MLB Picks: Starting Pitching Duel Makes Giants vs. Diamondbacks a Low Scoring Affair

Ross Benjamin

Monday, April 6, 2015 4:29 PM GMT

Our MLB handicapping professional shares his view on Monday’s NL West clash between San Francisco and Arizona. Join us in reading his extremely informative betting preview article on this game which includes a selection on the total.

Defending World Champs open the season at Arizona
The Arizona Diamondbacks will host the San Francisco Giants on Monday in what will be the season opener for both clubs. The first pitch is slated for 9:40 PM ET. My focal point pertaining to this game will be geared toward the total. According to the MLB betting odds at 5Dimes, the posted total is 7.5. These NL West rivals met nineteen times a season ago, and ten of those games went over the total.

 

Starting Pitchers
The Giants will go with the 2014 World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner on the hill for their 2015 season opener. Bumgarner was magnificent in twenty-one starts on the road last year, posting an excellent 1.93 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP, and just short of a 7:1 strikeout to walk ratio. The Giants southpaw hurler made three starts at Arizona during the 2014 MLB campaign and compiled a terrific 1.00 ERA in those outings.

The Diamondbacks will send Josh Collmenter to the mound tonight in their season and home opener. Collmenter pitched very well in sixteen starts at home last year, posting a stellar 2.59 ERA, a glittering 0.85 WHIP, and just shy of a 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio. Just four of those sixteen starts went over the total. The Arizona right-hander saw all three of his starts go under the number in 2014 when facing the Giants, and posted an outstanding 1.42 ERA in those outings.

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Final Analysis
There’s no doubt that starting pitching depth will be an issue for Arizona, and especially so early in the year. Bronson Arroyo and Patrick Corbin will begin the year on the DL. Both of those starters are recovering from Tommy John surgery. However, Collmenter has shown a lot of promise based on his performance level in 2014, and will provide the starting pitching staff with some much needed stability. The Diamondbacks will have some pop in the middle of their batting order, but they lack the overall depth in that regard to be considered even a decent offensive team at this juncture.

The Giants batting order will have somewhat of a new look to begin the year. Hunter Pence will be missing while recovering from a broken forearm that he sustained during spring training. They will also be without Pablo Sandoval who opted for a free agent contract with the Boston Red Sox during the offseason. They did acquire third basemen Casey McGhee who comes off a career year with the Miami Marlins in 2014. They also signed Nori Aoki who spent last season with the Kansas City Royals. My personal feelings at this point, the defending world champions will struggle to score runs early in the year until Pence returns to the middle of their batting order. I’m not sold on McGhee’s ability to put together two consecutive offensively productive seasons. He’ll also be under the pressure of having to replace a huge fan favorite in Pablo Sandoval.

I like this game to develop into an old fashioned starting pitching duel between Bumgarner and Collmenter. As a result of that prediction, I like this to be a low scoring affair, and my MLB picks on Monday will be reflective of that.

MLB Pick: Play on San Francisco and Arizona to go under the total of 7.5 at 5Dimes

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