Thursday's Game Three
By: Ron Patrick
San Francisco snapped a five-game losing streak Wednesday night, breaking loose for five games' worth of runs in a 9-2 victory. The Giants got three hits and four RBI from Brett Pill and a quality start from Chad Gaudin to even this series at a game apiece.
San Fran won Wednesday as +110 post-time dogs on the MLB betting lines, and the game played ‘Over’ its total of 8.5.
The Giants had scored a total of nine runs over their previous five games; Wednesday night they got four runs in the first inning and three more in the third. So, these two teams will play a rubber match Thursday night, starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Thursday's Betting Odds
As of Thursday morning, most baseball books were listing Philly and Cole Hamels at around -120 over San Fran and Matt Cain, with a total of 7.5.
Thursday's Pitching Match-Up
Hamels (4-13, 4.09) is 14-for-22 on quality starts this year, and four for his last five. Most recently Hamels limited the Tigers to two runs through seven innings, and over his last five starts he's allowed 10 ER and 37 baserunners (hits + walks) in 35 innings.
For the season, Hamels has permitted 137 hits in 141 innings, walked 39 and struck out 129.
But Philly, in large part because of some lousy run support, has won just six of Hamels' 22 starts this year.
This will be Hamels' first start this year vs. San Francisco. Last year, in his one start vs. the Giants Hamels got clipped for five runs and 10 hits, including three homers, in 7 2/3 innings of a 6-5 Phillies loss.
after a run of four nice seasons in a row, Matt Cain (6-6, 4.79), is having a season to forget, just like his team. So far this season Cain is 10-for-21 on quality starts this year, and just one for his last four. Last time out he held the Cubs to one run through seven innings, but in his three starts previous to that he had allowed 13 ER and 23 baserunners in just eight innings.
For the season Cain has given up 105 hits in 124 innings, walked 42 and struck out 114.
The Giants are 9-12 in Cain's starts this year, and have lost four of his last five outings.
This will be Cain's first start against Philadelphia this season. Last year Cain started twice against Philly; in the first game he threw a two-hit shutout, but in the second game he got nicked for five runs and three homers in eight innings. San Francisco won both those games.
Our Take on Thursday's Game
Hamels has been pitching in some bad luck this season; Philly lost his last outing 2-1, and nine times this year has lost a game in which Hamels gave up three runs or less. Cain, meanwhile, just hasn't been his usual self this season. So we'll go with the Phillies as part of Thursday's free MLB picks.
MLB Pick: Take Philly at -115, offered at Bet365
Wednesday's Game Two
By: Ron Patrick
When it comes to our MLB picks, how should this series be approached from a betting perspective? Besides “very carefully?”
Philly grabbed the opener of this series Tuesday night 7-3, picking up just its second victory since the All-Star break.
The Phillies won as -120 post-time favorites Tuesday, and the game played OVER the MLB odds total of nine.
San Francisco has lost its last five games in row, scoring a total of nine runs.
Philly will try to make it two wins in a row when the teams meet for Game 2 of this series Wednesday night (7:05 pm ET).
Wednesday's Betting Lines
As of Wednesday AM most most online sportsbooks were listing Philly and Kyle Kendrick at around -120 over San Fran and Chad Gaudin, with a total of eight.
Wednesday's Pitching Match-Up
Kendrick (9-7, 3.96), by our tough standards, is 12-for-21 on quality starts this year, but just one for his last five. Most recently he gave up three runs in six innings vs. St. Louis, and over his last five outings he's allowed 19 ER and 47 baserunners (hits + walks) in 29 2/3 innings.
For the season Kendrick has given up 141 hits in 136 1/3 innings, walked 33 and struck out 82.
Philly is 12-9 in Kendrick's starts this year.
In his one start this year vs. San Francisco Kendrick gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings, walking none and striking out six, in a 6-2 Phillies victory back in May.
Gaudin (4-2, 2.77) is 4-for-8 on quality starts this season, to go along with 18 appearances in relief. Last time out he got ripped for six runs in less than four innings against Cincinnati, but over his four starts previous to that he had allowed just two ER and 19 baserunners in 23 1/3 innings.
On the season Gaudin has given up 60 hits in 74 2/3 innings, walked 28 and struck out 64.
The Giants, a team that's 13 games under .500 on the season, are 4-4 in Gaudin's starts this season.
This will be Gaudin's first start this year against the Phillies, although in a relief appearance back in May he threw two scoreless innings.
San Francisco C Buster Posey missed Tuesday's game due to illness, and is questionable for Wednesday.
Our Take on Wednesday’s Game
This is a tough one. We've bet on Kendrick several times already this season, with some success, but he's not been very good lately. Also, Philly is still playing without Howard and Brown, and by the time first pitch rolls around tonight Michael Young could be traded away. On the other hand San Francisco can't score to save its life at the moment, and might be without Posey. But we're here to make a call, so we'll go with the better price and take the Giants with our free picks.
MLB Pick: Take San Francisco at the +110 offered at BetOnline.
Tuesday's Series Opener
By: Ron Patrick
The Philadelphia Phillies have lost eight games in a row, while the San Francisco Giants have lost seven of their last eight.
Tuesday's Betting Odds
As of Tuesday morning most online sportsbooks were listing Philly and John Lannan at around -135 over San Francisco and Barry Zito, with the OVER/UNDER proffered at nine.
Also, the MLB odds at The Greek was listing the Phillies at -125 to win this series, with the Giants getting +105.
Giants-Phillies Series Set-Up
Philadelphia just got swept three games in Detroit over the weekend, and that came after getting swept three games in St. Louis. In losing their last eight games the Phillies have scored a total of 14 runs.
Philly, at seven games under .500, is 11.5 games behind first-place Atlanta in the National League East, and nine games behind Cincinnati in the battle for the second National League wild-card spot.
San Francisco, meanwhile, just got swept three games at home by the Cubs, just after dropping three of four games to Cincinnati. So in losing seven of their last eight the Giants have scored a total of 15 runs.
At 12 games under .500 the defending World Series champs are 10 games behind first-place Los Angeles in the NL West and 11.5 games off the pace in the NL wild-card race.
In the first and only meeting so far this season between these teams the Phillies took two of three games in San Francisco back in May. Two of those games played OVER on the totals.
Tuesday's Pitching Match-Up
Lannan (2-4, 4.13) is 5-for-10 on quality starts this season, and two for his last three. Most recently he gave up four runs and eight hits in four innings of an 11-3 loss to St. Louis, but in his previous two starts he allowed just one run and eight hits in 16 innings against the Nationals and White Sox.
On the season Lannan has allowed 62 hits in 56 2/3 innings, walked 15 and struck out 31.
The Phillies are 6-4 in Lannan's starts this year.
This will be Lannan's first start against San Francisco since June of 2011.
Barry Zito (4-7, 4.92) is just 6-for-20 on quality starts this year, and 0 for his last five. Last time out he gave up three runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings vs. the Reds, and over his last five outings he's allowed 17 ER and 46 baserunners (hits + walks) in 22 innings. Not surprisingly the Giants have lost four of his last five starts.
On the season Zito has given up 136 hits in 108 innings, and his K/BB ratio is weak, with 71 Ks and 44 walks.
However, in his one start this year vs. Philly Zito allowed just one run and four hits in seven innings of a 4-3 San Francisco victory back in May.
But he's also 0-6 with a 9.89 ERA on the road this season.
Giants-Phillies Betting Trends
San Francisco is 14-20 this year vs. left-handed starters.
Philly is 11-13 this year vs. lefties.
The Giants are 19-31 on the road this season.
The Phillies are 26-21 at home this year.
The OVER/UNDERS are 27-19 in games played at the Bank this year.
Giants-Phillies Injury Update
Philly is playing without both Ryan Howard (knee) and Dominic Brown (concussion), who are both on the DL.
Our Take on Tuesday's Game
We give Lannan the advantage in the pitching match-up, and while Philly is an above-.500 team at home, San Fran has been lousy on the road. And the price isn't too bad. So despite the eight-game losing streak we'll go with the Phillies for our free pick for Tuesday.
MLB Pick: Take Philly at the -130 offered at BetOnline.