has meant paydays his last four times out, and he has split his two starts at Dodger Stadium this season with a 3.48 ERA. 

Right now, Nolasco is the most important pitcher in a July deal, and it could be argued he's the best acquisition period for the 2013 stretch run, even more so than Alfonso Soriano's return to the New York Yankees. Los Angeles is 10-2 in Nolasco's starts since he donned Dodger Blue, and he's got an excellent track record for his career vs. the Giants. This is his first start against them in an LA jersey, but the Marlins won four of his last five tries opposite San Francisco.

Behind The Plate, Mother Nature & A Pick

Brian Knight has been about as steady as they come in the totals column (15-16-2 O/U/P), only once having s string of three in either direction. He has worked four games in LA or Anaheim this year, three of them going OVER including an Aug. 25 contest between the Red Sox and Dodgers at Chavez Ravine.

It might be the last game on Saturday's MLB betting slate, but it's important to remember this is still a twilight affair locally (6 PM PT). The weatherman has the thermometer still in the 80s at first pitch and calls for a light SE breeze (out to right).

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As much as I wish Pence hadn't gone deep to end last night's scoring, he has been red-hot the last week or so and could help the Giants once again as the underdog. Los Angeles will be without Hanley Ramirez (back) and probably minus Andre Ethier (ankle). I'm going with the Giants in Game 3 for my free play.

My pick: Giants +150 at Bet365


13th SEPT
Friday's Series Opener

By: Willie Bee


The pitching duel we expected came through in Game 1 between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, and all signs point to yet another low-scoring affair Friday night in a battle of stellar southpaws.

Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw are scheduled for the bump at Dodger Stadium, with Los Angeles opening as $2.00 chalk to begin the baseball betting proceedings. There's been very little movement to those MLB odds, and the 6 run total has gone from an even price to favoring the UNDER.

Is Bumgarner Too Tempting at This Price?

Perhaps. After all, we are talking about a guy who is 7-3 in 10 career starts at Dodger Stadium where he owns a lifetime 2.57 ERA (59.1 IP, 0.99 WHIP), so it's natural to like him with a $1.75 return. Bumgarner has twice faced the Dodgers' other lefty, Hyun-Jin Ryu, splitting those decisions with the win coming in LA with eight shutout frames on April 2, and also beat Stephen Fife and the Bums on another occasion. 

Offense has failed Bumgarner, however, evidenced by their 2-8 mark the last 10 times he has been on the mound, a 2.41 ERA in that span. 

Kershaw was part of our preview & pick assignment sheet last Sunday night in a game ESPN featured at Cincinnati. The leading candidate for the NL Cy Young Award did his job, but the Reds walked off with a 3-2 triumph to pull off the first sweep of the Dodgers since being broomed in May at Atlanta. The Dodgers are 3-1 in his four tries vs. San Fran this season, Kershaw's ERA way down there at 1.13 in 32 frames.

Behind The Plate, Mother Nature & A Pick

An umpire I call Little Napoleon, Dan Iassogna, is next in the rotation to call balls and strikes. Iassogna was known for his quick thumb and confrontational style when he initially came on the scene, and while he has slowed with the ejections, he still seems to be looking for a fight. The Nutmeg State native has been a friend to UNDER bettors (9-19-1 O/U/P) this season, nine of his last 11 plate assignments falling short. 

There is a little more humidity in tonight's forecast for the 90012, but otherwise about the same as Thursday. The thermometer should be on 75° for first pitch with a light SW breeze (out to right). 

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It took 10 innings for the two clubs to score five runs and decide matters Thursday when Zack Greinke and Matt Cain were on the hill. Los Angeles could be minus a bat tonight with Hanley Ramirez nursing a sore left hammy, and I'm going to count on that helping a second UNDER for my free pick.

My pick: Giants-Dodgers Under 6 (-115) at Bet365


12th SEPT
Thursday's Series Opener

By: Willie Bee


Get an early edge in today's games! Check out our Daily Baseball Odds & Betting Lines Report!

Expect a full house tonight at Chavez Ravine. It's the opener of a 4-game series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the rival San Francisco Giants, which always brings fans out regardless of the standings. In which, LA is sitting pretty atop the NL West with a 12-game lead, the largest of any division.

It's also Magic Johnson bobble-head night, and that should have what is generally a fashionably late Dodgers crowd arriving early.

The entire series features strong pitching matchups, beginning with Game 1 when Matt Cain, making just his second start off the DL, opposes Zack Greinke. Listed last on Thursday's baseball betting card, the Dodgers are heavy favorites in the -170s behind Greinke, and SBR's live MLB odds show 6.5 runs for the total with the consensus favoring the prospective pitching duel to the ‘Over’.

Defending Champs Hope to Delay LA's Celebration

From World Series champs to the basement of the NL West, that's how 2013 has gone for the Giants. Escaping the division cellar and keeping the Dodgers from clinching the title the next few days could go a long way to at least salvaging something from the disappointing campaign.

Cain has had a disastrous season, at least by his standards, and been particularly vulnerable to big early innings. The Cardinals got to him twice for a combined 16 runs in less than 10 total innings, and for the first time in his career, Cain failed to make it out of the first inning of an assignment when the Mets beat him just before the all-star break.

The Dodgers also chased him in a July 5th outing in San Francisco, sending him to the showers with a 6-run third just five days prior to the fiasco vs. the Mets. Cain owns a respectable 3.58 career ERA in 26 starts against the Dodgers -- even better in LA at 2.78 -- yet the Giants are a subpar 11-15 overall.

Dodgers' Magic Number Now At 6

Los Angeles will need some help from the Colorado Rockies, but the opportunity to wrap up the NL West crown in front of the home crowd on Sunday exists. The Dodgers, who begin their final road trip of the year next Monday in Phoenix, need a combination of six wins and/or Arizona losses to claim their first division title since 2009. The Diamondbacks are home this weekend for a 3-game series that begins Friday against the Rockies.

Last Saturday in Cincinnati, Los Angeles dropped just its second game started by Greinke since June 21st, in a 4-3 decision that took 10 innings to complete. Greinke worked the first six of those innings and left with a 3-2 lead, striking out nine along the way. The Dodgers are 14-2 the last 16 times he's been in the mound, both losses coming to the Reds.

Greinke missed facing the Giants the first four times the clubs got together this season, and is seeing them for only the second time in his career. The other assignment was May 2012 in San Francisco while he was pitching for the Brewers, and Greinke made it one out into the sixth having allowed four runs (3 earned).

Weather shouldn't be an issue Thursday, nor should it be a problem the rest of the weekend. The game time forecast tonight is the low-to-mid 70s, clear skies and a slight WSW breeze (out to right-center).

Much like the Dodgers' season, it has been a tale of two halves for this rivalry. San Francisco took five of the first six played in April and May with the Dodgers winning five of six in June and July. Totals in Los Angeles have run 2-3-1 O/U/P, and 5-7 in the Dodgers' last 12 home games. I'll be going with the ‘Under’ in the opener for my free Thursday sports picks.

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MLB Pick: Bet the Giants/Dodgers UNDER 6.5 (+100) at Bet365

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