Giants vs. Athletics MLB Pick – July 31st

Our upset play came frustratingly short last night as the San Francisco Giants and their beleaguered bullpen blew the game not once, but twice in a 3-2, eleven inning loss to the Dodgers. Madison Bumgarner did his job, delivering seven shutout innings of tough, competitive, back-to-the-wall pitching. His team blew it with a tying run in the ninth innings and then even after the Giants retook the lead with a run in the eleventh, the bullpen swooped in and gave up a pair in the bottom to somehow, someway, once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory…

Alas, we went for it and came up agonizingly short, but will try to get back on track this evening and start a fresh week with a fresh new set of matchups.

It is a really short slate in the National League today with only five teams in action and one game taking place at 12:35 (Phillies and Braves) so not a ton to choose from, but we will wade in to the water with a relatively conservative pick with some value.

Today’s MLB Pick:

San Francisco Giants +140 at Oakland A’s -150 (Total: 9.5)
Matt Cain (3-9, 5.45 ERA) vs. Sonny Gray (6-5, 3.43 ERA)

If last night was indeed a “last stand” ball game for the Giants, it will be interesting to see just how far they can in fact fall… The Giants took a gut-punch loss in the eleventh inning to cap off a series sweep at Chavez Ravine, and now they are set to face a really tough pitcher on the road in Sonny Gray’s.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you only like this pick with Sonny Gray, make sure you wager as “listed pitcher only” as there is a real chance he is a Yankee (or other) by the 4pm deadline. If he DOES stay, its hard not to like Oakland at -150.

If he DOES get traded, I still like the Oakland pick, and would expect you to get a little more value than -150. The replacement starter would be rookie Paul Blackburn (1-1, 2.25 ERA), still a considerable upgrade from Matt Cain and his mighty 2017 struggles. Cain enters with an ERA in the mid-five’s and a WHIP of 1.67. Batters are hitting a staggering .310 against him this season, so regardless of whom Oakland throws on the mound, the Oakland lineup has the advantage tonight. His July ERA isn’t showing any improvement, posting a 5.40 ERA with just nine strikeouts to six walks.

Cain appears to be about done as a viable Major League starting pitcher, so it is worth at least considering a fade any time he gets the ball for the also-struggling Giants.


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