Score Big Bucks Backing Favorite Giants Over Shaky Cardinals

Mark Lathrop

Saturday, June 4, 2016 12:25 PM UTC

Saturday, Jun. 4, 2016 12:25 PM UTC

Our capper brings his excellent record into a weekend matchup with two pitchers that are trending in different directions. Read on as he finds superb wagering value.

2016 YTD MLB: 20-10-1, +9.74 Units

San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals
The surging San Francisco Giants look to keep their mounting lead in the NL West as they travel to the perennially contending St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night. This is the first matchup of these teams this season, as it is always competitive and nearly even over the last three seasons. The San Francisco Giants and their better record have opened as slight road favorites, coming in at -114 at Bookmaker. The O/U total has opened at 8 across the board, with books split on Over and Under leans so far.

San Francisco Giants
Jeff Samardzija is slated to start this game for the Giants and he has had a fine start to the season so far except for his last outing against Atlanta. In that game, Jeff got tagged for 5 runs, 4 earned, while giving up 6 hits and walking two. It definitely was out of character for the 7-3 record, 2.84 ERA, 66/18 K/BB rate, 1.09 WHIP, and .229 batting average allowed that he has put up this season. Looking at this game, with the exception of Yadier Molina, who is 10-20 off of Jeff, there really isn’t much history of success by the Cardinals off of him so he should be able to bounce back here. Jeff has also been better on the road this year than at home, allowing batters to hit just .222 on the road while allowing .240 at home – both good marks of course.

St. Louis Cardinals
Michael Wacha takes the mound for the Cardinals trying to right the ship after a terrible stretch in which he has lost 6 decisions in 7 starts. On the season Wacha is 2-6, sporting a 4.99 ERA, a 54/23 K/BB rate, 1.50 WHIP, and .279 batting average against. Right-handers are giving Wacha some serious trouble this year, as they are batting an impressive .307 against him for one-third of a season.

Looking deeper into the advanced stats for Wacha and I’m seriously concerned that something may be wrong with the 24-year-old right hander. His velocity is down to the lowest it’s been in his career and averaging 1.4 mph lower on his fastball. Additionally, his swinging strike rate is at 7.8% - which is almost 2% lower than last year and a statistic that has trended in the wrong way since 2013. Opposing batters are squaring him up when they do make contact and he is by far and away having the worst season of his career thus far. Wacha pitched 181.1 innings in 2015, which was a huge increase in workload from 2014. It may be the case that the young pitcher is fatigued.


This may be one of those matchup where past results do not guarantee future performance. You see, Michael Wacha has excellent career numbers against the San Francisco Giants, putting up a 1-0 record, 0.47 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and .208 BAA over three starts and 19.0 IP. One has to look at this with the lens of continually declining performance though, and this is the situation we find ourselves with Wacha and this start.

All that said, I expected the Giants to be favored more in the -130 or -140 range when I examined this matchup. At books such as Pinnacle you can now back San Francisco at -109, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do with my MLB pick.

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Free MLB Pick: San Francisco Giants -110
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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