MLB Picks: Giants vs. Dodgers Series Coverage

Darin Zank

Thursday, May 8, 2014 12:43 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 8, 2014 12:43 PM UTC

After dropping the first two games of this series LA got on the board with a 6-2 victory Saturday. In doing so the Dodgers also gave us a winner on our free pick for Saturday by covering on the run line. Who will we go with for our free pick on Sunday afternoon's series finale (4:10 pm ET)?


11th May
Giants vs. Dodgers Game 4

By: Ron Patrick


Sunday's Line
As of early Sunday AM Los Angeles and Clay Kershaw were favored by around -170 over San Fran and Tim Hudson, with a total of six.


Sunday's Pitching Match-Up
Kershaw (2-0, 0.66) will be making his third start of the season, his second since doing a stint on the DL with a back problem. In his comeback outing Tuesday night Kershaw scattered nine hits through seven innings against Washington, allowing zero runs, walking none while whiffing nine in an 8-3 Dodgers victory.

Through two starts Kershaw has allowed 14 hits and one run in 14 2/3 innings, with one walk and 16 whiffs. LA is 2-0 in Kershaw's starts this year, with the totals splitting 1-1.

Kershaw started five times against Frisco last year, giving up six ER and 22 hits in 39 innings. The Dodgers went 3-2 in those games, with the totals falling toward the UNDERS by a 4-0-1 margin.

Hudson (4-2, 1.99) is off to an excellent start to this season with his new team. He's six-for-seven on quality starts, and four for his last four. Last time out Hudson gave up two runs in 8 2/3 innings against Pittsburgh, losing the game on a two-out triple/error in the bottom of the ninth. And over his last four starts he's allowed six ER through 31 1/3 innings.

On the season Hudson has allowed just 37 hits in 54 1/3 innings, walked just three while striking out 36. The Giants are 5-2 in Hudson's starts, with the totals skewing toward the UNDERS by a 5-2 margin.

Pitching for Atlanta last year Hudson started once against Los Angeles, giving up one run in seven innings of a game the Braves eventually lost 5-0.

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Free Pick for Sunday
Hudson has been great this year, but we just can't go against Kershaw in this spot. But that price seems a bit steep. So we'll take a chance and go with the Dodgers on the run line, getting +140 at Will Hill, for our free pick on Sunday's game.


10th May
Giants vs. Dodgers Game 3

By: Ron Patrick


The Line
Most books we consulted opened Saturday's game with LA and Zack Greinke favored by around -150 over San Fran and Matt Cain, the total proffered at seven.


Saturday's Pitching Match-Up
Greinke is four-for-seven on quality starts, and had reeled off three in a row before Monday night, when he left the game because of a rain delay after giving up two runs in three innings against Washington.  Before that, Greinke had allowed just four ER over his previous four starts, covering 24 1/3 innings.

On the season Greinke has given up 36 hits in 38 1/3 innings, walking seven while striking out 47. The Dodgers are 5-2 in Greinke's starts, with the totals going 4-3.

Greinke has started twice against San Francisco since the beginning of last season, allowing three ER and 10 hits in 12 innings, with 13 strikeouts. LA won both those games.

Cain (0-3, 4.35) is coming off a stint on the DL, after cutting a finger. He last started April 23 at Colorado, when he got nicked for seven runs in six innings. Before that Cain was two-for-four on quality starts, and had held his two previous opponents to one run through 14 innings.

For the season Cain has allowed 31 hits in 31 innings, with 10 walks and 25 strikeouts. San Francisco is just 1-4 in Cain's starts, with the totals going 3-2.

Going back to the beginning of last season Cain has started six times against Los Angeles; four of those outings qualify as “quality,” while two, including a losing effort back on April 6, do not. Overall, Cain allowed 17 ER in 35 2/3 innings in those six starts, and San Francisco won just one of those six games.  

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Injury Update
Giants 1B Brandon Belt (nine HR) suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch Friday night, and he's headed for the disabled list.


Free Pick for Saturday
San Francisco seems to have LA's number at the moment, but we give Greinke the edge in today's pitching match-up. So we like the Dodgers to get on the board in this series Saturday. And since we like to gamble we'll take LA on the run line, getting +150 at YouWager, for our free pick for Saturday.  


9th May
Giants vs. Dodgers Game 2

By: Ron Patrick


The Line
In the early wagering on Friday's game San Francisco and Madison Bumgarner were favored by around -120 over LA and Paul Maholm, with a total of seven. But many books then boosted the Giants to the -130 range.


Friday's Pitching Match-Up
Maholm (1-2, 4.70), by our tough standards, is two-for-five on quality starts this season. Last time out he gave up three runs in six innings against Miami, while just before that he held Colorado to two runs in seven innings. 

For the season Maholm has allowed 37 hits in 30 2/3 innings, with 11 walks and just 12 strikeouts. The Dodgers are 2-3 in Maholm's starts, with the totals going 3-1.

Maholm has started twice already this season against the Giants, and he started once against them last year, pitching for the Braves. Over those three games he allowed 12 ER and 20 hits in 14 2/3 innings. His teams lost all three of those games, and two of them played OVER.

Bumgarner (3-3, 3.18) is three-for-seven on quality starts this season, two for his last three. Most recently he held Atlanta to one unearned run in six innings, and over his last three starts he's allowed six ER in 17 innings.

On the season Bumsie has given up 48 hits in 39 2/3 innings, walked 14 and whiffed 46. The Giants are 4-3 in Bumgarner's starts, with the totals going 4-3.

Bumgarner has already started twice against the Dodgers this season, and made four starts against them last year. Over those six games he allowed 10 ER and 29 hits in 38 2/3 innings. San Francisco went 4-2 in those games, while the totals leaned toward the UNDERS by a 4-1-1 margin.

Injury Update
Dodgers IF Juan Uribe (.306, four homers) tweaked a hamstring Thursday night, and his status for the rest of this series is uncertain.

Free Pick for Friday
San Francisco owns a .343 OBP against left-handed pitching; LA ranks dead last with a .286 OBP vs. lefties. So we're leaning toward the Giants. And since we like to take chances we'll add Frisco on the run line, getting +140 at 5Dimes, to our list of free MLB picks for Friday.


8th May
Giants vs. Dodgers Game 1

By: Ron Patrick


The Betting Lines
In the early betting LA and Josh Beckett were favored by around -155 for Thursday night's game over San Francisco and Ryan Vogelsong, with a total of 7.5 runs. But many books have since dropped that price to around -145, and even less. 

Also, as of early Thursday morning The Greek was listing the Dodgers at -150 to win this series, with San Francisco getting +130.


The Situation
LA just lost two of three games in Washington, dropping Wednesday's rubber match 3-2. And while the Dodgers still finished 5-4 on their just-completed road trip, that could have been better, after starting 3-0. 

San Francisco just dropped two of three games at Pittsburgh, losing Wednesday's series rubber match 4-3. The Giants had won six in a row, before losing the last two games to the Pirates.

Frisco has been held to three runs or fewer in five of its last seven games, but has held opponents to two or fewer runs in six of its last eight games. In other words, the Giants have been playing some low-scoring games.

These teams have met twice already this season, the Giants taking two of three games in both series. The three games they played in LA all went OVER the totals, while the three games played up at AT&T Park all played UNDER.

Thursday's Pitching Match-Up
Beckett (0-1, 3.14) is just one-for-five on quality starts this season; he'd have a couple more, if he had just gotten a few more outs. Last time out he gave up four runs in 6 2/3 innings of a 6-3 loss at Miami last Friday, but in his three previous starts he gave up just two runs over 18 innings.

For the season Beckett has allowed just 20 hits in 28 2/3 innings, walked nine and struck out 30. But the Dodgers are only 1-4 in Beckett's starts, with the totals falling toward the OVERS 3-2.

Beckett started once last year against the Giants, giving up three ER in six innings of a 5-3 LA loss. He's also started once this season vs. San Francisco, throwing five scoreless innings in a game the Dodgers eventually lost 3-2.

Vogelsong (1-1, 4.60) is three-for-six on quality starts, and two for his last two. Most recently he held the Braves to one run through six innings, and just before that he threw seven innings of two-hit, shut-out ball against the Indians.

On the season Vogelsong has allowed 31 hits in 29 1/3 innings, but he's also walked 14 and given up five homers.

The Giants are 4-2 in Vogelsong's starts, with the totals leaning toward the UNDERS 4-2.

Vogelsong has already started twice against LA this year, allowing five ER in 10 innings; last year he gave up 10 runs in two starts vs. the Dodgers, covering 10 2/3 innings. Somehow, the Giants won all four of those games.

In the bullpen comparison San Francisco ranks No. 1 in the Majors with a 1.81 ERA, with 11 saves in 16 chances, while Los Angeles ranks 17th in ERA at 3.88 and is 12-for-17 in save chances.

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With the Sticks
LA is averaging 4.2 runs per game this season, ranking eighth in homers with 34 and first in stolen bases with 38. 

San Francisco is averaging 4.2 RPG, ranking third in homers with 42.

But while the Dodgers own a .334 team OBP vs. right-handed pitching, the Giants sit at just .288.

Giants-Dodgers Betting Trends
San Francisco has taken nine of the last 12 games in this rivalry. 

The Giants have played six UNDERS in their last eight games.

The Dodgers, on the other hand, have played 10 OVERS in their last 14 games.

Injury Update
Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval, who's been slumping at the plate lately, tweaked a thumb Tuesday in Pittsburgh and didn't start Wednesday. His status for this series is uncertain. 

For LA Yasiel Puig missed a couple of games after running into a fence Sunday in Miami, but went 1-for-3 Wednesday.

Free Pick for Thursday
We give LA with Beckett a short edge in the pitching match-up, and the Blue Crew is the better team offensively against righties. So we'll go with the Dodgers, at the -133 offered at 5Dimes, for our free pick on Thursday's game.

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