The Giants are on a roll and everything is going their way right now. Our MLB Handicapper looks at today's matchup against their cross town rival Athletics and sees more of the same.
The San Francisco Giants are hot, winning nine of their last ten games, including last night’s game against Oakland, which they took 9-3. Now, it’s hard to recap a baseball game when someone left the game with a testicular contusion, so I won’t. Billy Burns is questionable today after that queue shot, and… ouch. Not good when you can create an analogy with billiards when describing a player getting hit with a baseball in the groin at velocity.
With their 9-run outburst on Friday night, the Giants now lead the NL in runs scored. This is an amazing statistic as there was a narrative earlier in the year that the Giants’ offense couldn’t get it done. This game features repeat Oakland callup, Chris Bassitt, against the perennial All-Star, Madison Bumgarner. The odds in this game understandably opened favoring the home team Giants and their ace, opening at -167 on the money line at Pinnacle. Even with the Giants offense clicking lately, the O/U run total opened at 6.5 at multiple books.
With the dealing of Scott Kazmir, Chris Bassitt will likely find a place in the Oakland rotation for the rest of the year. In his first three starts of the season, he gave up two ER or less, and walked one or less in each of those starts. This has led to a favorable 2.93 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and .218 BAA over 27.2 IP on the season. Bassitt has never faced the Giants, and it might not go well if his split stats are any indication. The Giants’ Hunter Pence and Buster Posey are blistering hot right now, so hot that they don’t seem to care about split stats (such as last night versus Jesse Chavez). In this case though, the split stats are in their favor, as Bassitt is allowing a .293 BAA versus right-handers. Bassitt has another split stat anomaly; of his 11 walks on the season this year, ten are against left handed batters. I don’t think right-handers get deep enough into counts to walk as the ball is put into play.
Over three career starts, the Athletics have turned Madison Bumgarner into a replacement level player, as he has a 6.41 ERA, 1.73 WHIP, and .305 BAA against them. However, with that last start occurring last July 2014 I don’t think we should hold much stock into those statistics. This A’s lineup is drastically different, and should be missing another starter in Billy Burns tonight. We are more likely to see the typical 2015 home Bumgarner tonight, where he has put up a 2.55 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and .230 BAA over 67 IP.
The MLB Pick: At some point, you just have to start tailing a team on a hot streak and the Giants and Athletics couldn’t be heading in more opposite directions. Now, I don’t like the heavy juice you have to lay on the money line and some books have the Giants listed at -180 already. Instead, I’m going to bank on the magic continuing for the Giants offense against the AAA callup, Bassitt, and am going to give up -1.5 runs on the run line to get +135 at Heritage. Let the good times roll, until they don’t.
MLB Pick: Giants -1.5 at Heritage