Interleague action in Kansas City, as the San Francisco Giants and Royals collide in this early season battle. After the Giants and Royals had the day off yesterday, they get back to the dance floor on Tuesday.
Matt Cain is stepping on the mound in 2017 for his thirteenth season in the majors. Pitching since 2005, all in San Fran, Cain has seen his fair share of ups and downs. However, any pitcher would love to have a career that has spanned this long.
Cain isn’t going to be around for too much longer, but if he were to quite today, it’d be a career well spent in the Bay Area. With World Series’ rings, solid numbers, and a healthy bank account, there isn’t much that we can say bad about him in that respect.
However, as far as this season goes, and the immediate future, how much gas does he have left in the tank? This workhorse may be put out to pasture sooner rather than later.
Cain is coming off a year where he posted an ERA of 5.64. This was before he yielded a 5.79 in 2015. You have to go all the way back to 2012 to find a season where he finished below an ERA of 4.00. 2009-2012 was a special time for Cain, as he was pitching some of the best hardball of his career.
It’s been a steady slope downward since, but he’s found a way to hold on to a spot in the Giants’ rotation. He goes head-to-head with another veteran, Jason Hammel of the Royals. Get our free Giants vs. Royals pick below.
San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals Pick
Matt Cain (1-0, 4.82 ERA) vs. Jason Hammel (0-1, 6.52 ERA)
There is no denying the longevity of Matt Cain, he’s already met those merits. But I question how much longer he can keep it going. Along with the two below average past seasons, Cain hasn’t started out the season too hot, either. He comes in with an ERA of 4.82 after two starts.
His first start, against the Padres was no good, as he allowed 4 runs in just 4.1 innings. With Cain, you have to expect a roller coaster ride of inconsistent starts with some quality outings mixed in. His ERA away from San Fran stands at 8.31, including a 2.08 WHIP due to the poor showing vs San Diego.
The Royals will go with Hammel against Cain and the Giants. Hammel will be making his second showing of the year, too. He’s had nothing to show for 2017. In the majors since 2006, Hammel was popped for 7 runs in 9.2 innings against the Twins and Athletics. Those aren’t the most fearful offenses.
He enters with a high ERA of 6.52 and 1.97 WHIP. I don’t see how Cain or Hammel last much longer playing consistently in a rotation. I also don’t see how this game stays low-scoring. There should be enough runs here to give us a winning pick on the OVER.
PICK: OVER 9 (-110)