MLB Picks: Home Favorite Giants Will Overshadow Dodgers

Kevin Stott

Thursday, April 7, 2016 1:22 PM GMT

The Giants jubilantly open the doors of AT&T Park on Thursday afternoon as MLB pick for their Home Opener, a date with Dodgers, a team whom the Giants went 8-2 against last season here at Home.

Odds Overview
Let’s take a look at the how The Giants and The Dodgers did head-to-head in the 19 games they played in NL West Regular Season action last year and try to apply anything which may have been learned from watching the series openers against the Brewers and lowly Padres respectively, and then make a couple of picks based on the predicted Final Score in what should be close game where the spot on the schedule—Opening Day—is the biggest handicapping thing. And, of course, it’s an Even year.

The San Francisco Giants will send right-hander Jake Peavy to the mound on Thursday afternoon to face their heated rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers and left-hander Alex Wood at AT&T Park in beautiful San Francisco in Game 1 of this MLB Opening Week 4-game series, and the Home Opener for the 2014 World Champions.

Offshore Oddsmakers have made the host Giants and veteran hurler Peavy slight -113 favorites with the visiting Dodgers priced at +104 as the small Road Underdog (Pinnacle) with the game’s Total (Runs) set at 7½ Under -115 (at Pinnacle). The Run Line (-1½ or +1½ Runs) odds sees San Francisco -1½ priced at +180 with Los Angeles +1½ at -210 (BetOnline) with the First 5 Innings marketplaces had yet to open at time of publishing, but will likely see San Francisco again as small chalks and the Total where you’d expect it.

 

Los Angeles Dodgers Analysis
The Los Angeles Dodgers (2-0) have started off the 2015 MLB Regular Season by thrashing their Southern Californian and NL West Division-mate Padres by scores of 15-0—the largest Opening Day shutout in MLB history—and 3-0 on Tuesday, and, at Press time, Los Angeles was scheduled to face San Diego in Game 3 of the series with Andrew Cashner throwing for the hosts and new Los Angeles Japanese P Kenta Maeta hurling for the Dodgers (COX 96, 8:30 p.m. EDT/5:30 p.m. PDT; LAD -132, 7½U, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) with San Diego still looking to score its first Run of the season. 

And you thought you had problems. Supreme Court Clarence Thomas has scored as many Runs as San Diego has as of right now. On Tuesday night in the 3-0 Win—which got Los Angeles off to a 2-0 start—new Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts put out an impressive-looking Starting Lineup of: 2B Chase Utley, SS Corey Seager, 3B Justin Turner, 1B Adrian Gonzalez, RF Yasiel Puig, LF Carl Crawford, LF Trayce Thompson, CF Joc Pederson, C Austin Barnes and SP Scott Kazmir.

Like Dodgers Ace Clayton Kershaw on Opening Night, Kazmir allowed just 1 Hit and he and relievers Pedro Baez, Chris Hatcher, and Kenley Jansen combined to retire 26 of the L27 Padres batters so it was sort of like facing a AAA club and San Diego had trouble getting the ball out of the Infield. Seager had 3 Hits for the Dodgers (16/1 to win World Series, at BetVictor) who scored all 3 Runs off San Diego starter James Shields in the 4th Inning when Seager singled, Gonzalez doubled and then Puig followed order-suit with a triple.

Puig then scored on a single by Crawford. So, there is a remote possibility the Dodgers (23 Hits first 2 games) will head into this game against San Francisco still not having allowed a Run all year. An Underish thing.

 

San Francisco Giants Preview
The San Francisco Giants (2-1, 25-12 L37 Home games) blew a chance to sweep their MLB Season opening series at Milwaukee on Wednesday afternoon when the Brewers pushed a Run across in the Bottom of the 7th to take a 4-3 lead, the eventual Final Score. Giants Relievers walked the Leadoff Batter in both the 7th and 8th Innings and anyone who knows Baseball knows that that’s a deadly thing—especially when doing so on the Road...and against a team who really needed the victory to avoid a season-opening sweep. 

In the Loss at Milwaukee on Wednesday, San Francisco Manager Bruce Bochy put out a Starting Lineup of: LF Ángel Pagán, 2B Joe Panik, C Buster Posey, RF Hunter Pence, 1B Brandon Belt, 3B Matt Duffy, SS Brandon Crawford, P Jeff Samardzija and CF Gregor Blanco hitting in the No. 9 spot, and Los Gigantes (14/1 to win World Series, at William Hill) struggled to put the big inning together as they had in the first two games against Milwaukee and left the bases loaded in the Top of the 6th.

You can’t always get what you want. The Two Brandons—Crawford and Belt have gotten off to .400 (4-for-10) starts while 3B Matt Duffy had 2 HR and 6 RBI. Watch Duffy and Crawford.

Last Year’s Series Results, Some Applicable Trends, TWC Weather, Pitchers Report Card and Game Picks
The Giants went 11-8 against the Dodgers last Regular Season and San Francisco went an impressive 8-2 here at Home at AT&T against Los Angeles, winning or tying in all three series (3-0, 3-0, 2-2), sweeping two of the series against their heated rivals and shutting out Los Doyers 4 times in Frisco with former P Tim Lincecum notching two Wins at Home.

The Giants outscored Los Angeles, 32-16 in the 10 meetings in the Bay Area, and generally set the tone for high expectations against the Dodgers again this season. And with this game being the Home Opener, there’s some added handicapping luster on San Francisco although the Giants will be starting the 4th man in their Starting Rotation, Jake Peavy (8-6, 3.58 ERA last season), in this matinee game.

Two Dodgers hitters whom which Peavy will have to be extremely careful with in their Plate Appearances on Friday are veteran lefty Gonzalez (100/1 to win 2016 MLB Regular Season Home Run Title, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) and youngster Seager (100/1 to win 2016 MLB Regular Season Home Run Title, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)—off to a nice start—while Wood moves up from Los Angeles’s 6th Starting Spot in the Rotation to 4th with Brett Anderson (Back) and Hyun-Jun Ryu (Shoulder) both hurt.

The 25-year-old Wood (6-4, 215) has only faced San Francisco once with Crawford going 2-for-4 with a solo HR, Posey (Probable) 2-for-4 with 2 RBI and Pence 3-for-4 with an RBI. Peavy has done fairly well not only early on in MLB seasons (22-13, March/April), but has done decent against the Dodgers players who could be in Roberts’ lineup including Gonzalez (.217 in 23 ABs with 3 HR, 5 RBI, Puig 0-for-7 and Crawford, .278).

Andre Ethier (shin) is out until June, so we can maybe expect a sluggish start unless the Giants bats get to former Atlanta Braves southpaw Wood early on at AT&T Park and no doubt he’ll be nervous with all that’s going on here (Opening Day, being moved up in Rotation, playing in one of Professional Sports biggest rivalries, the host Giants coming off a Loss, it being an Even year).

Click & Compare All Props On Offer & World Series Odds

With the Giants 8-2 against the Dodgers at Home last season and this being the Home Opener for a team which has won the World Series 3 of the L6 years, Peavy on the Bump—the Giants are a sparkling 8-0 in Peavy’s L8 Home starts—and San Francisco possessing a deceivingly talented Lineup, backing the homeboys as well as the Under (20-8-4 L32 Series meetings in SF, 5-1 L6 meetings) seems prudent as Los Angeles could face some whiplash going from playing the worst teams in MLB to one of the best and may have trouble squeezing out 4 runs in this spot.

They will also have had to Travel. The Weather Channel forecast for San Francisco around the time of the first pitch of Thursday calls for Cloudy conditions, Temperatures of around 65° with SW winds gusting up to 15 mph. So, some typical Springtime San Francisco weather expected at McCovey Cove. And perfect Baseball weather.

Predicted Final Score: Giants 4 Dodgers 2
MLB Futures Pick: Giants 14/1 to win World Series (William Hill)

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Free MLB Pick: Giants -118, Under 7½ -105 
Best Line Offered: at BetOnlineat Heritage