Six straight victories, including three straight one-run wins over the weekend over the Dodgers, have helped the San Francisco Giants take over first place in the NL West.
Wednesday's Game Three
By: Ron Patrick
The Phillies have unexpectedly won the first two games of this series by identical scores of 6-2, getting quality starts from first Cliff Lee, then Tuesday night Kyle Kendrick. Philly won as a +130 underdog on the MLB betting odds Tuesday, and that game played OVER its total of seven.
So the Phillies will be shooting for a series sweep when the teams play Wednesday afternoon (3:45 pm ET).
Wednesday's Phillies-Giants Betting Odds
As of Wednesday morning the best price we could find on San Francisco with Barry Zito was the -150 offered at TheGreek, while Philly with rookie Jonathan Pettibone could be gotten at +147 at 5Dimes.
Wednesday's Pitching Match-Up
Zito (3-1, 3.06) is three-for-six on quality starts this season, and San Francisco is 4-2 in Zito starts. But his last couple of outings have been kind of interesting; last Friday he somehow held the Dodgers to one run on six hits and four walks in just five innings, and just before that he gave up six runs in less than four innings vs. the Padres, although only one of those runs was earned.
For the season Zito has allowed 47 baserunners (hits + walks) through 32 1/3 innings, with a K/BB ratio of less than 2/1 (22 whiffs, 12 walks).
Last year Zito started once against Philly and threw well, giving up three runs and five hits through seven innings, walking one and striking out seven. But John Mayberry got him for a couple of solo homers in a game the Giants eventually lost 4-3.
So far in his ML career young righty Pettibone (2-1, 3.24) has produced three decent starts, and the Phillies have won each of his three starts. First, in his ML debut two weeks ago, he held the Pirates to two runs in 5 1/3 innings; then he gave up three runs in five innings vs. the Mets; then last time out he held the Marlins to one run through 6 1/3 innings.
Overall Pettibone has allowed six runs and 18 hits in 16 2/3 innings, walking just two, which is good, and striking out 13. But we'd note those numbers came against three teams we wouldn't exactly regard as offensive powers.
Then again, neither are the Giants.
Obviously, this will be Pettibone's first-ever appearance vs. San Francisco.
Our Take on Wednesday's Game
Can the Phillies complete the sweep? Or can the Giants avoid it? Usually, in a circumstance like this, we'd probably go with the home team to stave off the sweep. But -150 on Zito? That's just too much. So in a value play we'll add Philadelphia to our list of free MLB picks for Wednesday.
Tuesday's Game Two
By: Ron Patrick
The Phillies, who had just lost their last two games over the weekend to lowly Miami by a combined score of 16-2, took the opener of this series Monday night 6-2, scoring five runs off Madison Bumgarner to back up a quality start from Cliff Lee.
Philly won Monday as a +125 underdog on the MLB betting odds, and the game played OVER its total of six.
So the Phillies are three games under .500 and five games out of first place in the NL East, while San Francisco is six games above .500 and a half-game up in the NL West, as the teams head into Game 2 of this series Tuesday night (10:15 pm ET).
Tuesday's MLB Betting Odds
As of Tuesday AM the best MLB odds we could find on San Francisco with Tim Lincecum was the -128 offered at Pinbet, while Philly with Kyle Kendrick was getting +124 at a couple of shops, including BetOnline.
Tuesday's Pitching Match-Up
Kendrick (3-1, 2.43) is five-for-six so far this year on quality starts, and Philly is 4-2 in games he's started. Most recently Kendrick held Miami to two runs through seven innings, and just before that he threw a complete-game, three-hit shutout at the Mets.
In fact, disregarding Kendrick's first start of this season, in which Kansas City got him for five runs, Kendrick has allowed six runs and 28 hits through his last 35 innings.
Last year Kendrick made two appearances against San Francisco, throwing 4 1/3 innings, giving up no runs and three hits.
Tim Lincecum, by our strict standards, is just two-for-six on quality starts this season, but the Giants have won five of his starts. Last time out Lincecum got nicked for five runs and 10 hits in five innings by the Diamondbacks, but in his two starts previous to that he had held the Padres to two runs through 13 2/3 innings.
Lincecum (2-1, 4.41) has three starts this year in which he's given up two or fewer runs, and three starts in which he's given up four or more runs. So we're not exactly sure what this guy is going to do on any given night.
On the season Lincecum has allowed 17 ER and 50 baserunners (33 hits +17 walks) in 34 2/3 innings. But thanks to some great run support he's only been tagged with one loss.
Last year Lincecum started twice against Philly, giving up seven ER and 13 hits in 13 innings; the Giants split those two games.
Our Take on Tuesday's Game
Kendrick has been tough recently, while Lincecum is a Jekyll-and-Hyde proposition every time out. And Philly is getting an underdog price. We'll add the Phillies to our list of free MLB picks for Tuesday.
Pick: Take Philadelphia at the +124 offered at BetOnline.
Monday's Series Opener
By: Ron Patrick
The Giants will look to keep their good thing going when they start a three-game series with the struggling Philadelphia Phillies Monday night (10:15 pm ET).
Can San Francisco extend its winning streak, or can Philly stop it? Where might the money be found with our MLB picks in this series?
Monday's Phillies-Giants Betting Odds
As of Monday morning the best MLB odds we could find on San Fran with Madison Bumgarner was the -139 offered at TheGreek, while Philly with Cliff Lee could be gotten at +135 at 5Dimes.
Also, a few baseball betting shops were listing the Giants at -185 to win this series, with the Phillies getting +165 as dogs on the road.
Phillies-Giants Series Set-Up
San Francisco just swept three games at home from the Dodgers over the weekend by scores of 2-1, 10-9 and Sunday 4-3. The Giants seem to have a little mojo going for them lately, getting a Buster Posey homer in the bottom of the ninth to win Friday, then a pinch-hit game-winning dong from one Guillermo Quiroz in the bottom of the tenth to win Saturday.
So the Giants, at 19-12, now lead the NL West by a game over second-place Colorado.
Philadelphia, on the other hand, just split a four-game series at home to maybe the worst team in the National League right now, the Miami Marlins. The Phillies won the first two games Thursday and Friday, but lost 2-0 Saturday and 14-2 Sunday.
SP Roy Halladay got bombed for nine runs Sunday before leaving the game with a sore shoulder. Which might be just-as-well for Philly, which might want to give somebody else a shot at that spot in the rotation.
The Phillies have lost four of their last six games, and have been held to two runs or fewer in each of those recent defeats.
So Philly, at 14-18, sits in third place in the National League East, five games back of division-leading Atlanta.
This is the first meeting this season between these two teams; last year San Francisco took the season series from the Phillies four games to two.
Monday's Pitching Match-Up
Bumgarner (3-0, 1.55) has yet to allow more than two runs in a start this season. Last time out Bumsie held Arizona scoreless through seven innings, and just before that he limited the Diamondbacks to one run through seven innings. On the season Bumgarner has allowed seven runs and 34 baserunners (hits + walks) in 40 2/3 innings.
San Francisco is 5-1 in Bumgarner's starts this year, and each of his six starts have stayed UNDER on the totals.
Bumgarner started once last year vs. Philly and picked up a victory, allowing two runs and seven hits in six innings of a 4-2 Giants win.
Lee (2-2, 3.46) is four-for-six on quality starts this season, but he's struggled a bit lately. Last time out he gave up four ER and nine hits in six innings vs. Cleveland, and over his last three starts he's allowed 12 ER and 32 baserunners in 18 innings. Not coincidentally, the Phillies have lost Lee's last four starts.
For the season Lee has given up 16 ER and 48 baserunners through 41 2/3 innings.
Last year Lee started once vs. San Francisco and threw a gem, going 10 innings, allowing zero runs and seven hits, walking none and striking out seven in a game Philly eventually lost 1-0.
In a comparison of the bullpens for this series Giants relievers have combined for a 2.63 ERA, which ranks as third-best in baseball, and have converted nine-of-12 save opportunities; Philly's pen owns a 4.41 ERA, which ranks 23rd, and is five-for-seven on save opps.
Our Take on Monday's Game
The Giants are on a roll, as is Bumgarner, while the Phillies come in cold. Lee might keep Philly in this game for a while, but there's only one way we'd play this one; we'll add San Fran to our list of free picks for Monday.
Free MLB Pick: Take the Giants at the -139 offered at TheGreek.Bettors should check back at this page for updated pitching match-ups and picks as this series progresses.