The San Francisco Giants travel out east feeling pretty good about themselves this weekend. They made life pretty frustrating on their rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, as they took two of three over the World Series hopefuls. The Giants came close to making it a clean sweep, but they lost on a walk-off in extras. It could have gone either way, and the Dodgers were fortunate enough to get a much needed win.
The Dodgers will be in Seattle this weekend, where they face a critical series against the Mariners. LA is no longer in control of the NL West, and with a win for the Diamondbacks last night, it pushes them back some more. The Giants have an outside shot of reaching the postseason, but are still alive in the race.
The Giants are 6 back so it’s looking highly unlikely they can ride a hot run to the top. If they can spoil the Dodgers’ goals, that will be good enough for some Giants’ fans, though. If the postseason started today, the Dodgers would not be in the postseason, not even as a wildcard in the play-in game. They’re 2 games behind the D-backs and 2.5 back of the final wildcard spot. It will be interesting to see how the Dodgers explain that one if they miss out on the postseason.
Anything other than a World Series is going to be a disappointment, and at this point, who knows if they even reach the postseason. The Giants appear to have a future superstar on their hands in Dereck Rodriguez. San Fran has developed some good pitchers over the years and it looks like Rodriguez might be added to that list. D-Rod will sit this one out, though, while Casey Kelly gets a chance at a start for the Giants. The Reds will go with Anthony DeSclafani who has been pitching well recently. Get our free Giants vs. Reds pick below.
San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds Pick
Casey Kelly (0-1, 1.42 ERA) vs. Anthony DeSclafani (6-3, 4.46 ERA)
The Reds were playing horrible baseball to open the season for the greater part of two months. Instead of sitting in the basement, they came up and improved their outlook, though. However, they are on a four-game losing streak after losing to the Diamondbacks and getting swept by the Indians. It wasn’t competitive until the Reds were edged out, 4-3, in the series finale. Cleveland got wins of 10-3 and 8-1 in the first two games.
DeSclafani has been at best lately, with an ERA of 1.96 and 0.96 WHIP in his previous three outings. That may come to an end against a Giants lineup who have beaten him up pretty good in the past. The Giants are hitting .361 with 2 long balls against DeSclafani in 36 at-bats. They also have an impressive .489 OBP on him. Brandon Belt is a prefect 3-of-3 with a dinger. Belt was recently activated from the DL.
This time of the year is when teams empty out their minor league system and give some Triple-A’ers a chance. Dereck Rodriguez was moved to the DL, so this is a golden opportunity for Kelly to showcase his stuff. He was given heavy consideration for this start after shutting the Pirates down for just 2 hits in 5 innings of work. However, Kelly didn’t last long in his next outing against the Dodgers.
He yielded a 6.75 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, and .571 in 1.1 innings. Before this year, Kelly hadn’t seen the majors since 2016. He finished with a 5.82 ERA in 10 appearances for the Braves back then. In 2015 he made 3 appearances for the Padres, finishing with a 7.94 ERA. Kelly has an ERA of 4.78 and 1.42 in the minor leagues, so by no means was he looking sharp in Sacramento. I see a 6-5 or 6-4 final Friday night in Cincinnati, so I’d take a look at the OVER here.